6/14/2020 – Acts – Part Nine – Paul in Prison
6/7/2020 – Acts – Part Eight – Spending Privilege
5/31/2020 – Race Reflection and Lament
5/31/2020 – Acts – Part Seven – Paul in Ephesus
5/24/2020 – Acts – Part Six – A Story of Two Freedoms
Acts 16:1-3, 16-36. The story of Paul and Silas’s encounter with a young slave girl in Acts chapter sixteen is a story about two opposing freedoms. One is an impostor freedom that is only “free” by keeping others bound up and in chains. The other is a true freedom that brings liberty to all. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucj6qVgcwSs
5/17/2020 – Acts – Part Five – Words
Acts 13:14-43. Words are interesting and significant. In Acts 11-13, we encounter some important words that lead us to maybe the most important word – neighbor. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucj6qVgcwSs
5/10/2020 – Acts – Part Four – Peter and Cornelius (and Huckleberry Finn)
Acts 10. In the story of Peter and Cornelius, God challenges Peter to embrace a bigger, more generous, more expansive faith. In our fractured and divided world, perhaps it is important for us to remember that God loved Peter and was present with Peter both before and after his faith expanded. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWbRBVhSVv4
5/3/2020 – Acts – Part Three – Stephen
Part Three of our sermon series on the book of Acts. A look at the dramatic and powerful story of Stephen. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtM8GjmQ3qc&t=2s
4/26/2020 – Acts – Part Two – Surprise Endings
Acts 4:23-37. When Luke concludes his dramatic story about Peter & John healing a crippled man, preaching an impromptu sermon before an astonished crowd, and getting arrested by the Temple leaders, he ends the story in a surprisingly small and understated way. This gentle ending holds wisdom that we need to tap into. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0avdUv3U_wg
4/19/2020 – Acts – Part One – Why are you staring into the sky?
Acts 1:1-11. The Ascension is a perplexing event, but one that is central to our faith. As we begin our series in Acts, we discuss this fascinating story and ask ourselves the same question the disciples were asked following it: “Why are you staring into the sky?” To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA5M_5P2YtA
4/12/2020 – Easter Worship 2020 – See His Hands
John 20:19-29. After Jesus died, the disciples locked themselves behind closed doors and lived out their own “shelter in place” orders. They were afraid. The story has some interesting parallels to our own moment in time as we live under “shelter in place” orders. Jesus offers to Thomas to “see my hands” as proof of His life. I believe Jesus is still making the same offer to us today. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl7q-14s2xM
4/5/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Five – Stone Catchers
Psalm 46. As we wrap up our Just Mercy series and celebrate Palm Sunday, we are reminded that as followers of Jesus we are not just called to repentance and compassion, but to be stone catchers as well. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgmEEPepQBE
3/29/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Four – Brokenness
Psalm 38. In most of David’s psalms, he is all-too-quick to call out the sin, hurt and evil around him, and far too slow to identify it in himself. Hmm. Sound familiar? But in Psalm 38, David seems to turn a corner and embrace his own brokenness. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0EV4RhA_vY
3/22/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Three – Irreparably Lost Time
Psalm 89. In so much of life, it seems too long before justice and restoration arrives. It can make things seem hopeless. The remedy for this hopelessness is to remember Christ’s Kingdom is already arriving here-and-now, and a day is coming when Christ will set all things to rights.
3/8/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Two – Identification
Psalm 23. In David’s most quoted song/Psalm, he boasts about the table God prepares for him in the presence of his enemies. God still prepares tables for us, but could it be that God wants us to sit with our enemies? To break bread with our enemies? To identify with our enemies?
3/1/2020 – Just Mercy – Part One – Repentance
Psalm 51. Using Psalms and stories from Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy, we are exploring the human heart in our lent series. This week is a look at repentance.
2/23/2020 – Colossians – Part Four – Onesimus Is One Of You
Colossians 4:1-9. The final chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae begins with a strong encouragement to slave owners to treat their slaves “fairly and justly.” But this was not Paul’s only word in this letter to those who owned slaves. Nor was it his most pointed or radical.
2/16/2020 – Colossians – Part Three – Heaven. It’s not the End of the World
Colossians 3:1-17. Heaven is important, but it’s not the end of the world. And not only that … it starts now.
2/2/2020 – Colossians – Part Two – Be Careful not to get Synagogue’d
Colossians 2:1-15. The believers in Colossae are facing pressures from the religious establishment to follow Jewish observances, rituals and laws. Paul warns them (tongue-in-cheek) not to get “synagogue’d” into thinking they need more than Jesus. If Paul were writing to us today, what influences might he warn us against?
