Soul Work: Abide in My Love – Jan. 31. 2016

Duane Beck preaching his last sermon as pastor of Raleigh Mennonite, Jan. 31, 2016For his last sermon as pastor of Raleigh Mennonite, Duane incorporated John 15:1-12 and Mark 4:10-20.

Reflecting back, Duane observed that the Gospel of John has spoken into his life; “it found me, rather than me finding it.”

We have a Jesus-shaped God, and as part of our soul work, together we magnify our images of God so that collectively they can become clearer.

“We have to get rid of this individualized American view of Christianity and recognize that we really do need each other to embody who Jesus is. We are pruned so that we can love each other as Jesus has loved us. And so let our prayer be, ‘God, may I love others as you love me…..'”

The audio recording is below, but we also posted the sermon on our YouTube channel.

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A Benediction – Jan. 17, 2016

Dr. Dumas Harshaw preaching at RMC, Jan. 17, 2016We were honored to have Dr. Dumas Harshaw, pastor at First Baptist Church on Wilmington St., bring the message this Sunday. Pastor Harshaw and Duane have been personal and spiritual friends as well as prayer partners for most of the time Duane has been a pastor at RMC. This Sunday’s service was an important part of our weekend celebration of Duane’s 10+ years of ministry at RMC, his retirement at the end of this month after 45 years of ministry in the Mennonite Church, as well as a significant birthday.

After Duane gave an introduction and read from Galatians 4:4-7, Pastor Harshaw spoke from the Word and from his heart, focusing on God’s blessing to the Israelites through Moses in Numbers 6:22-27.

The Lord Bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

This blessing is a benediction for Duane’s ministry, but also for us at Raleigh Mennonite as well as the broader church.

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Leaving the Porch Light On – January 3, 2016

Brenda North Martin preaching January 3, 2016Brenda used the story of the Magi arriving from foreign lands to point out the the new-born Jesus was willing to receive people who were different from him.  Just as we put the porch light on for Halloween to indicate that we are willing to receive guests, even from other neighborhoods, we should be willing to do so, even for those who disagree with us.  The scriptures were Isaiah 60: 1-6; and Matthew 2: 1-12

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The Kingdom of God has come near – Nov. 15, 2015

Duane speaking at RMC on Oct. 11, 2015Duane spoke from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 this Sunday. He reminds us that Love + Forgiveness = Reconciliation.  As ambassadors we “re-present” Christ and the ministry of reconciliation, helping bring about the Kingdom of God in many small ways.

As part of his sermon, Duane went through the church directory and shared ways RMCers are being ambassadors in the community, beyond the church. Because many of the things he pointed out were personal in nature, we are not posting the message publicly this week. If you are a part of the RMC community, feel free to reach out to Stan and he’ll share the MP3 file with you.