Can’t make it to worship? Need something uplifting to listen to at work? Click on the title of the sermon to hear a teaching, recorded live on Sundays (sorry, coffee not included).
9/1/19, Pastor Lauren and Lita Kurth, Cracked Cisterns: The question of “earning” salvation
In modern America, work equals worth. Meanwhile, some of us are working two, three or four jobs and still cannot survive. Here, guest writer Lita Kurth tells us some personal Labor Day stories, and Pastor Lauren gives us an alternative to the Protestant-work-ethic culture we live in.
8/25/19, Walter Hudson, Communicating the Gospel as Revolutionary Nonviolence
Cultural context matters. Guest teacher Walter Hudson tells us about what it would have meant, in Jesus’ time, to turn the other cheek, or carry someone’s pack an extra mile, or give someone the shirt off our backs. It’s a subversive protest against the dominant culture, and we still hold those principles today!
8/4/19, Pastor Lauren, Turning the Other Cheek: Conflict in a Shrinking World
“Turn the other cheek” is a loaded text, especially for the oppressed or silenced. Women, brown people, nonbinary folks, all get told to “turn the other cheek” when we are attacked, more as a way to safeguard the status quo than to help us get by in a world where power is unevenly distributed. Then again, how do we live together in a world where violence begets violence? How are we instruments of God’s peace, without turning into ineffectual Ned Flanderses?
7/21/19, Pastor Lauren, “Can I Offer You”… Gratitude Before the Blessing
This week, we examine the story of the three visitors to Abraham’s tent. Abraham has just been promised that he’ll be the father to nations… but of course, this is a long shot. Still, he serves those who need it, and he gets a confirmation that his blessing is indeed on the way! How do we stay grateful while we’re waiting to get what we want? How do we stay hopeful about, for example, climate change, even as we work to reverse it? Find out here!
7/14/19, Debbie Mytels, Optimism Is the Only Viable Strategy
Guest speaker Debbie Mytels, of Interfaith Power and Light, tells us about our duty as Christians to protect the planet–and gives us actionable items to do so! You can also hear us officially join IPL after the sermon.
7/7/19, Pastor Dana, Labor of Love: Building Another Ark
We kick off our “Green Theology” month with a sermon about what we love about the planet we’re entrusted with. BONUS: PASTOR DANA CHANNELS BILL NYE. NOT JOKING.
6/30/19, Pastor Dana, The Sanctuary of the Forest
We live in a world that encourages us to see ourselves as separate from one another–but as the spiking rates of depression and anxiety can attest, we were not meant to live as though we were islands unto ourselves. Today, Pastor Dana talks about how to be part of the “forest” that binds us all together, breathing in the messages we get from the culture around us, and breathing out healing and restoration.
6/23/19, Pastor Lauren, Why Here? Why Now?
This week, Pastor Lauren uses her improv background to preach a looser, more conversational sermon. She talks about her upcoming young adult ministry, The Living Room (starting 9/9), which will be based on two spiritual practices: eating together, and service to the community. Tune in and see where we’re going!
6/16/19, Pastor Dana, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit… in an Age of Gender Fluidity
Our understanding of gender is exploding. We understand that the traditional boy/ girl binary is a construct, an arbitrary set of qualities attributed to someone the day they are born. But what does that mean when we’re reading the Bible and all the important characters–especially the divine ones–are unequivocally male? Here, Pastor Dana shares some of her own story of coming out as gay, and connects it to our current attempts to loosen the ties that keep us divided.
6/9/19, Rev. Rosario Ibarra, If Buildings Could Talk, What Story Would They Tell?
Guest preacher Rev. Rosario Ibarra, building and capital services advisor for Disciples Church Extension Fund, shares a few stories of churches with the gift–the “talent,” in biblical parlance–of land and space, much like the one USSJ enjoys. As the church evolves, the structures built to house it must change too!
5/19/19, Pastor Dana, The Inner Dance of Life and Death
There can be no new life without the death of the old. Here, Pastor Dana explores that dichotomy.
4/28/19, Pastor Lauren, Reach Out Your Hand
This week, we talk about (“doubting”) Thomas, and the vital place of scars in our life of faith.
4/21/19, Pastor Lauren, Recollection, Redirection…Resurrection!
This Easter, Pastor Lauren reflects on Notre Dame, churches burned by white supremacists, and what it means to consider the Resurrection in a world where bodily reanimation usually means zombies.
