When Jesus told his followers that the kingdom of God was among them, he was inviting them to step into the adventure of engaging the world with all its challenges. We can sink into cynicism and despair in the face of the world’s peril or we can choose to act with hope and even joy, each of us playing a part in healing the world.
In the Bible, stories about the wilderness take place in the desert, like the story of Jesus’ forty days and nights when he was tempted. In western fairy tales, the wilderness is portrayed as the dark forest.
On Pride Sunday, Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman reflects on the gifts of queer folk can “shine” when they are included in faith communities and can fully claim God’s love. Jesus’ words, taken from the Sermon on the Mount, were spoken to people who were used to hearing that they didn’t belong.
Senior Minister Molly Baskette dives deeply into the question of personal salvation and wonders aloud whether it is as easy and exclusive as it sounds to claim Jesus as one’s personal Lord and Savior.
For this all-ages service, the theme was about how to be an “upstander”—how we support those who are being bullied directly or indirectly.
On Mental Health Sunday in the United Church of Christ, Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman shares her own story about the way mental health issues in her family affected her as she was growing up. She reflects on how silence made the situation even more difficult for all involved.
Guest preacher Michael Piazza lifts up the variety of zoological references in the morning’s scripture. He notes that Jesus chooses to use the image of a mother hen as a symbol of protection. “When life is like a zoo, we become more like foxes.” But Jesus’ example was to open his arms wide in welcome and acceptance, embracing and demonstrating his vulnerability.
Thomas, the twin, missed out when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room. Young Adult Minister Kit Novotny notes that we don’t know exactly why he wasn’t there—was he depressed and holed up at home, out roaming the streets looking for Jesus, or did he get locked out?
On this Palm Sunday, Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman reflects on freedom.
On this Easter Sunday, Senior Minister Molly Baskette talks about “eukatastrophe,” the “sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears.” She recounts the “dramedy” of her husband’s proposal to her, and then imagines what it must have been like for Mary, whose grief at losing