Melissa preaching

Reconciled in God through Jesus – Nov. 17, 2019

Food is political. Eating is a kind of politics. Isaiah offers this vision of the the end of all things, centering around a meal. In this passage, all things, all people, are reconciled in God. Everything bruised and damaged is made whole, but also those who bruise and damage are made whole. We’re all there together sharing the joy and intimacy of food.

With Veterans Day last Monday, Melissa admonishes us to advocate for veterans who have come back from military service. While this may seem like a contradiction for pacifists, it is an act of reconciliation. Veterans are also victims; victims of systems of war. When they return from war, they often suffer from moral injury.

Isaiah 25:1-9, Colossians 1:16-20

Reconciled in God through Jesus – Nov. 17, 2019
A Year at the Table

 
 
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Singing the Psalms – Nov. 10, 2019

World-renowned bluegrass, folk and Americana singer-songwriter Charles Pettee was our special guest this morning. Charles has set many Psalms to music and shared several of them with us as well as his song about Jesus and feeding the 5,000. You can hear many more FolkPsalms performed by Charles and other fine musicians on this YouTube playlist.

Brenda precedes Charles, reading from Psalm 37:1-9.

Singing the Psalms – Nov. 10, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Melissa preaching Oct. 6, 2019

Lamentations – Nov. 3, 2019

Lamentations 4:1-9

What did you bring today that you have not said aloud? What corner of sorrow have you left covered?

We work without pause, return again to a race for efficiency, too busy to attend to the grief we bury in our chests. So pause here… Pause here among others who have come to take your sorrow in their hands and among those who ask you to carry theirs. The backbone of lament is not despair; it is hope.

Whatever you bring today is good. Whatever you bear is holy.

Melissa’s meditation this morning preceded the opportunity to offer up our lamentations, write them on slips of paper and affix them to the cross.

Lamentations – Nov. 3, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on Oct. 27, 2019

The Glory of the Ordinary – Oct. 27, 2019

Ecclesiastes 8:10-15

The book of Ecclesiastes is a strange book to have in our canon. It’s a pessimistic book that veers into sarcasm, and it has no issue telling you exactly how life is in the world. A book for the frustrated and the cynical.

It’s comforting to know that the Bible has room for all of us. What we see here is not a reflection of how God is; God’s justice is a mystery. What do you do with the arbitrariness of life as it’s spelled out in this book? You look for flashes of joy when they come!

We were given the opportunity to share an instance in the last week where we saw a sign of God’s love in the vapor of this troubled world. Those instances were shared with the congregation.

(Note: the audio begins a bit low, but gets louder about 15 seconds in.)

The Glory of the Ordinary – Oct. 27, 2019

 
 
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The Prophet Joel, Locusts and Lamenting – Oct. 20, 2019

There are many examples of God’s plenty but where is God when there is nothing and there appears to be no hope? In this week’s sermon, Ryan Paige looks at the book of Joel. Joel writes as wave after wave of Locusts devastate everything. Crops are wiped out, even the seeds are eaten, with no food the livestock are dying, even the forest and wild animals are devastated. Joel tells Israel to cry out and lament. When we lament we acknowledge wrongs, share pain and call out injustice. In doing so we give voice and agency to those suffering and move people to act against the injustice.

The Prophet Joel, Locusts and Lamenting – Oct. 20, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Melissa preaching Oct. 6, 2019

Retelling the Story – Oct. 6, 2019

Deuteronomy 26:1-15

History isn’t recorded, it’s interpreted. Melissa begins her sermon this Sunday by telling about the Bible study she is co-leading on the grounds of the state capitol that compares the Confederate monuments with idolatry.

Rather than statues, we need to tell stories to one another. Stories of how God’s love extends to all of creation. Stories of grace and of uncoerced welcome.

Retelling the Story – Oct. 6, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on August 18, 2019

In Covenant with Creation – Sept. 29, 2019

Leviticus 11:1-22

This Sunday Melissa wove together an explanation for the Levitical rules for what meat was clean and unclean with both the current climate change crisis and our focus with A Year at the Table.

