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Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

Genesis 1:1--2:4a We had some tech trouble this morning and there's no audio until about minute 24. Michael Newcomb is talking about our "doing justice" in the next several months by supporting the newest "apostles' build" with Habitat for Humanity. "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered...
God Promises: presence and Kingdom life

God Promises: presence and Kingdom life

(Testify, week 9) We have spent more than half the summer exploring the statement of faith of the United Church of Christ. The reason we spent all the time on it is because many of us have some specific Christian beliefs, but few of us can tell a coherent Christian story. We can't string those individual beliefs together in a...
God Promise: grace and courage

God Promise: grace and courage

2 Corinthians 1:19b-22 (Testify, week 8) We're almost at the end of our examination of the statement of faith of the United Church of Christ. We have one more section, and then a little benediction. And we're going to spread those out over the next two weeks, because this last section is like the grand finale. Really, these two final...
God Calls Us: the Church

God Calls Us: the Church

2 Corinthians 4 (Testify, week 7) We are coming to the end of our exploration of the UCC's statement of faith, this campfire that lights the center of our community. We have considered who God is, the eternal Spirit who is present and active in our world. We have considered what God wants: to rescue and heal us, to give...
God Bestows: the Holy Spirit

God Bestows: the Holy Spirit

Open and Affirming Sunday (Testify, week 6) Thirteen years ago, this church made the incredibly difficult and incredibly courageous decision to become officially Open and Affirming. This is a specific designation and commitment in the United Church of Christ to welcome all people, specifically including people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. This is something that the church...
God Has Come: Jesus

God Has Come: Jesus

Guest Preachers: Rev. Dave & Rev. Beth Long-Higgins John 1:1-9 (Testify, week 5) This morning we continue to explore the statement of faith of the United Church of Christ. It is a statement about our common faith that is written as a story with God as the main character.   As we have explored each of the sentences in the...
God Judges: righteousness

God Judges: righteousness

Guest Preachers: Rev. Dave & Rev. Beth Long-Higgins Isaiah 58 (Testify, week 4) This morning we continue to explore the statement of faith of the United Church of Christ. As Pastor Beth has reminded us over the past several weeks, this is not a list of doctrines; it's a story. It's even organized and written in story language with God...
God Seeks: salvation

God Seeks: salvation

Isaiah 55:1-11 (Testify, week 3) This morning we continue to explore the statement of faith of the United Church of Christ. As I've mentioned this is not a list of doctrines; it's a story. It's even organized and written in story language with God as the main character. This statement is not a fence that defines our boundaries; it's the...
God Calls: creation

God Calls: creation

Guest Preacher: Rev. Dr. Marshall Cook Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (Testify, week 2) The Bible is the foundation of our faith. I’m always amused by the reactions of children to many of the stories. For example, a Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted, “My Mommy looked back...
We believe in God

We believe in God

1 John 1 & John 1 (Testify, week 1) Chuck Townley and I have an ongoing discussion about the word "testimony." And when I say "ongoing" I mean that we've been talking about this on and off for probably two years now. Testimony. Like many of you, Chuck has had some bad past experiences with that word. He has heard...
Walk Humbly. Or Not.

Walk Humbly. Or Not.

Micah 6:1-8 One of the hardest things to realize about yourself is that you are living out of line with your own values. That you believe something or are doing something that you actually don't think is right. If we are serious about self-awareness and spiritual growth we will all have this painful experience at some point because none of...
Love Mercy. Or Not.

Love Mercy. Or Not.

Micah 6:1-8 This morning we continue our series on doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. I think that if we, as individuals and a congregation, if we focus on doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, if we do those things to the best of our ability, we will find lasting joy and we will...