A God Who Stays – Feb. 26, 2017

Melissa speaking at Christmas Eve Service, 2016Melissa brought the message this morning. Before she spoke and at the conclusion of her message Pam read a poem by Mark Jarman, The Transfiguration, Part VII.

Scripture readings were from Exodus 24:12-18 and Matthew 17:1-9.

The story of the Transfiguration forms a hinge in the church year. The door swings open into Ash Wednesday, the door that points the way to Jerusalem, towards Gethsemane, towards the cross, towards death, towards dying alone.

Sometimes it may be that the story needs to sit here, filled with longing and loneliness and incongruity.

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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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