Rev Becky David Hensley concludes her ministry at Grace with a powerful sermon on Mark 6:14-29, the beheading of John the Baptist. She clarifies the “zero-tolerance policies” of Jesus’ mission–and calls to account those whose lack of tolerance of those on the margins of society contradicts the Good News of Jesus Christ. The conflict between these views makes living the Gospel a risky endeavor. The Good News, however, is that the Kin-dom of God offers community and love to all. Includes Bill Claxton & Sam Hodges’ offering of “You Don’t Have to Move that Mountain.”
As our sermon series on Community continues, Pastor Judith Reedy preaches about building community–as disciples are sent to a challenging world to heal and cast out demons. The power and authority that comes with following Jesus gathers people to the good and to the whole, even as those closest to us may question where that power comes from. (Mark 6:1-13)
Pastor Judith Reedy continues Grace’s exploration of community with the powerful story of Jairus’s daughter and the woman with a flow of blood (Mark 5:21-43)–interrupters to the sense of community embraced by synagogue and disciples during Jesus’s ministry. Jesus’s response to both interrupters challenges the fears deeply embedded in his society, and invites the church to be an anchor for all individuals who freely seek community. Includes Cassie Evans leading the congregation in “I Woke Up This Morning with My Mind.”
Grace United Methodist Church begins a sermon series on Community and Communion with Associate Pastor Eric Markinson’s reflection on David and Jonathan’s friendship (! Samuel 17:55-18:5, 10-12). The trust cultivated in friendship moves people to tenderness and compassion for all–particularly those in most need. Includes Lay Leader Carolyn Childress’s reflection on Annual Conference.
Reflecting on the Psalm 138 and Mark 3:20-27, Associate Pastor Eric Markinson considers the surprises of a God who defies our expectations at every turn–loving lives on the margins, calling believers to give their time, lives, and control–!–in faith and praise, service and worship. God asks us to live into the irony with trust, a bit of humor, and much, much love. Includes the Chancel Choir’s lovely offering of “Write Your Blessed Name.”
Reverend Judith Reedy preaches on Mark 2:23-3:6, where all are included in God’s sabbath rest–because the sabbath was made for all! People of all shapes, sizes, colors and creeds are sorted into the wide embrace of God’s love: Our response, of course, is to ensure that welcome is spread far and wide. Includes the Chancel Choir’s offering of Rutter’s “For the Beauty of the Earth.”
Peace with Justice Sunday/Trinity Sunday brings Reverend Becky Hensley’s tremendous message of a God who calls us to relationship with all of creation, just as we are–and shines painful light on churches’ failures to nurture love for women, persons of color, people of various abilities and various gender and sexual orientations. Deacon Becky invites all who are called by God–all of us–to proclaim passionate and healing words of justice, peace, and love for all. (Isaiah 6:1-8)
Includes Brian Hardesty-Crouch’s wonderful Children’s Message.
Reverend Judith Reedy’s Pentecost sermon reminds Grace and the Church that the Holy Spirit came to all people gathered in good will that day, sinners or saints–and not to a church building, to denominations, or to particular interest groups. All of us who believe the Christ’s message of love as a means to salvation receive the Holy Spirit, and are called to bring that love to a yearning world. (Acts 2:1-21)
As the Easter season moves toward the wonder of Pentecost, Reverend Judith Reedy returns to Jesus’ final discourse in the Gospel of John to remind listeners that our God is a great encourager, unconditionally loving us and calling us to love that generously–women and men, straight and gay, old and young, no matter color or creed. We are to love fiercely and powerfully, like a mother. (John 17:6-19)
In celebration of Grace’s youth, Rev Brian Hardesty-Crouch reflects on the love we share with one another, and the source of that love–the one who is Love, our Creator God and God’s Word made flesh, Jesus. (John 15:9-17)