God leaves everything…to pursue God’s beloved – Oct. 9, 2016

Melissa preachnig at RMC on Oct. 9, 2016Melissa spoke from 2 Kings 5:1-14 and Luke 17:11-19, focusing on the story in 2 Kings about Naaman being healed of his skin disease after hearing about God’s prophet Elisha from a little servant girl.

We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. God sees things as God is, and when God sees you…God sees a beloved.

 

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Increase our faith – Oct. 2, 2016

Melissa Florer-Bixler speaking on Sept. 18, 2016Melissa spoke from Luke 17:5-10 and Psalm 37:1-9. She envisioned Jesus telling the disciples, “Faith isn’t something you get; it isn’t a form of currency to be increased. Faith is a particular disposition in the world.”  A disposition of faith means putting our bodies next to the bodies of others, particularly the bodies of those who are most vulnerable. How do we make space for anger–such as the anger of those who continue to face oppression–without hatred?

Today was also World Communion Sunday. A time to break bread together, but also a time to remember the oppression faced by so many of our sisters and brothers throughout the world.

 

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Rich in Good Works – Sept. 25, 2016

daryl-byler-150Daryl Byler, executive director of Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice & Peacebuilding, preached from the lectionary readings of Amos 6:1,4-7, I Timothy 6:6-10,17-19 and Luke 16:19-31.  The readings all talk about wealth. They can be a bit unsettling since by most global measures most of us fit into the category of being wealthy. What is our responsibility when there are so many disparities here in the U.S., but even more so world-wide? Daryl used a number of slides to illustrate his sermon and provide some suggestions.

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A life of debt, the bonds of love – Sept. 18, 2016

Melissa Florer-Bixler speaking on Sept. 18, 2016Melissa spoke from “the slimiest story in the New Testament,” Luke 16:1-13, the parable of the dishonest manager. This manager makes some mischief. Throughout the Gospel of Luke the good news is the reversing of social boundaries, boundaries maintained by economic disparity. What if Jesus’ followers actually knew how the system worked, and what if they caused some mischief?

 

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Elections & Olympics aside, is there anything else in the world we should know about? – Aug. 21, 2016

James Krabill speaking at RMC on Aug. 21, 2016James Krabill, from Mennonite Mission Network, brought the message this morning, calling the church to be faithful to call of Christ. He spoke from several different passages and shared a number of slides with us as part of his message. He is introduced by our own Maurcio Chenlo who also works with Mennonite Mission Network.

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Life altering encounters – Aug. 14, 2016

Drawing from Luke 7:11-17 and I Corinthians 12:12-26, as well as a TED talk given by Drew Dudley, Stan reminds us that our words and actions–individually and collectively as the embodiment of Christ in our world–matter.  Even when we may not be aware of it we are impacted by and have an impact on others, sometimes through chance encounters, but more often through our ongoing encounters in community.

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The Adhan – July 31, 2016

Isaac Villegas speaking at RMC on July 31, 2016Isaac Villegas, pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, spoke to us this Sunday out of his recent experience in Bethlehem. Each morning he would wake to the call to prayer, or the Adhan, coming from the minarets throughout the area.

Just as Jesus queried Peter repeatedly in John 21:15-19, “Peter, do you love me?” the call of Jesus today continues, “Do you love me?” This is the song that awakens the dawn!

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Joy Comes in the Mourning – July 24, 2016

Joy Wahnefried preaching on June 28, 2015.Joy spoke this Sunday about finding joy even in the midst of all of the craziness going on in our world. Drawing from Psalm 30 and James 1:2-4, Joy noted that joy is not the denial that terrible things happen, but that those things do not get the last word. Joy can in fact be present in the midst of our laments, pain and grief, as the psalmist writes.

Joy quotes a favorite professor’s definition of joy as, “the stubborn insistence that despair and all of its forces will not win.”

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Reflections on Service Adventure – July 17, 2016

Anali with others in her Colorado Springs Service Adventure unit
Anali spent 2015-16 serving in Colorado Springs as part of the Service Adventure unit there. This Sunday she shared about her experiences and reflected on the impact it’s had on her life so far. Scripture for the meditation was from Psalm 121, which was the passage the Colorado Springs unit chose for the year.
(Anali is the tall one in the middle, in this photo with the rest of the 2015-16 Colorado Springs Service Adventure household.)

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Susan Nisly - director of Service AdventureFollowing Anali’s sharing, Susan Nisly, director of the Mennonite Mission Network’s Service Adventure program, shared more about the program and expressed appreciation for the 17 years Raleigh Mennonite hosted a Service Adventure unit. During that time, 71 participants and 16 leaders were a part of RMC, serving in the community. Many have reflected back on the influential role that experience has had  on their lives.

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