Apr 11, 2021 |
The Mutuality of Love| The Rev. Gary Lubin
The Mutuality of Love
Here we are, in this time and place. We have our own fears and our own unique challenges in becoming our own brand of beloved community. To listen to the mutuality of love. To be of one heart and soul and mind, so that there is not one needy person among us. To live together in diverse community. To achieve racial reconciliation and justice and economic equity. Recent current events demonstrate once again that we've got a long way to go on that count.
Apr 04, 2021 |
Don't Cling to Me| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Don't Cling to Me
Jesus is sending the Holy Spirit out to breathe the breath of God and inspire the whole world to live into the love for which every one of us is made. And as God blows that breath out, the Holy Spirit of the world, he is blowing all of us out. Out of this space. Out of our comfort zones. Out of that space of clinging and into a recognition of where God is in the world today. It will not look the way it did a year ago. It will not look the way it did a week ago. But God is at work. Hear your name. Recognize the love for which you are made. It is a love that cannot be killed. It is a love that animates all things with grace, mercy and justice. We are bound together in this resurrection. Not so that we can just cling to the things that we love. But so that we can pursue them. Follow them into this world and name God's blessing and participate in the work God would have us do.
Apr 02, 2021 |
What About Us?| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
What About Us?
This is a solemn night. Jesus told us it would come to this. Jesus forewarned us of the suffering he would endure. How he would be lifted up. We heard the words. But witnessing a loved one being killed is heartrending, heartbreaking and leaves us with unanswerable questions. What could we have done?
Apr 01, 2021 |
No Need to Rush| The Rev. Gary Lubin
No Need to Rush
You know, sometimes it's difficult to accept God's love on God's terms. But when asked to dance, why not? I mean just say yes and let Jesus take the lead. And as our lead Jesus teaches us, “You also ought to wash one another’s feet, for I have set you an example”. This is an invitation. An invitation to beloved community through servanthood. Jesus invites us, well, actually, Jesus commands us to love one another as he loves us. And maybe by kicking up some dust along the way. By proactively loving the other in another.
Mar 28, 2021 |
We Do This Every Year| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
We Do This Every Year
We do this every year so that we can bury our sin beneath the soil with him. Every year we engage in the act of planting the garden, because without getting our hands dirty, nothing will grow. The week before us is for dying. Dying to self and dying to sin. Burying our part in the plot. Knowing this is not the end but the beginning. Trusting that something will grow from the muddied muck and mire of life.
Mar 14, 2021 |
Reassuring Rituals| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
That which reflects our sinfulness becomes a sign of God's grace and God's love. If there's any question about the message here, Jesus follows with what has become one of them that's known Bible verses all. For God so love the world that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. In reading this verse this time I found myself caught in the awareness that this refers to much more than Jesus is death on a cross but to the entirety of Jesus life; his birth, his ministry, his teachings and healings, his way of being in the world, and yes, his willingness to suffer and die that we might have eternal life. All of Jesus was given for us. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. The Son of Man being lifted up is not a sign of only suffering but also of salvation. What we fear is of this world. Where we place our faith, what we can believe in, trust in, is God.
Mar 07, 2021 |
When God Gets Angry| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
When God Gets Angry
God gets angry when there are people who are actively trying to keep others from experiencing their own belonging to God. God gets angry at injustice. God gets angry at people in power who are using their power to exploit others and to build themselves up at others expense. This is where the anger of God comes from. God doesn't get angry because you screwed up or said a cuss word or didn't show up to church on Sunday or didn't say the right thing or believe in exactly the right thing all the time. God gets angry when you get in the way of people's connection to God. God gets angry when we set up systems that abuse and marginalize people and make them not be able to experience the fullness of their belonging on this earth. This earth which belongs to God,
Feb 28, 2021 |
Argument of Identity| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Argument of Identity
We find ourselves now in the midst of lent with a difficult question before us. Is it possible For Jesus to be ashamed of me? No. No, I do not believe it is possible for Jesus to be ashamed of you because shame is about identity and Jesus knows who and whose you are and for what you were made. And in case we don't tell you enough around here, you belong to God and you were made for love. Period.
Feb 21, 2021 |
United, Growing, Inspired, Sent| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
United, Growing, Inspired, Sent
It's been an amazing and an incredibly difficult time for the leaders of this church; for the staff, for the clergy, and for all those in lay ministry; to seek ways to understand how we can fully keep you connected. Because here's what I have realized during this time; when I say, why does this church even matter to me, what I realize is what I want to know and what I think most of you want to know in this difficult time about your church is, how do we stay connected to one another and how do we continue to make a difference in this world. How are we connected? And how do we make a difference? Because in our bones we know that we want to make a difference in this world. And we are hardwired for connection as people. It is built into us, interdependence, belonging to one another. We are not rocks and islands and all by ourselves. We may be individuals, but we are individuals who are built for belonging and connection.
