In Acts 2:42, the early church is described in this way. "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." In recent years, there's been a tremendous amount of research around the best ways that we learn as human beings. It turns out most people learn best when they participate with a mentor in the learning process. As we continue to look at what it means to be the Ekklesia (gathered community), Rev. Sarah Heath examines how we are to be devoting ourselves to the teachings of those who have gone before us and how mentorship plays a role.
Our Lenten series culminates in our Easter theme of "arriving." Most of us can relate to having a desire to feel like we've "arrived." Often, when someone does well for themselves, we declare "they have arrived." What does it mean to arrive? Do we ever arrive in our faith?
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. If you grew up going to church, you may remember that the cheers of the crowd soon turn to yelling for his crucifixion. We see how easy it is for "group think" to change direction and how quickly cheering can turn to criticism. As we enter Holy Week, Pastor Sarah Heath talks about how our own pilgrimage can require us to stand apart from the crowd.
Sometimes, life in the midst of a pilgrimage or journey doesn’t make sense. We encounter paradoxes and contradictory pieces of information. What does it mean for the last to be first or for the person who loves their life to lose it? Listen in as we search for answers to hard questions and continue in our journey together through Lent. (Message by Adam Marshall Lopez.)
There is a company that sells shirts, stickers, and other items that say “not of this world.” The suggestion is that as Christians we don’t belong to this world, but to heaven. What can be implied is that there is something wrong with this world. In this message, Pastor Sarah Heath will be asking whether we are meant to think of this world as 'condemned' or if Jesus suggests something different. Not only will we look at John 3:16 (emblazoned on signs at sporting events), but we'll dive into the next verse that's often overlooked. How are we to be part of this world, and where is our citizenship? Will our pilgrimage call us to be separated from the world around us?
2017 was the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant reformation. 501 years ago Martin Luther nailed a thesis of things that he knew needed to change. This week, Pastor Sarah Heath talks about how a pilgrimage of faith sometimes requires us to stray from the beliefs that our faith community holds. That can be scary! We as humans are designed to want to be part of community. Even Jesus experienced this as he risked rejection by turning over the tables in the temple. We're talking about how we can move through separation from faith communities and how we can find wholeness in this journey.
Have you ever felt nudged by God to do something important only to be rejected by others? Maybe it had to do with taking a job, making a lifestyle change, starting a relationship, or choosing an adventurous path in life. They just didn't understand, and there was separation in your relationship. You're not alone. This Sunday, we'll look at how Jesus shared a God-given vision for his life and dealt with separation from those around him, and we'll learn from Jesus how we can gain courage to continue on our personal pilgrimage. (Message by David Trotter)
Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the season of Lent, and it lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays, which are always counted as mini resurrection days.) 40 has always been a number of significance in our spiritual tradition. A Jesus began his earthly ministry, he took 40 days to be in the wilderness and prepare himself for the tough tasks that his ministry would require. Oftentimes, people take a pilgrimage (or journey) when they are trying to set apart time to to find clarity or prepare for what is in front of them. In reality, a pilgrimage doesn't require us to travel anywhere, but it calls us to be willing to set time and space apart to risk movement towards something. This Lent, we're taking a spiritual pilgrimage that will require us to be honest about all the separation we feel during our times in the wilderness.
In this message, Rev. Sarah Heath begins by looking at the story of Jesus in the wilderness, and we talk about all the ways we can feel like we are in "the wilderness" and where God is during those seasons of life. Scripture often challenges us to set apart time, but there is something about solitude that many of us want to avoid.
Have you ever had those days where everything just seems to blow up in your face? Sinks spontaneously sprout a leak, permanent marker scribbles appear on the wall, or cars are mistakenly taken to impound lots. Maybe living a life of Zoe includes finding Jesus in the chaos of our daily lives. Message by Adam Marshall-Lopez.
We live in a time when toleration of others is a common cultural value. Yet, Jesus' way of living "zoe" meant that he didn't just tolerate people who didn't fit into the Judaic laws of insider and outsider - he actually included them! In Luke 7 after a woman kisses Jesus' feet and Pharisee confronts him about it, Jesus asks, "Do you see this woman?" He doesn't mean a physical 'seeing'. He wants the Pharisee see who she really is as a person - a beloved child of God. If we're going to move beyond merely tolerating people, we'll need to be close enough to actually 'see' them.
Jesus spent a lot of time talking about the Kingdom of God. But, what is the Kingdom of God? Is it something that's only in the future or can we live there now? Listen in as Pastor Sarah Heath helps us learn that if we're pursuing a life of Jesus, we are pursuing the Kingdom.
As we continue our series entitled "Zoe", Pastor Sarah Heath talks about Jesus calming the storm and as well as Peter walking on water. In both of these instances, we're being asked, "Where do we see Christ in the chaos?" When chaos and tough times hit our lives, do we begin to forget who Jesus is to us?