Upcoming Sermons

September 27 & October 2015

Sunday Services at 9:15 and 11:00 a.m.

September's Theme:
"What does it mean to be a people of invitation?"

September 27
"Religion 3.0: Evidence as Scripture, Ecology as Theology"
with special guest Rev. Michael Dowd and Rev. Mark Stringer; Celebrant: Bill Allen

Human cultures have always looked to collective intelligence for discerning facts and values. Is religion up to the task of integrating the best sources of evidence available today? The Rev. Michael Dowd, who will share this service with Mark, is the author of the bestselling, bridge-building book, Thank God for Evolution, which was endorsed by 6 Nobel laureates and other science luminaries, along with noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum.

October's Theme:
"What does it mean to be a people of letting go?"

October 4
"Letting Go to be True"
with Rev. Mark Stringer; Celebrant: Elaine Imlau

The September Soul Matters packet included a poem with the lines: “I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.” These lines have continued to stir in Mark’s mind and heart, especially as we enter a month of considering what it means to be a people of letting go. What might you need to let go of in order to be true to yourself? For this service, we’ll consider the possibilities and create together an artful expression of “letting go” of that which keeps us from being true.

October 11
"Who Are Your People?"
with special guest Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey; Celebrant: Petra Lange

When we become aware of injustices in our community and world, we can become fiercely and tenaciously committed to making significant social change – but making a difference also requires a long-term commitment toward that change. The people in our community help us do that. Our people help us to remain clear in our work through collaboration. Our people help us remember that we have a personal stake in our commitments. Our people help us meet the challenge of maintaining clarity and dedication by walking by our side. This movement toward justice depends on who our people are.

Jennifer Harvey is Associate Professor of Religion at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in Christian Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary. She is the author of Whiteness and Morality: Pursuing Racial Justice through Reparations and Sovereignty (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and a co-editor of Disrupting White Supremacy: White People on What We Need To Do (Pilgrim Press, 2004). Her recent publications include work on contemporary reparations movements in Protestant traditions, queer articulations of Christian traditions, and Native-Colonial dialogues on issues of environmental justice.

Prof. Harvey is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, an author for the Feminist Studies in Religion blog and keeps her own blog formations. living at the intersections of self, social, spirit.

October 18
"Patience and Impatience"
with Rev. Erin Gingrich; Celebrant: Jon Royal

Let's gather at the intersection and consider how the two relate in our lives and in social justice work, especially with regards to our church posting a Black Lives Matters banner.

October 25
"We Remember Them: A Festival of Remembrance Service"
with Rev. Mark Stringer; Celebrants: Carla Hicklin, Lyra Halsten and Elaine Imlau

For this, our traditional end-of-October service of remembrance to honor those who have died and to celebrate the continuity of life, we will together create an altar adorned with items that we think would be beautiful to our departed loved ones. All who attend are encouraged to bring photos, mementos, special items, etc. that can be placed on the altar early in the service (before the children are released to their classes). Reflections will be shared about those from our church family who have died since last October—James Herteen, John Swanson, Del Nett, Priscilla Witke, Ruthanne Harstad, Brian Browning and David Quinn—and we will light candles acknowledging others we hold dear in our memory. A tender service of recognition, affirmation and celebration of this precious life we share.