Melissa 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.
Melissa 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?
Isaac Villegas, pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, provided the message for Melissa’s installation service this Sunday. He spoke from Luke 15:1-10, the story of the Good Shepherd, and explained how the story is about God, our church and Melissa.
James 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.
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.
Belissa talks about the paradoxes in Scripture and in Life, and that our God is a God who accepts our paradoxical and questioning understanding of them. The Scripture she used was Hebrews 11: 8-16. Rachel introduced her.
Isaac 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!
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.”
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.)
Following 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.
Founding co-pastor John Bender brought the message, recounting some of the struggles he has faced in the past two years after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. He shares how his walk with God has been strengthened, even in the midst of questions, fears and doubts. David Rohrer introduces him.