Melissa preaching at RMC June 10, 2018

Living in the Empire – Sept. 23, 2018

Today’s lesson from Genesis 39:1-23 about Joseph and Potiphar’s wife was particularly salient given the week’s current events. Melissa asks, “How is the empire we can’t help but be a part of controlling our lives? Where is our allegiance?” As Ta-Nehisi Coates has said, “You are called to struggle, not because it assures you victory but because it assures you an honorable and sane life.”

The service was also live-streamed and the video is available on RMC’s YouTube channel.

Living in the Empire – Sept. 23, 2018

 
 
00:00 / 18:34
 
1X
 

Gifted, Called & Blessed – Sept. 16, 2018

As a result of some last minute storm-related changes, Melissa and Hans provided a Bible study for today’s message based on Genesis 12:1-9 and Hebrews 11:8-16. Their interactive review, including a discussion of Abram’s blessings, was followed by Sri Mayasandra who shared about his life and current ministry as the Asia regional peace resource coordinator with Mennonite Central Committee.

The service was also live-streamed and the video is available on RMC’s YouTube channel.

Gifted, Called & Blessed – Sept. 16, 2018

 
 
00:00 / 34:56
 
1X
 
Donna Battle preaching Sept. 9, 2018

The Cost of Covenant – Sept. 9, 2018

Donna Coltrane Battle joined us this Sunday and provided a riveting message based on the story of Noah from Genesis 6-9.  Covenants are birthed out of pain. Recovery, or salvation, requires sacrifice. On this side of the covenant, we must press for ongoing justice.

Dr. Battle currently serves as the chaplain at Meredith College.

The Cost of Covenant – Sept. 9, 2018

 
 
00:00 / 26:23
 
1X
 
Melissa preaching May 6, 2018

God’s Gift of Grandeur – Sept. 2, 2018

This Sunday marks the beginning of a new study of Genesis. Prior to Melissa’s message from Genesis 1, Pam read a poem, “God’s Grandeur” by Gerald Manly Hopkins.

There is mystery in the creation story. Everything in the world is a pure gift, an unmerited pure act of God’s love that somehow has intersected with time. You are a sign of God’s love enfleshed.

God’s Gift of Grandeur – Sept. 2, 2018

 
 
00:00 / 16:12
 
1X
 

Blessings and Relationships – Sept. 24, 2017

Melissa preaches at Raleigh Mennonite ChurchMelissa preached from Genesis 27:1-29, 28:1-10, the story of Jacob stealing his father Isaac’s blessing from his twin brother Esau.

In this world there are the winners and losers. Those who have and those who are left behind. At the outset of the story, Jacob is out to be one of those who has, and his mother Rebekah is going to help make it happen.

Maybe the story of Jacob and Esau is a chance to see God’s sovereignty in a new way. God’s ability to move in the world can coexist with us being wrong. Maybe this story helps us to see that God’s sovereign work is not just to undo this wrong, but to undo us. Jacob then spends the rest of his life undoing what he’s done; returning the blessing he stole back to Esau. That’s how God works in world, setting things right.

Download | Transcript

 

 

Held by Something Larger than Ourselves – Sept. 17, 2017

Rachel Taylor speaking April 19, 2015Rachel brought the message on a very tough scripture, Genesis 21:1-2; 22:1-14, about God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. The point of the story of Abraham and Isaac is not to draw people in to worship a God who would do this, but rather to help people who are already in to stay in relationship with the one true God even when their world is turned upside down. This is the story of being in the habit of being in conversation with God even when things don’t make sense.  To illustrate her message, Rachel showed several pictures by famous artists depicting this story.

Download 

Tricked into Conversion – Aug. 13, 2017

Rachel preaching on August 13, 2017.Rachel spoke from Genesis 38, a passage not included in the lectionary readings and rarely included in sermons.  It’s a difficult passage for us, particularly to understand in our current age.

While Tamar’s actions seem strange to us, you could say she was engaging in nonviolent direct action. Tamar took risks, exposed wrongs, invited repentance, changed hearts and bore new life.

This story shows us that even when it seems we have no options, even when it seems that injustice and inaction will win, we are invited to find a way to subvert the system itself.

How have you been tricked into being more righteous?

Download

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.

 

Download