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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Stories of remembrance on All Saints’ Day – Oct. 30, 2016

Joe Johnston sharing at RMC Oct. 30, 2016Chrys Browne sharing at RMC Oct. 30, 2016Dave Cooper sharing at RMC Oct. 30, 2016Joy Wahnefried leads communion at RMC Oct. 30, 2016

Joy introduced the message time this morning, providing the opportunity for three people to share about those who were close to them who had died in the past year. Joe shared about his sister, Chrys shared about her dad, and Dave shared about RMC’s founding co-pastor John Bender. Each led lives of service that enriched those they encountered. Joy then closed this portion of the service and led into a time of communion.

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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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