Stories of (unexpected) Strength – Week 1

Strength is typically through of as muscle and grit — it leads to success — it’s powerful and bold. And while that is true, this view of strength is one-dimensional. What makes a person strong is more than muscle or a superior intellect. Strength comes in unexpected ways; ways our world may even tell us are weakness.

Join us as we look at a number of stories from the Scriptures of (unexpected) Strength.

This is week 1 in a five-week series.

Those Who Dream – Week 4 of Advent (12-20-20)

Week 4 of our Advent series

Those Who Dream – Week 3 of Advent (12.13.20)

Week 3 of Advent brings the theme of joy, something that has often felt in short supply this year.

The lectionary text (Luke 1:39-55) invites us to consider how joy might find its beginnings in anticipation of what is to come; in faith and trust in a promise made.

Those Who Dream – Week 2 of Advent (12-6-20)

Those who dream God’s dreams not only heed the call to stay awake (week 1) but also to prepare the way. We look at Isaiah 40 and Psalm 85 (two of this week’s lectionary texts) and then reflect together what it might mean for us to make straight a highway for God.

Those Who Dream – Week 1 of Advent (11.29.20)

The first week of Advent brought a Sunday filled with the art of A Sanctified Art and the lectionary texts of Mark 13 and Psalm 80 as we focused on the need to stay awake through the practice of lament.

A New Humanity – Week 7 (11.15.20)

We’ve been talking a lot about love – love of our neighbor, love of enemy. This week we consider love from a different angle, viewing as a creative force for redemption. What would it mean to love creatively? What new, innovative ways do we need to think about love?

A New Humanity – Week 5 (11.1.20)

Those we disagree with — those who offend us — those who are our ‘enemy’ — create great discomfort, unease and even hurt. And it seems quite human to try to avoid these things when they arise; to do our best to wall ourselves off from the discomfort. But what would happen if we did exactly the opposite?

As we look at sections of Matthew 7 and 5 we see Jesus calling us to look inward. To ask what the discomfort may have to teach us. To carefully reflect on what may be in our ‘eye’ — to pray for our enemy (an act that does a great deal to change us).  Yes, it’s radical, but if lived into, it could change us, and the world.

 

A New Humanity – Week 4 (10.25.20)

During this week we consider how we might work to find commonality — a transformative work that can lead us to greater compassion for our enemy/other, and even the possibility of collaboration.

A New Humanity – Week 3 (10-18-20)

This week we lean into Luke 10:25-35 and Christena Cleveland’s book, Disunity in Christ, to consider the ways we categorize each other, how it causes so much damage, and a possible alternative as we work to live into God’s new humanity.

A New Humanity – Week 2 (10-11-20)

Last week we considered our shared identity as a starting point for loving our enemies. This week, we build on that identity by considering the call to humility. What does humility look like? What might we do and say if we embodied humility more greatly?

A New Humanity – Week 1 (10-4-20)

A new series begins this week. Together, we’re asking questions and seeking answers to how we can embody the new humanity that Christ set in motion through his life, death and resurrection. We’re not sure there’s anything more relevant or important in our crazy, hostile and divided world.

Ephesians 2:14-15 and Genesis 1:26-28

Rest for Your Soul – Week 4 (9.27.20)

Our final week considering Matthew 11:28-30. Today we ask ourselves what it would look like to more closely walk with, work with and watch Jesus in order to learn his way and put on his yoke.

Rest for Your Soul – Week 1 (9.6.20)

We begin our month long look at Matthew 11:28-30 – three well known verses that perhaps offer us precisely what we need at this moment. But the invitation must be received. We must first admit that we are in need of rest.

This is My Story – the Herrboldts share about their move across country

Four years ago, the Herrbolts moved from Laramie, WY, to Grand Rapids with a number of expectations and hopes. As it turned out, many of those were not met or fulfilled.

What do we do when this happens? When we feel that we are being obedient or God is calling us to something or we are living ‘rightly’, but then things don’t turn out. Or worse, everything unravels? Micah and SaraJane offer their experience, which invites us into a deeper trust and awareness of God’s presence.

This is My Story – Terra and Sophia on Climate Justice (8.16.20)

Our Story series continues this week with the story of two of our young people. Terra Workman and Sophia Ferenczi both have a passion for climate justice. They share here where this passion started and how they see this work through the lens of their faith. Listen and hear how God is working in and through these young women. This is their story.

This is My Story – Freng’s (8.9.20)

Listen as we tell the story of one family’s trip to Uganda. In that trip, they learned more about themselves and more about the women who live there. They noticed what God is doing in Uganda, and in their own lives here at home. This is their story.

The Trees are Talking – Week 3

Elliot leads us in a conversation on quantum mechanics. Yep. You heard right.

We consider how something like a photon, which is both a wave and a particle, might help us think differently about many things in our complex world.

The Trees are Talking – Week 2

Elliot leads us through the incredible process of a star’s death, which gives way to the building blocks of life. This awe-inspiring cycle is what we see throughout creation. Life coming after loss and death. Resurrection. What might this mean for us in our day to day lives?