Entries by Chris

Fall Series – Core Values

We all have values. That’s true as individuals, households and communities. We elevate and hold up certain ideas over others, and if we are lucky, find others who can help us live them out. After receiving input from The Branch community earlier this year, we’ve given new language to the building blocks of our life […]

Acts – Week 11 – 8/27/23

Our final Sunday in Acts considers the last chapters of this book – chapters that show us the promising reality that God’s Spirit is given to us precisely in our gritty, messy humanness.

SEPTEMBER 3 – Worship in the Park!

As summer draws to a close, join us at Garfield Park on Sunday, September 3, from 10-11a (we’ll be meeting in the parking lot off of Madison Ave. by the gym and splash pad). We’ll be walking through the park, stopping along the way to reflect on the Scriptures, our lives and the world. We’ll […]

Acts – Week 8 – 8/6/23

One of the consistent themes in Acts (and the Bible) is conflict. From the very beginning of the story (Acts 6), we find rumblings of discontent. How do we overcome difference? Acts 15 doesn’t give us a 1-2-3 step plan, but it does offer insight to steps we can take to help conflict become something […]

Acts – Week 7 – 7/30/30

We all know what it is to feel the tension between our differences. At the center of the stories in Acts is the tension between Jew and Gentile. Those first Christians were constantly having to work out what it means to not just tolerate ‘the other’, but to be their brother and sister.

Acts – Week 6 – 7/23/23

Our dear friend Deborah leads us through the stories of Stephen. His life is the first witness to the scattering of those following Jesus — out from Jerusalem to Samaria to the ends of the earth. Stephen is willing and able — and that open posture leads to changed lives, including his own.

Acts – Week 4 – 6/25/23

Something has happened in Jerusalem — a pouring out of the Sacred Breath (Holy Spirit) — and it has begun to change people’s lives. Today we look at the end of Acts 2 where we see the impact of this revolution of intimacy.

Acts – Week 3 – 6/18/23

God promises to come – and that coming takes place at Pentecost. But could anyone could have expected the way in which the Divine Spirit came to those first followers? What might this coming of fire, wind and language mean?

Acts – Week 2 – 6/11/23

The disciples pose a question to Jesus in the days following his resurrection – a question that exposes their longings and hopes. Jesus’ response to their question was not what they expected. This week we consider this story and what it might mean for us.

Acts – Week 1 – 6/4/23

Acts Revolution of the Intimate We begin a summer long journey through the story of Christianity’s beginnings. This week, we consider the larger context and themes of the book.

Seeking – Week 6 (5.7.23)

John 9 is a chapter full of questions, and to be honest, some are better than others. We take a look at the host of questions asked in this story and consider what makes a lesser and better question? What mistaken assumptions often undergird our questions? And how might we follow the example of Jesus […]

Seeking – Week 5 (4.23.23)

In Ezekiel 37 the prophet (by the same name) is given a vision — a vision that not only captures the hopelessness of his world, but perhaps of his own life as well. And yet, this same vision also breathes hope and possibility. In our world, there is no shortage of hopelessness. What might this […]

Seeking – Easter (4.9.23)

It’s a story we know well. Perhaps too well. Can we listen with fresh ears — like that time we first heard encountered the unbelievable world of chemistry, poetry or jazz. When Mary meets Jesus in the garden she doesn’t recognize him. The disciples who ran with her to the tomb don’t understand. Questions abound. […]

Easter Weekend

This weekend brings wonder and meaning. Though we may have heard the stories surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus many times before, each retelling allows us the opportunity to integrate deep truths into our lives again: death does not have the final word; sacrifice is the gateway to life; hope endures. Our time together […]

Seeking – Week 2 (3.19.23)

Our second week in this series (from March-May we’ll be preaching roughly every other week and having Group Sundays on the other weeks – see our blog for more) considers the story of Nicodemus. This religious, pious and seeking leader is confronted with an idea that confuses and shakes him: you must be born again. […]