2/2/2020 – Colossians – Part One – Maturity
Colossians 1:1-20. The church in Colossae was a young church living in a very divided culture. In other words, they were a lot like us. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the main theme of the letter is maturity.
1/26/2020 – The Great Omission (Refresh 2020) – Part Four – Community
Matthew 28:16-20; John 13:34-35. For many (most?) of us who call Ekklesia home, we share a common experience of faith deconstruction and the corresponding search for a better faith. As it turns out, this shared experience isn’t enough to create community. Something more is required of us.
1/19/2020 – The Great Omission (Refresh 2020) – Part Three – Money / Generosity
Matthew 28:16-20; Matthew 6:19-24. The world and the gospel are at odds with how we should handle our resources. The world encourages a “bad eye” but Jesus calls us to a “good eye.” What does this mean? And what does this look like for us today?
1/12/2020 – Communion Moment led by Amy Freeman
On 2nd-and-4th Sundays, we serve full corporate communion. Often these communion moments are led by a lay-person from within the church. We do not normally make a podcast of these moments, but on Sunday, January 12th, Amy Freeman shared some beautiful words that deserve to be heard.
1/12/2020 – The Great Omission (Refresh 2020) – Part Two – Jesus’ Kingdom Welcome
Luke 5:27-32, Mark 1:16-20, and Matthew 28:16-20. When Jesus invited people into his Kingdom life, his starting point was always “belonging” which eventually led to “believing.” Over time, Christianity has inverted this invitation. How can we return to Jesus’ original invitation?
1/5/2020 – The Great Omission (Refresh 2020) – Part One – Discipleship
Matthew 28:16-20. What does it mean to “go and make disciples?” On the other side of the guilt-laden (and often destructive) approach to evangelism and discipleship of the late 20th century protestant church, how are we to embrace this call?
12/22/2019 – Advent Reflection on Love
During the month of December we invited different households to participate in sharing on the four themes of Advent — Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Each Sunday was beautiful and deeply moving. On the final Sunday of Advent (12/22), Gerard shared powerfully on the theme of love. With so many families already traveling for Christmas on that day, we know that many of you missed it, which is why we have posted it here. Enjoy.
12/22/2019 – The Women of Advent – Part Four – Bathsheba
2 Samuel 11:1-17. The fourth woman mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus is “the wife of Uriah” (Bathsheba), who became the mother of Solomon. The story of David and Bathsheba is messy and hard to look at. It is a story that reminds us that we need to speak truth to power.
12/15/2019 – The Women of Advent – Part Three – Ruth
Ruth 1:1-17. At face value, the story of Ruth is already beautiful and deeply moving. But when read against the backdrop of Jewish laws that forbid intermarriage and placed harsh rules on any children born of a “forbidden marriage” the story is even more powerful.
12/08/2019 – The Women of Advent – Part Two – Rahab
Joshua 2:1-24. Rahab the harlot. That’s the name most of scripture ascribes to her. But rest assured! Rahab is far more than this name lets on. She is fierce, compelling, assertive and deeply loved by God … and her story has much to teach us.
12/01/2019 – The Women of Advent – Part One – Tamar
Matthew 1:1-17, Genesis 38:6-30. In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus’ birth, we meet Tamar, the mother of Perez and Zerah. On the surface, her story is messy and sordid and seems an unlikely one to include in Jesus’ genealogy. But a closer reading reveals great strength, beauty and justice.
11/24/2019 – Gratitude – Part Three – The Myth of Emotions
James 1:1-5, 12. Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. This instruction from James seems almost impossible. Is it even possible that we can change our gut response to trials and difficulties?
11/17/2019 – Gratitude – Part Three – The Myth of Scarcity
Matthew 20:1-16. One of the great obstacles to living in gratitude is an inborn fear that there will not be enough. Not enough love. Not enough money. Not enough security. Not enough fill-in-the-blank. We live with a scarcity mindset. But this mindset is diametrically opposed to the God revealed through scripture.
11/10/2019 – Gratitude – Part Two – The Myth of Competition
Luke 15:11-32. Most people today have lost the ability to hold convictions with openness, allowing them to be in relationship with people who think differently. As a result, we resemble the older brother in the prodigal son story, standing outside refusing to enter the celebration of his younger brother’s return home. How can we change this?
11/03/2019 – Gratitude – Part One – The Myth of Happiness
Philippians 4:4-13. Gratitude is central to the life of faith, but living a life of gratitude is not easy. Though we might think happiness is normal, unhappiness comes far more naturally to us. How can we combat this tendency toward negativity?
