Lectionary Readings Sunday, September 21

September 16th, 2014

FBC Worship: Genesis 3:1-13; Psalm 32; Philippians 2:3-11, Luke 18:9-14
We like to think our desires are original to us; mine and mine alone. The story of Adam and Eve (and the advertising industry) tell us otherwise. Like most things human, even our desires are learned through imitation. The question is who we imitate, our fellow creatures (the poor snake takes the rap in Genesis) or God, which also determines how we desire, grasping for what we can take by whatever means or peacefully sharing in what is freely given. What will it be?

This Week’s Message

September 16th, 2014

On Sunday we heard in Proverbs about God’s Wisdom and in John’s gospel about Living Word (Logos), who was before all things and through whom all things came into being. God’s universe runs by a logic or system of self-giving, forgiving Love. We can see this divine pattern most clearly as it pertains to human life in our Savior Jesus. Jesus came to save us from getting entangled in patterns of life that are very alluring but ultimately destructive. These patterns can look very different on the surface – from a life based on competition and rivalry to one mired in compliance and acquiescence, but ultimately they’re all variations on a theme that puts us, rather than God, at the center of things. In every moment, the risen Christ invites and empowers us to re-pattern ourselves on Love, choosing self-giving Love over our apparent self- or group-interest. Shall we look for that divine pattern in one another and in our faith community?

Sermon: A World of Meaning

September 14th, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – A World of Meaning

Testimony of Billie Norris

September 14th, 2014

Testimony of Billie Norris

This Month’s Message

September 9th, 2014

Dear fellow travelers on The Road,

It’s so good to have those of you who’ve been traveling over the summer back with us! Back just in time to set out on a journey together – a year-long journey of renewal as we prepare to begin our 175th year as a church in June, 2015!

We’ve begun our spiritual renewal in response to public theologian Brian McLaren’s invitation to “make the road [of faith] by walking,” which harkens back to Jesus’ time with his disciples and the earliest post-resurrection Jesus movement of people seeking to walk in his Way. McLaren has synthesized the thinking of many of the best theologians of our day with the biblical story in We Make the Road by Walking, putting them together in an accessible and engaging way; a way meant to be an experience of spiritual formation more than an exercise in reading.

I believe the story he’s outlined is closer to the truth of who Jesus was and Christ is and to what it means to follow Christ than the Christian story many of us are most familiar with. Like most things still around after 2000 years, Christianity has gone through lots of changes, some good and some not so good, and has become pretty encrusted with junk over the millennia. So the church universal is being called to renewal yet again!

We’ll follow McLaren’s narrative lectionary for the next year, so the readings we’ll hear in our service will not be the same as the ones we’re most used to. You’ll find the readings listed in the monthly newsletter, weekly email, and the worship bulletin, and I really encourage you to read the scriptures before you come to worship. It will make a big difference in what you get out worship, especially if you intentionally invite the Spirit to give you a particular word, phrase, image or idea as you listen that you can then ponder during the week.

I’ll continue to share McLaren’s reflections in worship one or two Sundays a month and we’ll follow that with dialogue in worship once a month. You’ll be doing yourself and our faith community a huge favor if you either attend Adult Forum at 9:00 on Sunday mornings, join in a discussion group with me during coffee hour, form your own small group or find a single “soul friend” to engage the material in McLaren’s book. Or you can just read and process it on your own, perhaps by journaling.

One way or another I hope you’ll walk this holy walk with us. If truly believe the road outlined in McLaren’s book is illuminated by the Light of Christ. And that if we give ourselves over to the Spirit on this journey, we will be transformed, both personally and as a community, in ways that open up more interior space for the risen Christ to live in and through us. The book is available from Prairie Lights and Amazon at the same price ($25) and for e-readers at both places for about half that. Because this is a church adult formation project, FBC can get you a copy at a reduced price if that will help – just let us know.

Our second renewal initiative this fall is a budding mission partnership with the Dream Center, a largely volunteer-run organization that serves families, especially dads. Right now we’re in the planning stages of this mission partnership and your help is needed as we develop volunteer opportunities that will allow us to serve and to learn from people whose lives are very different from our own.

We’ve submitted two grants, one for $5,000 to the American Baptist Home Mission Society to help support established Dream Center programs for fathers and youth. The other, for $15,000 to the American Baptist Foundation, would enable us to establish a comprehensive Restorative Justice Ministry serving people returning from prison, also in partnership with the Dream Center. We’ll know about this funding within the next several weeks and that will determine how, but not whether our partnership with the Dream Center moves forward. I hope you’ll come along on this mission adventure!

Christ’s peace and all good as we make our way,

Pastor Dorothy

Sermon: Being Human

September 7th, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Being Human

This Week’s Message

September 2nd, 2014

On Sunday in worship we began to “make the road by walking” with the help of Brian McLaren’s spiritual formation “manual” and our engagement with one another. The road’s destination is the same – life in the risen Christ – and hopefully will follow closely in Jesus’ footsteps as they appear in the world around us. Our maps will continue to be Christian scripture and Baptist tradition, but like all maps, these need to be interpreted in light of the actual, and ever-changing terrain. We started by looking again at the biblical creation story and the miracle of our place in it, this time with the awe and wonder a scientific perspective brings to seeing God’s handiwork. And we affirmed that all God created and creates is good, very good! How well do we let the goodness of God’s creative endeavors within and all around us guide our daily lives?

Sermon: Awe and Wonder

August 31st, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Awe and Wonder

Lectionary Readings Sunday, August 31

August 26th, 2014

Revised Common Lectionary (RCL): Jeremiah 15:15-21; Ps, 26:1-8; Rom. 12:9-21; Matt. 16:21-28
FBC Worship: Genesis 1:1-2:3, Psalm 10:1-14, Matthew 6:25-34
This Sunday FBC will begin to use a narrative lectionary during worship taken from Brian McLaren’s We Make the Road by Walking. What would it be like for us if our everyday lives were saturated with awe and wonder at the amazing deeds of our good God?

This Week’s Message

August 26th, 2014

In Sunday’s gospel reading, although Peter recognized Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God, he was not prepared to accept Jesus’ judgment about next steps for his ministry. Because they would be, shall we say, uncomfortable! This is the time of the church year when we watch Jesus turn toward Jerusalem, struggling to prepare his disciples for what was to come. Even though he already sensed it would cost him his life Jesus so completely trusted in God’s life beyond death he was willing to give his all for the sake of the Kingdom to come. What are we willing to give up for the Kingdom? How is that a reflection of our trust in God?


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