Inhabit: Beauty and Awe (5.13.18)

It’s not enough to just see beauty around us. We are also invited to experience that beauty by entering in to the places where God is already at work. Where is their beauty in my neighborhood? What would it look like for me to enter into and experience that beauty? How might God want to re-ignite my imagination?

BranchAdventures: Camping

We’re headed back to Ft. Custer Recreation Area for a great weekend of camping. Head to our Facebook event to learn more and let us know you’re coming.

Inhabit: Regaining our Sight (5.6.18)

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
Henry David Thoreau

What do we see? How easy is it for us to see the less important things? How common, in our context, to become hyper-fixed on what is wrong, broken, dysfunctional? (is this easier? easier to keep our distance through complaint and hopelessness). AND, how easy it is to be distracted or anesthetized? What if we regained our sight for those things that are already beautiful? What if we had eyes to see the mundane, even the broken, as aspects of God’s work among us?

When we regain our sight, it leads to remembering that God is good, which leads to trust, hope and truth.

Navigating Conflict: Our Key (4.22.18)

We learned some Greek this week during the sermon! Sounds a little intimidating, but it’s actually very helpful to understand what Paul was trying to say in Romans 14. What are we doing when we judge someone else? Does that lead to building each other up or to division?

Navigating Conflict: Our Posture (4.15.18)

We continue our study of Romans 14, learning how God calls us to navigate conflict. What is our posture? Do we value being right over being in relationship? Is everything we do out of a desire to honor God? Listen here for a sermon that challenges us to think differently about our posture as we find ourselves in places of conflict.

Navigating Conflict: Our Aim (4.8.18)

This week we started a new series, using Romans 14 to learn how we can best navigate conflict in our lives. It’s all around us and, if handled poorly, leads to destruction and division. But there is a way to navigate conflict so that it brings people together and builds relationships up. In this first week, we ask the question “In times of conflict, what is our aim?” Is our aim to win and defend ourselves or is our aim resurrection: for harmony and building each other up?

Easter: A Surprising Journey (4.1.18)

This Easter, we are reminded that hope and new life can come from pain and loss. The journey isn’t pretty or easy, but the resurrection reminds us of our hope. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Navigating Conflict

Series: April 8, 15 and 22.

Training: Saturday, April 28

Our world is in desperate need of resurrection. Perhaps this is especially true as we consider the destructive ways we are treating each other when we have varying viewpoints (be they political, theological, etc.).
From dinner tables to debate stages we witness a growing inability to navigate conflict in a way that leads to a diverse unity (not uniformity). Rarely is a divergence of viewpoint viewed as an opportunity for growth. Yet the resurrection of Christ points us to a world in which disagreements do not destroy relationships, but strengthen them. A world where conflict is met by  love, not hate.
Join us as we consider Romans 14 together and the ways in which it instructs us to navigate conflict. As we do, may the power of the resurrection be at work in our lives and in the world.
April 8: Our Aim

April 15: Our Posture

April 22: Our Key

April 28 (Saturday afternoon)
Join us as we invite Colossian Forum to provide a few hours of specific training and practice in the area of conflict. Click here for more details and to register for this training.

Easter Tailgate!

It’s back!

Join us at 8:30am as we gather to celebrate the resurrection through great food, games and conversation. Weather permitting, we’ll be outside in the side lawn. If it’s too cold or rainy, we’ll meet in the fellowship hall.

We’ll have some main fixings of a good Easter breakfast covered, including drinks. If you’re able, bring something to pass.

Looking forward to the fun!

A Journey Through the Wilderness: A Journey to the True Self (3.18.18)

This is our last sermon in the series about the wilderness. Our journey took us through simplicity and lament, and showed us lies that we are tempted to believe about our identity. This week, we turn to find our true self. What can we learn about our own identity from Jesus’s responses to the tempter in the wilderness?