10/27/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part Eight – Servanthood
John 13:1-17. When Jesus washed his disciples feet, he was putting two things on display for us. He was showing us the discipline of servanthood and its corresponding freedom: Freedom from the terrible burden of being the center of your world.
10/20/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part Seven – Sabbath Rest
Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Luke 10:38-42. Like many of the disciplines, the discipline of Sabbath Rest is a lost art. Abraham Joshua Heschel describes the Sabbath as “the day on which we learn the art of surpassing civilization.” How can we reclaim this lost art?
10/13/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part Six – Generosity. The Entrance into God’s Kingdom Life
Luke 3:1-14. When the crowds ask John the Baptist about how to enter God’s Kingdom, his answer is tied almost exclusively to generosity. Perhaps we need to hear John’s answer again, and remember that to enter God’s Kingdom may involve more than generosity, but it certainly does not involve less.
10/06/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part Five – Community and Hospitality
John 4:3-39. In centuries past, the idea of creating a habit or discipline of community was largely unheard of because it was unnecessary. Community was woven into the fabric of culture. This is no longer the case, and we are suffering because of it. How can we reintegrate community into our lives?
09/29/2019 – Special 5th Sunday Worship Celebration with special guest Dr. Donna Coltrane Battle
John 4:3-30, 39-42. Dr. Donna Coltrane Battle spoke for our ongoing 5th-Sunday-Worship series on race, racial equity, and racial healing. She preached on the story of the Samaritan Woman who met Jesus at the well. Dr. Battle’s own experience of being a marginalized woman of color added incredible insight and wisdom to her words.
09/22/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part Four – Worship
Psalm 84 and 88. If the Psalms are at all to instruct us on our worship, could it be that our modern expression of worship is out of balance? Perhaps even toxic?
09/15/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part Three – Scripture
Matthew 5:17-20. In the Jewish world that Jesus grew up in, there was an understanding that scripture had many “faces” to it, and it needed to be turned over and over again if there is any hope to learn from it. It seems our modern “face value only” or literal approach to scripture is too small.
09/08/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part Two – Solitude and Silence
Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; Matthew 14:23; Matthew 14:13; Luke 6:12-31. Solitude was a practice that Jesus engaged in regularly. For Christ, it seems the benefits of solitude were far greater than merely a little peace and quiet. What are these benefits?
09/01/2019 – The Spirit of the Disciplines – Part One – An Introduction to the Spiritual Disciplines
Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:10; Matthew 16:24-25; Luke 9:61-62. An introduction to the Spiritual Disciplines: Silence/Solitude, Scripture, Worship, Confession, Giving/Generosity, Hospitality/Community, Sabbath/Rest, Prayer.
08/25/2019 – The Unexpected Jesus – Part Four – Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Luke 22:39-51. If we are willing to pay attention, Jesus offers a surprising and unexpected masterclass on prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.
08/18/2019 – The Unexpected Jesus – Part Three – Jesus and the Little Children
Mark 10:13-16. Against the backdrop of our cultural addiction to results, stream-lined processes, and productivity-at-all-costs, the methods and teachings of Jesus stand out in sharp contrast.
08/11/2019 – The Unexpected Jesus – Part Two – Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
Matthew 15:21-28. This week, we find Jesus unexpectedly in a seemingly harsh conversation with a Canaanite woman – a conversation where Jesus says, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
08/04/2019 – The Unexpected Jesus – Part One – The Great Banquet
Luke 14:15-13. An aspect of Jesus’ personality that we have historically overlooked is his playfulness and his sense of humor, which are both gloriously on display in the parable of the Great Banquet.
07/28/2019 – Illustrated Compassion – Part Four – The One Who Had Compassion
Luke 10:25-37. The story of the Good Samaritan is more than a moral tale about kindness. It also teaches us something about how to relate to those outside our faith.
07/21/2019 – Illustrated Compassion – Part Three – Lord, When Was It?
Matthew 25:31-40. When the disciples asked Jesus a question about the “end of the age”, instead of answering their question, Jesus gave them something better.
07/14/2019 – Illustrated Compassion – Part Two – You Were Immigrants
Deuteronomy 10:12-22. One of God’s most repeated commands after Israel’s rescue from Egypt is to love the foreigner; to welcome the stranger. It seems our world today is still in need of a reminder (or two).
07/07/2019 – Illustrated Compassion – Part One – What is Good?
MICAH 6:6-8. “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” What God ask of us might not be complicated, but it demands a constant readiness and an openness to the world around us. Where can I show justice and mercy next?
06/30/2019 – Racial Reconciliation and the Story of Zacchaeus.
Luke 19:1-10. What does the story of Zacchaeus have to teach us about racial reconciation?