4/14/19, Pastor Dana, Lent: New Approaches to Old Practices, Watching and Praying
Fasting, denial and discipline sound like pretty harsh words. How can we finish out Lent with joyful hearts, not focused on what we’re denied, but on what we’ve made space for? Bonus: hear Pastor Lauren sing “More Love,” accompanied by Neil MacPherson, afterward.
3/31/19, Pastor Dana, Lent: Spiritually Unplugged 2
How does silence make room for activism? Here, Pastor Dana tells us about some pretty inspiring figures around climate change and Islamophobia, and what they have to do with Lent.
3/17/19, Pastor Lauren, “Repent”: The Scariest Word in the Bible
What does it mean to “repent?” Is it a kind of spiritual housecleaning we only do when God comes over for the Judgment? Is it a guilt thing? No, and no. Here, we hear about the story of David, and how in the world he managed not to get bitter.
3/3/19, Rev. Sandhya Rani Jha, That Countercultural Glow: How Resistance Brings Us Together
Hear guest preacher Rev. Jha’s new voice on what it means to be an activist, a woman, a person of color, and a Christian… all at the same time, and without losing her joy.
2/24/19, Pastor Lauren, Transformation: Letting God Work
Before we can be the person God calls us to be now, we have to let go of who we were then.
2/17/19, Pastor Dana, Courageous Conversations
The gutsiest conversation is the one you don’t wanna have. The disciples were kinda bad at understanding (like us sometimes?), but Jesus helped them have the courageous conversations they needed. What can we learn from them, about how to have hard conversations–like conversations about white privilege–with people with whom we do not agree?
2/10/19, Pastor Dana, Whose Interests are We Interested In?
In reflecting on our book club based around Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race,” Pastor Dana reflects on what it means to be a white Christian in a systemically racist society. No guilt or hand-wringing, though; just clear-eyed analysis of what white people can do to help dismantle their privilege (hint: much of it is just being quiet).
We lost a great woman this past week, someone whose connection to nature and talent for poetry awoke something spiritual in us and in the world. We read her work this Sunday. No podcast, just video.
1/20/19, Pastor Dana, Elevate Your Spirit: Celebrate!
We spend a lot of time looking at the sadnesses of the world, especially in today’s media climate. But we gotta take time to enjoy the Glory of God!
1/13/19, Pastor Lauren, “I Am Well Pleased”: Remembering Who We Are
The world tries to convince us that we are anything other than OK. We’re too fat, we’re too thin, we’re too loud or quiet or whatever. But on Baptism of the Lord Sunday, we remember that we are God’s, and we are loved.
12/16/19, Pastor Dana, Unwrapping the Gift of the Original Jesus
There’s an awful lot of “kingly,” imperial language applied to Jesus–posthumously. But who was he really? We can look at the story of his birth to find out.
12/2/18, Pastor Lauren, Reborn Into Balance
Our culture is preoccupied with the “masculine,” whatever that means. Toughness. Lack of emotion. Invulnerability. But so much of the story of Jesus, and the qualities of Jesus himself, would be classified as “feminine.” Let’s talk about balance…
11/25/18, Various, Gratitude Stories
This Thanksgiving, we invited members of the congregation to share their stories of gratitude. What we got was moving and inspiring!
11/18/18, Pastor Dana, What Survives the Fire
Back from vacation, Pastor Dana reminds us that the point of spirituality is not to be permanently happy, but to know how to ride the waves of life with grace and centeredness.
11/11/18, Pastor Lauren, Speaking It By Faith: Prophets and Prophecy
The ancient prophets helped Israel interpret the crisis of exile. When someone who survived one mass shooting dies in another, how do we interpret the crisis our country seems to be in? Maybe what we’re seeing is not the death of our country; maybe it’s the death of a toxic ideal.
11/4/18, Pastor Lauren, Faith and Polarity: Certainty in the Age of “Truthiness“
No podcast this week, but the video is clear. Plus, you can see La Colomba, a piece we focused on for a brief visio divina!
10/28/18, Pastor Dana, Instructions on How to Love Your Enemies
We didn’t record just the audio for Dana’s sermon this week, but you can hear/ see it on Facebook Live (above link). You can also hear Lauren and Neil KILL “Love Throw a Line” by Patty Griffin right after that!
10/21/18, Pastor Lauren, Politics and Faith: Whose Side Are You On?
Are Democrats naive? Are Republicans jerks? No; Gary the Pharisee just wanted some decent hummus. Kinda.