How can love overcome what divides us and move us forward together? Won’t loving everybody make me a doormat—or a hypocrite? How do I find the energy to keep loving when the world seems to be going the other way? How do I find God’s love These questions and many others will have our attention this Lent as we read Bishop Michael Curry’s book, Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times, and consider what the Bible has to say about living, loving and hoping in challenging times.
Today, we begin the season of Lent: a 40-day journey (not counting Sundays) to Easter. Lent is a time of repentance, preparation, self-examination and reflection as we remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness before the start of his public ministry.
You’ve probably heard someone say they have “a personal relationship with Jesus,” but what does that mean? How do you develop a relationship with the Creator of the Universe? The Book of Psalms gives us an up-close and personal look into the relationships our spiritual ancestors had with God. From them, we can see what authentic interactions with God look like. As we begin the new year, let’s prioritize our faith and deepen our connection with God.
Psalm 126 opens with the words, “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.” What does it look like to live as those who dream?
The Advent and Christmas seasons are for the dreamers in all of us—those who dream of deeper connection with God and those who dream of a better world, those who dream of comfort and those who have given up on their dreams, those whose dreams have been crushed and those who show us that dreams take time. Join us this holiday season as we dream alongside prophets and angels, Mary and the Magi. Step into the mystery and awe of God’s dreams as we seek to sow them for our world.
Everyone has a “money story,” whether they realize it or not. Perhaps we live in constant fear of never having enough. Maybe we feel shame or embarrassment. The same could be said about the church’s money story. Some might say the Church is largely funded by older generations; that young people don’t give. Others say the Church is too afraid of losing its current membership to change and reach new generations. Let’s set aside the stories we’ve heard played on repeat, and open our hearts and minds to the new narrative God might be speaking into our stories. It’s time we discover and share our money stories in light of God’s money story of freedom and justice.
A healthy dose of gratitude is good for the soul. Yet so much is going on in the world that leaves us disheartened and longing for something more. Let’s take some time to decompress, refocus and cultivate the healing practice of gratitude in our lives. Together, we’ll connect with God, with one another and with the world in soul-refreshing and transformative ways.
*Based on the book "Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks" by Diana Butler Bass
We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and it’s true! None of us can get through life alone, let alone raise children alone. We need the support of the church and other influential adults to help disciple and raise young people who love and follow Jesus. Let’s examine some of the stories and instruction found in Scripture about what to do, what not to do and how to trust God—not only with our own lives, but with the lives of our children too.
Many of us have said, “I’m ready for 2020 to be over.” With nearly six months left, it’s almost as if we have resigned ourselves to a year of disappointment and pain. But that’s not the future God dreams for us! When was the last time you allowed yourself to dream; to imagine a different outcome than the one the world anticipates? This five-week series focuses on the story of Joseph and will guide our examination of the very real challenges of hurt and forgiveness, temptation, pandemic and family relationship dynamics. Together we’ll see that even when we aren’t “living the dream,” we can trust that in all things, God works for good, and we can dream again.
Sometimes it feels like the world is falling apart. Living in the midst of a pandemic, most of us know this feeling all too well.Our tightly-knit plans unravel and we’re left with only loose threads. What do we become when our identity or the path we’re on comes undone?
But what if our fears don’t become our reality? Is it possible that in our unraveling, we might come face-to-face with unexpected hope, joy and love; a new beginning we couldn’t ever have imagined? Sometimes we need God to unravel us, for we need or even long to be changed.
This Easter season, we will explore biblical accounts of unraveled shame, identity, fear, grief, dreams, and expectations. Together, we’ll see that God can meet us in our spiraling, unraveling our plans—and us—into something new.