On this fifth Sunday of Lent Melissa preached from Romans 8:6-11. Our bodies are not neutral. We are formed by environments, constrained or freed, or subjected to housing laws and legal decisions, physical borders, corporations. Our bodies, our racialized bodies, our aging bodies, our gendered bodies, these are formed by forces much larger than our […]
On this third Sunday of Lent, Melissa spoke from Romans 5:1-11. Most of our sins aren’t interesting or dangerous. They’re mostly petty and boring and cruel. We short change both the chasm of our failings and the grace of God when we limit the scope of our sins to doing bad things. Our sins are […]
On this second Sunday of Lent Melissa preached from Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, weaving in basketball with the ongoing theme of confession, along with talking about community and identity. What if our identity isn’t a story about heroics or world-changing? What if the only way to tell each other apart is that we forgive each other?
On this first Sunday of Lent, Melissa preached from Genesis 2:15-17 & 3:1-7 and Romans 5:12-19. During this season we are focusing our time and attention toward “confession.” We have varied experiences with confessions. Confession is when we come clean, when we tell the truth about who we are. We are not God!
In this continuing series during Lent, today’s story is about Mary pouring out expensive perfume, washing Jesus’ feet with it and drying his feet with her hair. Rather than agreeing with Judas’ chastisement for wasting money on such extravagance, Jesus says, “She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my […]
The parable is The Prodigal Son but Melissa’s sermon focused on the older brother. The brother that stayed behind, served his father, tended the fields and flock and waited for his inheritance. He’s working in the field when his brother returns having squandered the inheritance he demanded while his father was still alive. Facing starvation […]
Continuing the series during Lent, Melissa preached from Luke 13:1-9. Despair is that intractable boulder that won’t move. Despair is the feeling of weariness after prying and pushing and pulling with all your might. From the passage, Jesus doesn’t provide pat answers when folks come to him in despair. “No, I tell you, but unless […]
On this second Sunday of Lent, Brian Recker provided our sermon based on the passage from Luke 9:28-36. The last two years have been tough. During that time we’ve had lots of expectations that have been thwarted. Whether they were expectations in our personal lives or in the world around us, the last few years […]
On this first Sunday of Lent, Melissa preached from Luke 4:1-13, the story of Jesus’ temptation. The last two years of the pandemic have held untold losses. We are entering Lent brimming with trauma and fear of these past two years. We each have been holding in so much. It’s hard to know what the […]
Sojourners recently published an article, “Fasting from Food Waste in a Season of Hoarding,” that features a core group from Raleigh Mennonite Church who have made a commitment this Lenten season to reduce food waste as a spiritual practice. Little did the group know when Lent started that this season would land us in the […]
Matthew 4:1-11 The temptations Jesus encountered shows Jesus was the Messiah. The most god-like thing to do in that moment was to not be godlike and while Jesus had the power to be godlike he chose not to. What would you do in the moment of temptation if you were in Jesus’ position and had […]
Before Melissa’s sermon, we listened to Billie Holiday’s rendition of the haunting song “Strange Fruit.” The sermon was based on John 18:28-40, about Jesus’ trial before Pontius Pilate. Crucifixions were a common thing during Roman rule. They served not so much as death penalties as they were a form of social control. Bodies on crosses […]
Rachel brought the sermon based on John 18:17-27, reflecting on the oft-told story of Peter denying he knew Jesus, his teacher. Peter was later able to take the experience of his failure, look at it with God’s eyes, and use it to imagine something new. She links the charcoal fire they were gathered around in […]
John 11:1-44 – The Death of Lazarus Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, a time for prayer as we anticipate with sorrow Jesus’ death. This year Ash Wednesday was marked by the death of 17 students and teachers at the High School in Parkland, Fl. The Ash Wednesday cross contains ashes representing death. Melissa reminds […]