The Cornerstone of Justice – Feb. 19, 2017

Melissa preached from Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 and Matthew 5:38-48. Leviticus is a blueprint for God’s people, a kind of temple the people will construct with their lives, and the cornerstone of this temple is justice. It’s the law that will distinguish God’s people from the place they have come from and the place to which they are going.

These laws, rules and regulations help us get inside God’s world, but Leviticus also shows us that God’s law is dynamic. “I am the Lord your God.”

The sermon concluded with the reading of a revised version of the Leviticus 19 passage, not for a people waiting in the desert, but for a people now, ready to see God’s life spread into the world.

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Being Mennonite: #holylentils – Feb. 5, 2017

Joy preaches at RMC on February 5, 2017Joy continued the series on Mennonite identity, this week focusing on communion. Breaking bread together is fundamental to being in community. Acts 2:43-47 and Matthew 25:31-46 formed the basis for her message. Communion happens whenever we eat together.

Before the message, Helen read a wonderful poem, “Prayer,” by George Ella Lyon

 

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Being Mennonite: Decision – Jan. 22, 2017

Melissa Florer-Bixler speaking at RMC May 22, 2016In Melissa’s second sermon in the series on being Mennonite, she drew from Matthew 18:15-20 and Acts 15:22-35 and focused on discernment and decision making within the body. The concept of the “priesthood of all believers” is an Anabaptist distinctive. It’s a part of what binds us together. How we go about making decisions matters as much as the decision itself.

We live into these decisions borne out of our shared life, out of our listening, out of listening to those at the margins, out of trusting each other. That’s the work we’ve been given to do.

 

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Being Mennonite: Body – Jan. 15, 2017

Melissa Florer-Bixler speaking on Sept. 18, 2016Melissa started a new four-part series on Mennonite identity this Sunday. Before the sermon, Pam read the poem “Mennonites,” by Julia Kasdorf and Joy read the response, “A New Mennonite Replies to Julia Kasdorf,” by David Wright.  (Sorry, cant’ find a version of the second one online.)

The sermon text was from Colossians 3:12-17 and I Corinthians 12:12-26.

Being Mennonite is not something rooted in birth or cultural traditions. It’s a disposition of patience, a slow coming into the life of a community, being vulnerable to one another’s voices, of learning how to receive the gift of another.

We’re all in this together as a community, where everyone has a part, where every person sings a song.

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A Gift Beyond Measure – Jan. 1, 2017

Rachel Taylor speaking at Raleigh Mennonite Jan. 1, 2017Rachel Taylor takes on the persona of a playwright from Coventry 600 years ago to tell about the creation of the Coventry Carol and remind us of the incredible gift of the Christchild.

The song gives voice to the anger of the women whose children were killed by King Herod, as told in Matthew 2:13-23. Even more, it’s a lullaby about the absolute, total love of God our mother who loves us so much she can’t be satisfied with leaving us to the powers of sin and death, but sent her own child to be with us in the mess our sin creates.

In the midst of the message Pam Bruns sings the haunting lullaby.

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Staying Awake in the Dark – Nov. 27, 2016

Melissa Florer-Bixler speaking on Sept. 18, 2016On this first Sunday of Advent Melissa spoke from Matthew 24:36-44. The other lectionary readings were from Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:11-14 and Psalm 122.

Advent is a time to press deeper into the unknown, to anticipate the unexpected. It’s a time to reflect and to be comfortable with the ambiguity of the darkness. “We must walk slower than we have, to give attention to our steps, the rise and root of the ground, to give careful attention to one another, to accept the not seeing fully, to make ourselves comfortable with knowing little, to situate ourselves in uncertainty.”

Melissa also closed with a poem from artist Jan Richardson.

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Here at the Cross – Nov. 20, 2016

Mellissa speaking at RMC Nov. 20, 2016On this Christ the King Sunday Melissa spoke of Jesus’ crucifixion, the very first Christian community and the radical example of our Anabaptist forebears. The scripture texts were from Jeremiah 23:1-6 and Luke 23:33-43.

Many church leaders have said, in response to the recent political machinations, “God is in control.” However, that does not mean that everything will be all right. We are called into a Christian community into which not everything is all right. We are called to transform ourselves into a community of people so dangerous that we can not be allowed to exist.

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Hearing God from a Dry Place – Nov. 6, 2016

Anne Hope, Virginia and Laura act out part of Rachel's sermon from Haggai    Rachel preaches at RMC on Nov. 6, 2016

 

 

Hearkening back to her children’s bible, Rachel speaks from Haggai 1:15b-2:9 about God’s promise to be with the Israelites, even when in a difficult place. God promises to be with us. Anne Hope, Laura and Virginia helped illustrate the background for the passage, visualizing what had happened to the Israelites.

Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord; and work, for I am with you, declares the Lord Almighty….

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