Posted on November 29, 2016 by Becca Girrell
The seasons of Advent and Christmas are filled with tradition—the traditions of ancient peoples, the traditions of the Christian church, the traditions of our own families. In our worship and life together this season, we will dig deeply into those traditions, and explore the life and love they carry. How did the Hebrew people preserve and teach their traditions throughout a long history of yearning for God, of drawing close and falling away? How was Jesus the fulfillment of the traditions of his people, and what does it mean when traditions are born into something completely new?
And then there are the traditions that we learn, or make, or keep. Maybe your family has a special practice or an honored prayer. Maybe you decorate with particular ornaments or sing specific songs. Maybe there’s a family recipe, a treasured heirloom, a part of the holiday or the celebration or the worship service that is everything Christmas to you. How do these traditions carry the weight and the importance of all our rich history? How are they little fulfillments of God’s promise and presence in the birth of Christ?
This season, let us explore together the gifts of our traditions, and let us look for the ways in which God is bringing something new to life in the midst of the old, old story. Let us be shaped by the stories we learn and teach, and by how they are made new again. Are we ready to see a tradition be re-born among us? How does the ancient truth find new life each generation through the passing down and the celebration of Tradition?
Sermons in this series:
November 27 – Reclaiming Tradition
December 4 – The Only Constant
December 11 – Sacred Foundations
(December 18 will be the children’s pageant)
December 24 – Old Truth, Newly Born
January 1 – Start a New Tradition
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Posted on November 17, 2016 by Becca Girrell
(November 13, 2016) Poet, singer, and songwriter Leonard Cohen reminds us: “there is a crack in everything; that’s how the light comes in.” We see in our community, our nation, and our world many places of brokenness, many cracks and many places in need of love and light. May we as the people of God be those who bear the light, who carry God’s love, to all the broken places of the world. (Luke 21:5-19; Isaiah 58:5-12)
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Posted on November 8, 2016 by Becca Girrell
At our Bible Study last week, I was challenged to write a prayer for after the election. This is what I came up with. What would you pray?
Prayer for November 9
Hope of every tomorrow,
Healer of shattered dreams and fragmented peoples,
boundless Lover of all the unknowns,
the too-close-for-comfort and too-close-to-call,
the contested and exhausted,
those who lose no matter who wins,
the poll workers, pundits, and politicians too:
Today we begin to build ourselves into a people again.
Today we decide if Love knows a party,
if Grace can spring up where yard signs were planted.
Today, we need you. Maybe more than we did yesterday.
Maybe more than we know.
For what we have done: forgive us.
In what we have said: help us forgive one another.
With your grace and lovingkindness, heal the rifts and wounds, the anger spilled like bloodshed, the distrust sown like weeds.
Beyond any grudges, and broken hopes, and fears for the future that we harbor, help us glimpse a wider vision.
Encourage us to cling not to ideologies, but to one another,
in common peace,
in shared humanity.
Grounded in your Love which knows no end, may our hearts beat together in your song,
the rhythm of another new beginning.
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Posted on October 5, 2016 by Becca Girrell
The world “out there” can be daunting, and it often feels easier to stay within the safety of our own perspectives and safe havens. But unless we open ourselves up, shift our perspectives, and take a good, reflective look, we risk living lives that are unexamined, unchallenged, and closed off to one another and to God. That’s the last thing we want!
This worship series will encourage us to open up and let others in—other people, other perspectives, the Holy Other. Beyond the stifling safety of “our own little worlds,” there is God’s far-flung, abundant, beloved, messy creation! There, we are called to live deeply in relationship with one another, to make a difference in our lives and in the world, and to be transformed into the image of Christ by God’s grace.
The title and theme of this worship series come from a song by Matthew West. You can view the official music video to catch a piece of this vision. But of course, we hope you’ll come join us for worship, as we together break beyond our safe little worlds!
Sermons in this series:
October 9 – I Try to Stay Awake
October 16 – What if There’s a Greater Purpose (Laity Sunday)
October 23 – Give me Open Hands and Open Doors
October 30 – Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours
November 6 – Look Me in the Eye
November 13 – I Wanna Be Reaching Out
November 20 – Start Living Right Now
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Posted on September 29, 2016 by Becca Girrell
(September 25, 2016) The energy of Hang is an unusual one in our contemporary society– that energy of seeking peace and rest, being calm in one’s self. Although perhaps hard to find, when we sink into our quiet center, sometimes we find a depth and a peace that is holy. (Mark 6:30-32; Psalm 139:7-10, 13-18)
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Posted on September 22, 2016 by Becca Girrell
(September 18, 2016) The energy of thrust inspires and pushes us to action, as we come together in worship and are built up, jazzed up, and sent out into the world to live our faith in ways large and small. How will you use whatever sphere of influence you have to make one small change for justice and compassion in the world? (Luke 10:25-37, Exodus 1:8-20)
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Posted on September 16, 2016 by Becca Girrell
(September 11, 2016) The movement of swing is a comfortable one for me, an easy, going-with-the-flow energy that is focused on how we are in relationship with God and one another. Swing is a theological and spiritual claim, too: that God is the one who is concerned with relationships, who loves each one of us, and will not rest until each precious sheep is brought into the fold. (Luke 15:1-10)
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