Be Not Afraid – July 3, 2016

Alisha and Marilyn along with the Worship Team lead Be Not Afraid, July 3, 2016A special treat at this morning’s service was to have Alisha and Marilyn leading us in the song Be Not Afraid, based on Isaiah 43:2-3 and Luke 6:20ff, composed by Robert J. Dufford.

The Bender family returned to Raleigh this weekend and we had a wonderful time catching up and reflecting on the past, present and future. Marilyn and John are the founding co-pastors of Raleigh Mennonite and served with us for 18 years.

 

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“That Woman’s” Prayer – June 12, 2016

Joy Wahnefried preaching on Oct. 18, 2015Joy provided a powerful message based on the story of Bathsheba from 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15, giving voice to the many victims of sexual violence. She used Psalm 5:1-8 as a lament, similar to what Bathsheba may have prayed.

What is our response to the prevalence of sexual assault and sexual exploitation in our society?  There are no easy answers, but we continue longing, praying and working for justice for all of the Bathshebas. We are called to be Nathans: to stand up to the violence in this world that goes on around us.

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The whole world in God’s hands – May 29, 2016

Deb Weaver speaking at Raleigh Mennonite May 29, 2016Deb and Morgan share about their experience during an Alternative Spring Break trip to Guatemala in Spring 2016Deb provides background about her experiences and lessons she tries to teach when leading Study Abroad trips as part of her role as a professor at Campbell University. She began the message by having us meditate on an adaptation of Psalm 139:1-18.  Following her comments Deb interviews Morgan, one of her students, about her expectations and growing edges as a result of a recent Alternative Spring Break they both went on to Guatemala.

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The Trinity as Mystery – May 22, 2016

Melissa Florer-Bixler speaking at RMC May 22, 2016On this Trinity Sunday in the church calendar, our pastoral candidate Melissa Florer-Bixler spoke about the often erroneous or over-simplified explanations of the Trinity. She used the story from Genesis 18:1-15 of The Three visiting Abraham and Sarah as a way for us to delve into the mystery of the Trinity.  Melissa referred to Russian artist Andrei Rublev’s Trinity, which was projected during the message.

God shows up in human lives, finding us and surprising us, like a guest or a friend when we least expect it. We know God not by observing from the outside, but from participating from the inside of God’s life, being folded into God’s life. God is mysterious and ever opening us up to new possibilities, to new surprises.

 

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Opening to Community – April 3, 2016

John Hilpert speaking at RMC on April 3, 2016.Our guest speaker this Sunday was John Hilpert. Hans introduced his long-time friend at the outset. John and his wife Margaret are coordinators of the Cedar Cross Retreat Center in Franklin County.

Based on the scripture text from Luke 24:13-33, John led us through a time of exploring more deeply what it means to be in community, just as those on the road to Emmaus experienced a sense of community with the “stranger” who walked with them. The time included an opportunity and encouragement for each of us to “step up” and commit to a deeper form of community, in whatever form that takes for each of us individually.

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