Human lust for domination over creation is the root cause of climate change. God loves the whole world and is in covenant with creation. Life belongs to God.

In Covenant with Creation – Sept. 29, 2019
A Year at the Table

 
 
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Isaac Villegas - Feb. 2018

The house of slavery – Sept. 15, 2019

Exodus 13:3-10

Isaac Villegas, pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, brought the sermon this Sunday. The Exodus passage recalls the first Jewish Passover. The meal was a ritual, reminding them of the liberation from the house of slavery.

“Love is contraband in Hell,
Cause love is an acid
that eats away bars.”
~Assata Shakur

The house of slavery – Sept. 15, 2019
A Year at the Table

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on Sept. 8, 2019

Invited to the Table – Sept. 8, 2019

Genesis 18:1-15

Melissa began her sermon talking about her many visits to A Place at the Table. Unfortunately, the first two minutes were not recorded, so we pick up from her comparison of A Place at the Table with the story of the three strangers who visit Abraham and Sarah at the oaks at Mamre. Abraham welcomes the strangers and brings Abraham and Sarah’s best for them.

What can we learn about the gathering tables in our community? Where is God present or absent? As we break bread at these tables, we’re invited to observe, to be hospitable and take part in the hospitality, and be witness to the divine presence.

Invited to the Table – Sept. 8, 2019
A Year at the Table

 
 
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Place setting with A Year at the Table in text over the plate

God shows up at the Table – Aug. 25, 2019

Genesis 1

Melissa’s sermon was preceded by viewing a video featuring James Weldon Johnson reciting the poem The Creation. The poetry of Genesis is where we’re starting our “Year at the Table.”

Our lives are dependent upon creation, just as they’re dependent upon a loving, creative God. Every time we eat, we are reminded that we do not control the world. We are reminded that our very existence is a gift.

God shows up at the Table – Aug. 25, 2019
A Year at the Table

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on August 18, 2019

Surprising Faith – Aug. 18, 2019

Hebrews 11:1-16

Melissa continued the series focused on Hebrews in this morning’s message. What is faith in the midst of political distress, in a government hellbent on terrorizing the vulnerable?

It’s the failures of the people talked about in this Hebrews passage that animates our faith to continue on. They provide hope because of their brokenness. If they can be used by God, there is hope for us. We are creatures of grace, and that can give us hope.

Surprising Faith – Aug. 18, 2019

 
 
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Rachel Taylor preaching Aug. 11, 2019

Unlocked Doors – Aug. 11, 2019

Matthew 12:1-6
Hebrews 9:1-14

Rachel brought the message this morning and began by telling us about recently being locked in the walk-in refrigerator at Anathoth Community Garden. She weaved this story and several readings into the teachings from the Hebrews passage about Christ as our high priest.

Jesus, as our priest, makes us whole, by reminding us that there is a locked door but also by opening it. By reminding us that we’re in a pit, but that God is there to pull us out. He also reminds us that our gifts and efforts are not what saves us, because the gift of Jesus’ life has already done that.

Unlocked Doors – Aug. 11, 2019

 
 
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Melissa preaching May 19, 2019

Sacrifices & Finding Life – July 28, 2019

Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10 & Matthew 26:36-40

Melissa works at clearing up misconceptions we often have and reconciling some of our notions of the sacrificial system of the Old Testament and Jesus’ life and crucifixion. We were forgiven long before we knew we needed forgiving.

Sacrifices & Finding Life – July 28, 2019

 
 
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Zinith Barbee preaching at RMC on July 21, 2019

The Good, the Bad & the Cross – July 21, 2019

Matthew 12:46-50, Hebrews 2:10-18

Zinith Barbee provided the sermon this morning, intertwining stories of Wyatt Earp and cowboys, with Jesus, his family, and Pharisees. At the end of the four gospels, we don’t get the OK Corral, we get Golgotha. Jesus is not the new Sheriff in town, he’s the new light and life.

The Good, the Bad & the Cross – July 21, 2019

 
 
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