Melissa preached from Matthew 1:17-25, the story of an incredibly creative act of God. The doctrine of the virgin birth becomes, as Karl Barth says, “The guard at the door of the mystery of Christmas.”
Melissa provided a Christmas Eve sermon. Our lives, as Jesus’ life begin in want. From the beginning they are bound up in gifts. In giving and receiving what is precious. Of sharing it with others.
Rachel tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a boy in Malawi whose family faced starvation due to extreme drought. Ultimately a story of resilience and hope, along with creativity and ingenuity, what makes this an Advent story is because of the faithfulness and trust in the midst of incredible adversity. We may be longing for […]
We are being called out of enmity over and over again and into friendship with God. We are now called friends because of God’s love for us. It’s this same love we are to show our enemies. Luke 3:1-14
Melissa spoke from Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21-25-36. Look around; the time is now. Stand up! Raise your heads. Don’t hide, don’t run away, don’t weep and gnash your teeth. Don’t numb yourself against this world, shutting it out with whatever distractions you can find. During this time of Advent, take hope. Hope is a […]
In the 37 times that Jesus describes the reign of God in the Gospels, not once is the kingdom of God like a kingdom of earth. Each time, Jesus tells them stories. Over and over again he roots the liberation of God in ordinary life, in what happens around us, not in throne rooms with princes […]
Doug Luginbill, Central District Conference minister, joined us this Sunday to ordain Melissa and install Rachel. This recording includes the ordination and installation, as well as Doug’s sermon from the lectionary reading of Isaiah 36:14; 13-20; 37:1-7; 2:1-4. Together pastors and congregations clarify the vision to which God is calling them. They discern the gifts […]
Micah 1:3-5, 5:2-5a, 6:6-8 An oft-quoted verse, Micah 6:8, framed the message introduced by Melissa and shared by Shannon and Deb. Shannon focuses on the meaning of kindness and Deb talks about what it means to walk humbly.
Psalm 116: 15, Psalm 16:3 Mennonites do not have a canon of Saints. If they did it might include St. Francis of Assisi, Edna Ruth Byler (founder of Ten Thousand Villages), Rowena Lark (Black Mennonite church planter) and our own Zinith Barbee. Craig, Brenda, Hans, Rachel and Red introduce us to these Mennonite “Saints.”
Melissa spoke from 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9 and Psalm 51. David makes a tragic and terrible decision and the results are heinous. When we see or hear of acts like this, we seek a confession from the wrongdoer, though David doesn’t come clean until he’s confronted by Nathan. Once we let the truth out, […]
Telling and rewriting the story of Joshua from Joshua 24:1-15, Melissa shared about her experiences of visiting border communities in Arizona and Mexico to learn more about the current immigration situation.
Angel brought the message on this World Communion Sunday. The lectionary reading was from Exodus 19:3-7, 20:1-17. How do the Ten Commandments speak to us today?
Melissa brought the message from Exodus 14 about Moses and the Israelites being delivered out of the land of the Egyptians and crossing the sea.
Today’s lesson from Genesis 39:1-23 about Joseph and Potiphar’s wife was particularly salient given the week’s current events. Melissa asks, “How is the empire we can’t help but be a part of controlling our lives? Where is our allegiance?” As Ta-Nehisi Coates has said, “You are called to struggle, not because it assures you victory but […]
As a result of some last minute storm-related changes, Melissa and Hans provided a Bible study for today’s message based on Genesis 12:1-9 and Hebrews 11:8-16. Their interactive review, including a discussion of Abram’s blessings, was followed by Sri Mayasandra who shared about his life and current ministry as the Asia regional peace resource coordinator […]
Donna Coltrane Battle joined us this Sunday and provided a riveting message based on the story of Noah from Genesis 6-9. Covenants are birthed out of pain. Recovery, or salvation, requires sacrifice. On this side of the covenant, we must press for ongoing justice. Dr. Battle currently serves as the chaplain at Meredith College.
This Sunday marks the beginning of a new study of Genesis. Prior to Melissa’s message from Genesis 1, Pam read a poem, “God’s Grandeur” by Gerald Manly Hopkins. There is mystery in the creation story. Everything in the world is a pure gift, an unmerited pure act of God’s love that somehow has intersected with […]
Melissa finishes up her series on the book of, and the person, Ruth. But Ruth shows up another time, at the beginning of the New Testament. The genealogy listed in Matthew 1 mentions three very unique women, including Ruth. Remnants of Ruth show up in Jesus generations later. Ruth 4, Matthew 1, Matthew 9:20-38
Melissa continues her series on Ruth, focusing this Sunday on Ruth 3:1-18. We join the message a few minutes in.
Melissa continues her series on Ruth, focusing on Ruth 2. Transcript
Ruth leaves what she knows and follows Naomi back to Bethlehem. Ruth arrives in Bethlehem, a land she doesn’t know where they worship a God she doesn’t know. Ruth 1 Transcript
Anali provided the message this morning, reflecting on her spring semester spent along the Mexico/US border, in Guatemala and in Cuba as part of her cross cultural experience studying at Eastern Mennonite University. Her talk included sharing a number of pictures from her experiences (PDF). During sharing time this Sunday, Leah shared live from Alamosa, […]
Rachel preached from I John 4:7-21. We’re not alone on our journeys. Together, we encourage each other, share resources, catch each other when we fall, and simply enjoy each other. As our journeys become real and we’re brought to the edge of ourselves, we’ll encounter God’s love there too. Through loving each other and through […]
Using I John 2:7-15 Melissa shows that factions in the Church are nothing new. As the Church was starting, there were different understandings of the Gospel message. How do we handle this?