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Peace Anyway

Esther 4 In this season of Advent, this season of preparing ourselves for the arrival of God in the world, we are challenging ourselves to work on our growing edges. The themes of Advent are hope, peace, joy, and love, which are always growing edges for humans, all of us can grow in how we live out those virtues. Last...

Hope Anyway

Habakkuk 1, 2, 3 Selected Verses Our theme for Advent this year is "The Growing Edge." The four themes we celebrate are hope, peace, joy, and love. Which are really excellent words, really excellent Christian words. Some people say they are tired words, that they don't mean anything anymore, that they are too nice or too vague. I agree that...
What Are We Waiting For?

What Are We Waiting For?

Micah 4 & 5 Festival of the Reign of Christ the King It's Reign of Christ Sunday, also called Christ the King Sunday. And on this final Sunday before Advent, I want us to think together about everything we've considered this fall and then start looking forward. Advent is all about anticipating, waiting, expecting, and so let's start doing that...
A Covenant of Internal Motivation

A Covenant of Internal Motivation

Jeremiah 30 & 31 This fall we have been exploring the importance of the idea of covenant in the Old Testament. I love the Old Testament. I love the poetry and the crazy stories. I love the imagery and the way that the words and situations from so long ago seem to echo in my life right now. So in...
Core Values and New Members

Core Values and New Members

All Saints Sunday, November 6 2022 Please note that we had a power outage halfway through the service, and you can watch the service in two parts. This place is special. All churches are unique, each with their own particular ethos. For a while we’ve been trying to articulate what it is that makes Zion feel like Zion. Two weeks...
No One Empty-handed

No One Empty-handed

Psalm 89 This fall we are exploring together the significance of five major covenants between God and humanity in the Old Testament. The first one is with all creation after the flood where God promises to never again destroy the earth. The second is with Abraham and Sarah where God promises that God will be with them, that they will...
Do Something for God

Do Something for God

2 Samuel 7:1-17 This fall we are exploring together the significance of the idea of covenant in the Old Testament. There are five major covenants in the Old Testament. Actually there are probably more and Bible scholars love to argue about that kind of stuff. So I should probably say there are five that I think we should definitely know...
You Gotta Serve Somebody

You Gotta Serve Somebody

Joshua 24:1-18, 25 For several weeks we have explored the important biblical idea of covenant. It's a sacred commitment to relationship, initiated by God for the sake of the other, and it shapes our identity and conduct. Belonging shapes behavior. In covenant, the relationship comes first. Who we understand ourselves to be and how we choose to act in our...
10 Commandments for Freedom and Safety

10 Commandments for Freedom and Safety

Exodus 19 & 20 This fall we are considering God's covenants with people in the Old Testament. We've read several stories about how God was faithful to people. Now we are going to switch gears and consider what it looks like for people, for us, to be faithful to God. Even if you didn't grow up in church, our text...
We Cannot Keep Still

We Cannot Keep Still

Exodus 14:5-22 This morning is World Communion Sunday, so the highlight of our worship this morning will be the celebration of the Lord's Supper. But before we get there, I want us to experience a story that is key for understanding God's covenant love for God's people. We're focusing on covenant this fall. Covenant is a sacred commitment to relationship,...
A Covenant Is Not A Contract

A Covenant Is Not A Contract

Genesis 39 Last summer we studied together the United Church of Christ's Statement of Faith, which includes the affirmation that God promises to all who trust forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, the presence of God's Spirit in trial and rejoicing and eternal life in that Kingdom which has no end. ...
Belonging Shapes Behavior

Belonging Shapes Behavior

Genesis 11:27-12:9 Each year in September as we study the Bible together on Sunday mornings, we go all the way back to the beginning, to the book of Genesis, and spend four months studying the Old Testament. I grew up in church, reading and loving and memorizing the Bible, and it wasn't until I got to seminary that I really...