Series: Bread, Bath, & Beyond

BBB promo 2Bread, Bath, & Beyond

“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation…”  – 1 Corinthians 5:17

The new year always brings opportunity to move beyond our limitations, to find new beginnings, and be better than we were before. This season, we recall that the most transforming experiences of our faith— communion and baptism— are the starting points for life “beyond” our limitations.

As the new year begins, we are invited to be reborn in Christ, as we renew our commitment to serving God and to serving others. As we celebrate communion, we receive the amazing gift of God’s own self to us, and as we remember our baptism, we respond by giving ourselves back to God. But this beautiful exchange doesn’t stop there. We are called beyond this beginning, to live and serve in the world. Let’s make this year one of amazing transformations, for our lives, for our community, for our world!

Sermons in this Series:
January 6 – Follow Your Star (Bread)
January 13 – Call and Response (Bath) 
January 27 – Beyond the Horizon 
February 3 – Beyond Boundaries (the message was a brief reflection on being set free– through the power of God in Christ– from the sin that binds us, especially the sin of racism. The message was then embodied in liturgy and dance)
February 10 – Beyond the Chaos
February 17 – Beyond the Worry

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Sermon: Beyond the Chaos

BBB promo 1“Beyond the Chaos”

(February 10, 2019) Maybe we are not suppose to “retreat” as in withdraw from the world; maybe we are supposed to advance into a greater sense of God-with-us. (1 Kings 19:1-15, Mark 1:29-39)

Sermon: Beyond the Horizon

BBB promo 1“Beyond the Horizon”

(January 27, 2019) Has the church lost its unique moral voice? Can we, in response to God’s call, find a new moral voice for this time and place? (John 1:35-46Mark 1:14-20)

Sermon: Call and Response (Bath)

BBB promo 1“Call and Response (Bath)”

(January 13, 2019) God draws near to us in the life of Jesus, and in the remembrance of that life in communion. Then, God calls us in baptism. How will we respond? (Isaiah 43:1-7, Mark 1:4-11)

Sermon: Follow Your Star (Bread)

BBB promo 1“Follow Your Star (Bread)”

(January 6, 2019) As we reflect on the story of the Magi, or Wise Ones, we recognize that it is easier to run toward something than run away. How is God calling us toward something this year? (Matthew 2:1-12)

Sermon: Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Advent 1 Peace“Sleep in Heavenly Peace”

(December 2, 2018) After reading the powerful words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah 9:2, 6-7), our message this morning came in the form of a story, read by three veterans from our congregation: (in order) Sarah J., Wayne A., and Bob P. We had hoped to have the story read/also read by Jack R., a WWII veteran, but he was not able to read aloud, and so we share this story in part in his honor. The text comes from “The WWI Christmas Truce,” by Christopher Kline.

During the recording, we displayed a slideshow of images from the truce.

After the story, I said: Can you imagine returning to the trenches to fight, sending gunfire across the field where you just played soccer, aiming at the people with whom you exchanged gifts? I can’t imagine it. But the truce ended, and the war resumed. That’s what we humans do. Our peace is temporary, fleeting, and fragile. This is why we need the light of Christ in our lives. This is why we long not for our own peace, but for God’s heavenly peace. The musical group Celtic Thunder tells this story another way…

I then attempted to play this song from Celtic Thunder, which I find quite powerful, although perhaps too intense for some.

Series: Calm and Bright

SmallerAdvent Worship Series
Calm and Bright: 200 years of Silent Night

The classic hymn, “Silent Night,” first made its debut 200 years ago on Christmas Eve, 1818, at the St. Nicholas chapel in Salzburg, Austria.

Nearly 100 years later, the beloved hymn was the center of a World War I cease fire, Christmas Day 1914. The beautiful text has been translated from the original German into over 140 different languages, and is recognized and sung around the world. It is the defining “church moment” for many Christians—even those who come to church for the first time, or only once a year. Something mystical happens when we light candles and sing the hope of “calm and bright”–peace and light for the world.

This year, the 200thanniversary of the beloved hymn, we need a “Silent Night” more than ever—a ceasefire from our conflicts, divisions, and stresses. Join us during Advent as we are inspired by the stories of this song and as we celebrate the renewal of love and light for our time and our communities. When we sing (and dance) together on Christmas Eve, may we raise our voices in to celebrate the birth of Christ with spirits of peace and love that transcend all barriers.

Sermons in this series:
December 2 – Sleep in Heavenly Peace 
December 9 – Joyful Glories Stream 
December 16 – Redeeming Grace & Love 
December 23 – Let us Sing with Hope 
December 24 – Calm and Bright 
December 30 – The Savior is Born