Advent – Week 3 (12.10.23)

As we considered last week, it is possible for joy to surprise us and show up at any moment, in any circumstance.

This week, Elliott shares the story of the days following John the Baptist’s birth – a story in which Zachariah’s muteness ends and he breaks into a song of sorts — a blessing for the world and for his son.

In this story, awe and wonder are prevalent. In fact, they are prevalent in all of the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth. What do we make of this? Is there a connection between awe and joy? And is it possible to cultivate awe in our everyday lives?

Advent – Week 2 (12.3.23)

“Choose joy!” This phrase has become an anthem of sorts, but is it true? Is joy something we choose? Can we, therefore, do certain things to create or manufacture joy?

We look at the story of Elizabeth and Zachariah and explore these questions, working to clarify what joy is and how it arrives in our lives.

The good news is that joy can be present in any circumstance, at any time. Even when we are weary and worn.

Advent – Week 1 (11.26.23)

Our theme this year is “how does a weary world rejoice?”.

We’re borrowing that line from the Christmas carol, O Holy Night. It’s a line that holds tension and hope. Tension because both weariness and joy are present at the same time and hope because…well…weariness and joy are present at the same time.

This morning we consider the ways in which we doubt joy and even resist it. We explore the story of Zachariah and Elizabeth – a story of both weariness and joy — and let it inspire us to consider how we might more and more become people ready to receive joy when it sneaks “into the cracks of our imperfect life”.

What is Mine to Do?

Teresa follows up on the conversation we had about Israel/Palestine (on 10/29) by asking the question – what is ours to do? How do we move toward wholeness in the face of so much that is wrong; in the face of constant pressure to perform; in the face of a belief that we should be able to fix all things?

Q&A on Israel/Palestine

After our gathering we had a discussion on the current war, the decades of conflict that have preceded it and what it might cause us to wrestle with in our own lives here and now.

Two things I’m wrestling with as I watch the war in Israel and Gaza

The attacks by Hamas, as well as Israel’s response, have created so much pain and destruction. Our hearts are heavy with the weight of this war and the decades long conflict that has preceded it.

What are we to do in the face of such violence and loss? What can we do, if anything?

Chris shares some of his wrestlings from the last few weeks and invites us to wrestle too — not just with this war on the other side of the world, but with the way vengeance and demonization can easily took root in our own lives.

After our gathering, we had 30 minutes of Q&A, which can be found here

Core Values – Week 5: Courageous Creativity

This is a moment in history full of change, questions, uncertainty and loss. So much is shifting so quickly — including what it means to be Christian (not to mention…if…I want to be Christian).

A moment like this calls for courage. Courage to dream new dreams; to allow our imaginations to be reignited. To admit our limitations let go of old patterns that no longer work. We are committed to being that kind of a community.

Core Values – Week 4: Purposeful Presence

Presence is one of God’s greatest gift to us, and in turn, it is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to each other. We consider this core value — an intentional choice we can make to be present in our world, here and now.

Core Values – Week 3: Relational Grace

Listen here for Week 3 in our Core Values Series. This week, we talk about Relational Grace.

Core Values – Week 2: Inclusivity

Listen as we continue our conversation on our Core Values. This week, we talk about inclusivity and what that means for our shared life together.

Core Values – Week 1: Partnership

Listen as we begin our Core Values series. This week, we will talk about partnership and what that means to us as individuals and to us as a faith community.

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.

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 that grows us.

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 5 – 7/9/23

We consider Acts 3 and 4 – a story of boldness and courage, including a willingness to speak truth to those in power. How do we do the same?

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

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.