Matthew 28:18-20 On this Sunday after Easter, we celebrate “Holy Humor.” We’re called to laugh. Laughter is not an escape. It’s not a weapon. It’s not something to be hoarded. Laughter is something we’re called to nurture. It’s something we’re called to grow in. Laughter is a way to celebrate God’s reign now, and in […]
Matthew 28:1-15 Melissa tells us there were two very different realities that Sunday morning, three days after Jesus had been crucified. The contrast between the Jewish women and the Roman soldiers at the grave couldn’t have been greater. The Easter story is a story of grace. It’s a reordering of life. We’re encouraged to let […]
Matthew 21:1-17 It’s Palm Sunday. The day we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the King of Peace. But Jerusalem is a powder keg at Passover, and Jesus tosses in a match. It’s not unlike the unrest during the Civil Rights movement, when activists carried out a series of non-violent direct actions, pushing against […]
Matthew 25:31-46 Johnny Cash plays heavily in Melissa’s sermon today. In fact, the service included listening to one of his songs that talks about today’s parable of God’s judgment, separating the sheep from the goats. When I hear Johnny saying God’s going to cut you down, or Jesus preaching the story that might make our […]
Matthew 25 & 26 Melissa places the parable of the bridesmaids waiting for the groom at the wedding in the larger context of parables around it. All of you who call yourselves followers of Jesus, now is the time! Stop getting distracted. Focus on what we are called to do. We need to find Jesus […]
Matthew 20:1-16 A farmer hires workers throughout the day. Some work all day others just short time but the farmer pays all of them the same wages. This may not be fair but it is right. God does not bless people according to title, power, salary or any measure, God’s grace is freely given to […]
During Lent, RMC is focusing on some of Jesus’ parables. This first Sunday of Lent Melissa spoke from Matthew 18:21-35, the difficult parable of the slave who owed a great sum of money.
Melissa preaches from Matthew 6:7-21.
Debbie Bledsoe discusses the ways scripture, especially The Beatitudes, can be misused, referencing Margaret Atwood’s story The Handmaid’s Tale as a fantasy example. She celebrates the way that a community of believers who affirm and support those on the margins is life giving. Melissa speaks about the complications and interpretations of The Beatitudes. “Here I […]
Melissa recounts the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. It might be viewed as a test to see if Jesus is really who he claims to be. Jesus believes he is God’s beloved. We might not be able to pass the tests Jesus was faced with, but we also are God’s beloved. Matthew […]
In the second message in the series on Jesus’ life as told in Matthew, we come to Jesus’ baptism. Melissa provides a fresh perspective on this age-old story and invites those of us who have been baptized to reflect back on what it means. Matthew 3:1-17
Melissa preached from Matthew 1:17-25, the story of an incredibly creative act of God. The doctrine of the virgin birth becomes, as Karl Barth says, “The guard at the door of the mystery of Christmas.”
Melissa provided a Christmas Eve sermon. Our lives, as Jesus’ life begin in want. From the beginning they are bound up in gifts. In giving and receiving what is precious. Of sharing it with others.
Rachel tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a boy in Malawi whose family faced starvation due to extreme drought. Ultimately a story of resilience and hope, along with creativity and ingenuity, what makes this an Advent story is because of the faithfulness and trust in the midst of incredible adversity. We may be longing for […]
We are being called out of enmity over and over again and into friendship with God. We are now called friends because of God’s love for us. It’s this same love we are to show our enemies. Luke 3:1-14
Melissa spoke from Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21-25-36. Look around; the time is now. Stand up! Raise your heads. Don’t hide, don’t run away, don’t weep and gnash your teeth. Don’t numb yourself against this world, shutting it out with whatever distractions you can find. During this time of Advent, take hope. Hope is a […]
In the 37 times that Jesus describes the reign of God in the Gospels, not once is the kingdom of God like a kingdom of earth. Each time, Jesus tells them stories. Over and over again he roots the liberation of God in ordinary life, in what happens around us, not in throne rooms with princes […]
Doug Luginbill, Central District Conference minister, joined us this Sunday to ordain Melissa and install Rachel. This recording includes the ordination and installation, as well as Doug’s sermon from the lectionary reading of Isaiah 36:14; 13-20; 37:1-7; 2:1-4. Together pastors and congregations clarify the vision to which God is calling them. They discern the gifts […]
Micah 1:3-5, 5:2-5a, 6:6-8 An oft-quoted verse, Micah 6:8, framed the message introduced by Melissa and shared by Shannon and Deb. Shannon focuses on the meaning of kindness and Deb talks about what it means to walk humbly.
Psalm 116: 15, Psalm 16:3 Mennonites do not have a canon of Saints. If they did it might include St. Francis of Assisi, Edna Ruth Byler (founder of Ten Thousand Villages), Rowena Lark (Black Mennonite church planter) and our own Zinith Barbee. Craig, Brenda, Hans, Rachel and Red introduce us to these Mennonite “Saints.”