Rachel Taylor preaching at RMC January 19, 2020

What is this Passover Feast? – Jan. 19, 2020

Exodus 12:3-13 and Mark 14:12-25

Our biblical example of communion stems from Jesus sharing the Passover meal with his disciples.

Rachel reflects on how the church’s communion practice, particularly in white-dominant congregations, can deepen rather than heal racial divisions in the church as it did in the past when white slave owners required those they had enslaved to participate in the practice. It’s too easy to proclaim a false unity; saying “Peace, peace,” where there is no peace.

We must understand how this gift of communion has been damaged in the past, then we can do a better job of honoring it as we continue our walks of faith.

What is this Passover Feast? – Jan. 19, 2020
A Year at the Table

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on Oct. 27, 2019

Remembrance of baptism – Jan. 12, 2020

Matthew 3:3-17

NOTE: There were electronic issues during the recording which caused interference in the audio. It gets progressively worse toward the end of the recording, but it’s a good sermon, so if you can persevere, it’s worth it!

Baptism is a little death. At the same time, all of life is baptism.

There is no point at which you will know enough, or have enough faith, or get enough information, to pass the test for entering this community through baptism. There is no test! It’s already completed.

Baptism won’t initiate a perfect life. In fact, you might get more confused or have more questions.

Remembrance of baptism – Jan. 12, 2020
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Stan Wilson preaching at RMC on Jan. 5, 2020

Not Belonging – Jan. 5, 2020

John 1, Matthew 2:1-12

Stan Wilson provided the sermon this morning. Drawing from Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Stan says to be true to our Christian vocation, we need to “not belong.” For the church to not belong, we need to be part of a community that is called to embrace the wholeness and fullness of Christ. We are strangers in an inhumane world. Christians have a calling to not belong in this nation, or any nation, if the lines are drawn to privilege certain ethnic identities, or if the state exists to prop up corporate power against human beings, or to imprison and not restore offenders of the law.

It is life giving to learn where you don’t belong.

Not Belonging – Jan. 5, 2020
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on Oct. 27, 2019

Adoption – Dec. 22, 2019

Isaiah 7:10-16, Matthew 1:18-25

Even though Joseph is not Jesus’ biological father, Jesus becomes a part of Joseph’s story; the inheritor and adopted child of the whole line of God’s promises. Our story as Christians is also one of adoption. We were destined for adoption as God’s children through Jesus Christ.

Adoption – Dec. 22, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on August 18, 2019

Revolutionary Magnificat – Dec. 15, 2019

Isaiah 35:1-10 & Luke 1:46-55

When women in the Bible have something to say, it often comes out as a song. Mary’s song, recounted in Luke 1, is revolutionary. God is on the side of the dispossessed and Mary sings of the revolution taking place through God’s world-toppling love.

Melissa’s message was preceded by a video recitation of the Magnificat read by RMC women with Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “We are the One’s” in the background and powerful images of revolutionary women.

Revolutionary Magnificat – Dec. 15, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Melissa preaching at RMC on Oct. 27, 2019

Fulfilled – Filled Up – Dec. 8, 2019

Isaiah 11:1-10 & Matthew 3:1-12

On this second Sunday of Advent, Melissa told us, “this is a season to be shaken up and shaken out.”

Christians have a profound failure to live out the Gospel, but we’re also attuned to our failure. We require outside intervention and Jesus comes through an intervention of love. It’s time to be shaken and brought to the full realization of ourselves.

Melissa began with a short video clip (:40-1:15) showing the reunion between a lioness and her two early caretakers.

Fulfilled – Filled Up – Dec. 8, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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Angie Hong

The Story Isn’t Over – Nov. 24, 2019

Amos 9:11-15

Guest speaker Angie Hong brought the message this morning. She compares her upbringing with the story from Amos. Even in the midst of destruction, we are never so far from love and grace, that there isn’t room for hope.

The Story Isn’t Over – Nov. 24, 2019
Raleigh Mennonite Church Sermons

 
 
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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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