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The Reign of Christ

The Reign of Christ

Isaiah 9:2-7 It's Christ the King Sunday. Which means we are going to talk about religion and politics. Because that always goes really well.  Christ the King Sunday is also known as Reign of Christ Sunday. Which eliminates the masculine designation of "king" but does not change the political message inherent in the title. This is a very new addition...
Let Justice Flow

Let Justice Flow

Amos 1:1-2, 5:14-15 & 21-24 Here at Zion United Church of Christ, our mission is to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. That mission is a direct quote from the book of Micah chapter 6. Micah is a book of the Bible that is part of what we call the "minor prophets" – which means...
Moving Forward in Transitions

Moving Forward in Transitions

All Saints Sunday 2 Kings 18 & 19 This morning, as we are once again gathered in this sanctuary, this place of safety that has been a home to our ancestors in the faith for more than a century, our spiritual home that has housed hundreds of baptisms and confirmations and weddings and funerals and thousands of worship gatherings---this morning...
Imperfectly Unfinished Transitions

Imperfectly Unfinished Transitions

1 Kings 5, 6, 7, 8 We have spent several weeks here at Zion thinking about transitions. The transition of the seasons outdoors, the transition of yet another season in the reality of living through a global pandemic, the transitions that we are all experiencing personally. And what does that mean for all of us together as a congregation? The...
Living in Transitions

Living in Transitions

We are spending a few weeks here at Zion thinking about transitions. Fall is a transitional season. As a congregation we are preparing to transition back to regular indoor worship. The world continues to be in a season of transition with the Covid-19 pandemic: the numbers are going down here in the US and booster vaccines are available so maybe...
The GenerUSity of Contribution

The GenerUSity of Contribution

Exodus 16 This is the final week in our stewardship campaign, which has supposedly been focused on generUSity, on what it means for us to be generoUS people in a generoUS church, a church that is ready, willing, and able to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. And as we get started this morning, I need to...
The GenerUSity of Participation

The GenerUSity of Participation

Exodus 2:23--3:14 It's World Communion Sunday. The focus of our worship today is the communion table. And before we get there I'm going to speak to you from my heart for a few minutes.  It has been a tough pandemic. For all of us. For each of us individually for all of us together, it's been a tough pandemic for...
The GenerUSity of Attendance

The GenerUSity of Attendance

Genesis 28:10-22 I am the kind of person who likes to underline and make notes in books. Some people don't like to do that, especially in the Bible, but I do. I like that I can flip through my Bible and see things that I've underlined in the past. Except that sometimes I'll come across a verse that has been...
Facing Our Heritage of Biblical Violence

Facing Our Heritage of Biblical Violence

Guest Preacher: The Rev. Jon R. Powers Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14  Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to...
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 Promises: grace and courage

God Promises: 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...