24
Apr
2017

“Instant Sermon” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - April 23, 2017

The author of I Peter encouraged readers to "always be ready to make your defense" (I Peter 3:8-16) for the hope you have in your faith. For our Instant Sermon Sunday, the congregation submitted questions and comments at the start of worship. Pastor Chris then responded to as many questions as possible, "making his defense" for the faith. Note: The audio recording has moments of crackles and buzz. Apologies for the technical difficulties.  

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17
Apr
2017

“Nevertheless: Rise, Resist, Persist” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - Easter Sunday - - April 16, 2017

Mary Magdalene was "last at the cross and first at the grave." She faced many hardships and great risks, nevertheless she persisted in her faith. Mary Magdalene's steadfast faith and Christ's resurrection empower us today to rise, resist, and persist. (Luke 24:1-12)

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10
Apr
2017

“Look, your king is coming to you!” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - Palm Sunday - - April 9, 2017

Jesus rode in from the east, representing the Kingdom of God. Pilate marched in from the west, representing Roman imperialism. How is the soverignty of God and Jesus more powerful than the might of the Roman Empire? How is this relevant to us today? Acting Pastor Rev. Chris Mereschuk explores this and other questions in his Palm Sunday sermon, "Look, your king is coming to you!" (Matthew 21:1-11)

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3
Apr
2017

“Overwhelmed, Resurrected, Unbound” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - April 2, 2017

Mary and Martha send messagngers to Jesus: their brother, Jesus's beloved friend, Lazarus is near death. They expect Jesus to rush to his bedside, but Jesus delays with holy plans in mind. When Jesus finally reaches Lazarus, he finds Lazarus 4 days dead, and his sisters grieving and angry. Then Jesus wept. Reaching Lazarus's tomb, Jesus procliams 3 commandments: Roll away the stone, Come Out, Unbind. How do we hear Jesus crying out these commandments in our lives? (John 11:1-44)

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27
Mar
2017

“Sleeper, Awake!” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - March 26, 2017

The author of Ephesians urges the readers to "awake and rise from the dead" - - rip back the covers on those things done in secret shadows and expose them with the light of Christ. We, too, need to remain awake and shine a light on injustice. (Ephesians 5:8-17)

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20
Mar
2017

“Why I’m riding my bike…” - - Rev. Dr. Ives - - March 19, 2017

On the Third Sunday of Lent, we welcomed our Theologian-in-Residence Rev. Dr. Peter B. Ives back to the pulpit to preach on his upcoming ecojustice witness action. In his sermon, "Why I'm Riding My Bike to the Global Climate Change March," Rev. Dr. Ives shared his passion for and commitment to fighting climate change, giving us scriptural and personal grounding for our ecojustice witness. More information about the April 29th march in Washington, D.C. can be found at http://peoplesclimate.org/

Following Peter's sermon, the congregation blessed his bike so that he may be sent off surrounded by the love and support of God and our community. The blessing was adapted from and inspired by the work of Rev. Laura Everett, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. 

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12
Mar
2017

“Know-It-All” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - Second Sunday of Lent - - March 12, 2017

The earnest-bit-know-it-all Pharasiee Nicodemus comes to Jesus to seek wisdom. Problem is, Nicodemus's knowledge prevents him from understanding more (John 3:1-17). Are there ways that our knowledge and perspective get in the way of understanding others and understanding God? 

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6
Mar
2017

“Lay Your Burden Down” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - First Sunday of Lent — March 5, 2017

What does it mean to sin, or confess, or repent? We might not feel like we "sin," but we do carry heavy burdens that weigh down on our souls. It often feels good and right to lift up those burdens, set them down, then walk away. For the First Sunday of Lent, we consider our burdens as we celebrate the Sacrament of Communion and construct our Lenten Cross (see picture), symbolically laying down our burdens and renewing ourselves with the sacrament. (Psalm 32:1-7, 11)

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27
Feb
2017

“Kindling” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - February 26, 2017

With so much injustice swirling around us and demanding a response, we become like the Prophet Jeremiah with "a fire shut up in our bones." But if we burn too hot, we will soon burn out. On this final Sunay before Lent, Acting Pastor Rev. Chris Mereschuk asks us to consider how we can use the next 40 days to kindle the fire that is deep within our bones - - while partnering with others and taking time for renewal so we can keep that fire burning. (Romans 12, The Message translation). 

The podcast introduction contans original music by our Minister of Music Jeff Olmsted. 

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20
Feb
2017

“The Violence of Nonviolence” - - Rev. Mereschuk - - February 19, 2017

Jesus's teachings on nonviolence and love of one's enemy (Matthew 5:38-48) is a radical message of active nonviolent resistance - - but it is also one that has been misued, misunderstood, and sometimes forced upon targets of violence, which is an act of violence in-and-of itself. Through the lens of Walter Wink, James Cone, and Rev. Traci Blackmon, Acting Pastor Rev. Chris Mereschuk explores the danger of "The Violence of Nonviolence."

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