A Journey into the Wilderness: A Simple Journey (3.11.18)

When Jesus was in the wilderness, the devil tempted him with things like power, prestige, possessions and control, all in an effort to make Jesus act in a way that was not true to his identity. We are tempted in the same way. What false things are we being tempted to believe? And what do we need from God to remember our true identity?

A Journey into the Wilderness: A Sorrowful Journey (3.4.18)

As a culture, we too often skip over lament. We like to ‘roll up our sleeves’ and get to work fixing whatever is broken. While there is good in doing that, we miss the opportunity for growth and transformation if we skip the step of lament. It is modeled for us in the Bible over and over again. There’s even a whole book devoted to it! Listen as we learn about and practice lament and in so doing, we find hope.

The first ten minutes of this week’s podcast is an overview of our local and global mission partners. The sermon on lament begins after that (at minute 10).

A Journey into the Wilderness: A Simple Journey (2.25.18)

The wilderness is a place to wrestle with our identity. It’s a place where we must face and respond to our temptations. And it’s also a place where we experience God’s provision.

A Journey Into the Wilderness: The Spirit-Led Journey (2.18.18)

We know the wilderness to be a place that is harsh yet stunning, barren yet beautiful. It is an in-between place, to be sure. And when we willingly enter its vastness, there are things we discover about ourselves, our world and our God. Perhaps that’s why the wilderness shows up time and time again in the biblical story. From Abraham to David to Ruth, God’s people are led into those places where they must wrestle with who they are and who they trust.

Listen here as we begin our Lenten journey through the wilderness.

The Church: One Body, Many Parts (2.11.18)

This week, Yakuv Gurung joined us to tell us more about the people of the Nepali Speaking Community Church (NSCC). We share a building, but we don’t often see each other, so this was a great chance to hear stories of NSCC. Yakuv also shared with us an exciting opportunity to plant churches in Nepal.

A Journey into the Wilderness

“The wilderness of the Bible is a liminal space – an in-between place where ordinary life is suspended, identity shifts and the new possibilities emerge. Through the experiences of the Israelites in exile, we learn that while the biblical wilderness is a place of danger, temptation and chaos, it is also a place for solitude, nourishment and revelation from God.”
-Jenny Phillips, Jesus and Wilderness
 
We know the wilderness to be a place that is harsh yet stunning, barren yet beautiful. It is an in-between place, to be sure. And when we willingly enter its vastness, there are things we discover about ourselves, our world and our God. Perhaps that’s why the wilderness shows up time and time again in the biblical story. From Abraham to David to Ruth, God’s people are led into those places where they must wrestle with who they are and who they trust.
This Lent we follow Jesus into the wilderness. Just as he was tempted to live out of his false self, just as he was forced to wrestle with the deep things of his heart, our own 40 day journey invites us the same opportunity.
As we make this journey, may we hear God’s voice. May we be find refreshment. And may we learn that even in the untamed, vast places of life, God is with us.

The Church: Many Parts, One Body (2.4.18)

We were thrilled to have Earl James with us this past Sunday. Earl is the Reformed Church in America’s (RCA) Coordinator of Cultural Agility and Advocacy.

This is what the Lord Almighty says, “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” Zechariah 8:4

This is a picture of the Kingdom fulfilled. But how can it play out now in our neighborhoods and churches? Earl gave us some great tools to help us listen and understand stories of those who are different from us.

The Church: Many Parts, One Body

This week, we begin a 3 week series about The Church: Many Parts, One Body. One of the joys of sharing a building with 2 other churches is the relationships that form. Some happen naturally, but others require intentionality. This week, Nate led a conversation with our friend Rodrigo Cano, who told us more about the people of Comunidad Christiana de Grand Rapids (CCGR). He also encouraged us all to take intentional steps toward relationship.

 

Walk Humbly with God (1.21.18)

We wrap up our series on Micah 6:8 this week, looking at how we are to humbly walk with God. How can we have the same attitude as Jesus Christ? Collectively, as a church, we are committed to saying these things:
1. I don’t have it all figured out.
2. I need you, even if you are different than me. God meets us in, and transforms us through our differences.