Feb 14, 2021 |
Unexpected Moments of Grace| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
Unexpected Moments of Grace
So much of this timing is beyond our control and what we can control frequently has demanded patience and perseverance. It’s going on a year now. The timing of this pandemic has been a stretch, a real stretch, that continues. But this pandemic time, this more fallow time for many, has also revealed unexpected moments of grace.
Feb 07, 2021 |
A Present Mystery| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
A Present Mystery
Mark tells the story of a Jesus who shows up preaching repentance and driving demons out of people and healing them of their illness. And that's what he does for the entirety of the gospel. Preaches repentance, drives out demons, and heals the sick. Jesus’ focus in Mark is not on making us smarter. It is on making us aware of the brilliant and beautiful and mysterious and powerful presence of God in the world. There is an immediacy to Jesus in Mark's gospel. There is a desire for Jesus to get going, get moving.
Jan 31, 2021 |
Amazement Into Action| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Amazement Into Action
In our gospel lesson from Mark today, we see Jesus heal a man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue on the Sabbath. And the letter tells us that all who were present were amazed at what they had seen. While amazement is a natural response, it is not the only response that Christ is looking for from us. Jesus does not want you simply to be amazed, he wants you to act. He does not want us only to say, “Wow! Look how he loved.” He wants us to share that love with others. He does not want us simply to see the blessings that we have received. He wants for us to share them with those who need a blessing today. I do not stand here and utter fancy words in order to amaze you or fill your head with knowledge. I ask you rather to open your minds, warm your hearts, and bend your wills so that you can go and heal someone.
Jan 24, 2021 |
What Is This Good News?| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
What Is This Good News?
The reality is we don't necessarily stop to think about what this news is that is so good that it's worth repenting; turning around and seeing and recognizing God in the world. I believe all of our readings today clue us into the good, the best, news that there is. It is very, very simple but it is utterly life changing. God is here with you. God is here with you right now, wherever you are, whatever you are experiencing.
Jan 17, 2021 |
The Need for Truth-Telling| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
The Need for Truth-Telling
.As we listen, we need to be able to hear the truth and speak the truth, even when it is uncomfortable. We are each made up of what has come before in our lives; our heritages and upbringings and relationships, our experiences and exposures, our learning and understanding. We are beautiful unique expressions of life and love, and yet we are also one. United as beloved children of God. As I reflect on our shared experiences of these multiple crises we're in, the need for truth telling has never been greater.
Jan 10, 2021 |
Wake Up! Choose Love| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Wake Up! Choose Love
John’s message isn't ‘feel bad’. John’s messages isn’t ‘beat yourself up’. John's message isn't one about shaming people, even when he uses harsh language. The harsh language is meant to wake them up. Wake them up to the reality that they are not choosing love. We have seen what we are capable of as a people when we do not choose love. We're seeing it right now and John the Baptist’s word to us today is to repent.
Jan 03, 2021 |
Awakened to the Reality| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Awakened to the Reality
The beginning of Jesus’ story is so important. More important, apparently, than the next 25 years of his life. And so, we are awakened to the reality of how his life began. Jesus, God Incarnate, began his earthly journey seeking refuge, searching for sanctuary in a world that was hostile to the idea that the poor and the lame, the outcast and the blind, the orphan and the widow were Kings and Queens in the eyes of God. This was a message very unwelcomed by tyrants like Herod.
Dec 25, 2020 |
The Abundance of Good News| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
The Abundance of Good News
What amazing, good news we hear. The savior, the long-awaited Messiah has been born. Help is here. Salvation is here. And not only that he's been born in a humble place, an accessible place. The Messiah born truly among us, in a way our eyes and hearts can behold. We can soak in the comfort of this good news this morning. Longing for good news of any kind. Recognizing the extraordinariness of the good news here.
Dec 24, 2020 |
Everything is Interrupted| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Everything is Interrupted
They are surrounded by noise and inconvenience and then a birth happens. This is not how births are supposed to go. This is not how the story is supposed to go. And then the shepherds, this is not how their night is supposed to go. Everything is interrupted. Interrupted by the grace of God. This is an interrupting grace that transforms the lives of the people who are present in our story. This is not a story about the people who earned the right kind of Christmas. This is not the story of the people who got it just right so Jesus would come. There's nothing idealistic about it. It's too true of a story to fit into that mold.