Psalm 136 tells the story of creation and the story of Israel by repeating a refrain after every single event: "for God's steadfast love endures forever." Catch that? After ever. Single. Event. What does it look like for us to view our lives and world through the lens of God's steadfast love? How do we see that love in us, for us, and through us in hard times? In confusing times? In joyful times? In in-between times? Join us this week as we ask those questions together.
What's the story of your family? Chances are, 'story' isn't quite the right word - there are probably many, many stories that express who your family is and how you got there. This week, we'll finish reading the story of Ruth as she, Naomi, and Boaz become an unusual and yet beautiful story of how surprising family can be, and how much bigger the meaning of 'family' is than we often think.
What difference does one life, one family, one story make? When the world is arguing about immigration, exclusion, empire, and power, how do we live? This week we'll start looking at the story of Ruth: the story of one small family who choose each other, over and over again, and in doing so, transform the world.
Hearing another person's story can open us up to a deeper, truer reality. And in many ways, hearing someone's story sparks in us the faith to trust in God's enduring presence. So, this Sunday, we will hear a story from someone in the Salt House community. Ryan Phillips and his family lived in India for over ten years and he will share with us a part of his journey while living there.
The bible tells us two completely different stories about how things came to be. In one, God creates by word; in another, God creates by fashioning beings out of mud, dust, and breath. Why two stories? How are they different? This week we'll use the practice of Lectio Divina, 'holy reading,' to listen carefully to the second creation story.
The stories we tell about how things begin, where things come from, are stories that matter. They shape and reflect how we treat one another and the world. So how does the Ike tell that story? Why does an ancient story of beginnings still matter now?
The Jesus story in Acts gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger every week - from a small group of disciples to 'the ends of the earth.' This Sundaywe revel in the joy of diverse voices, nations, and languages all speaking and listening to each other as we celebrate Pentecost! When the Holy Spirit arrives, things happen: fires are lit, voices are heard, stories are shared, walls are broken down.
The beginning of the book of Acts is actually the end of the story for Jesus' ministry on earth. It's a grand shift from the story of Jesus to the story of the Church and the promise of the Holy Spirit. This Sunday, we contemplate and respond to this movement and it's implications for our lives through worship, our shared life together, and the ancient practice of Lectio Divina.
When Jesus wants to tell us about God, he tells a story. Every time. This summer, we’ll enter into our new sermon series: Love Story. Where is God in our stories – and how do we learn to listen to those surprising stories around us?
our series "At the Table" culminates with a look at how the Feeding of the 5000 informs our identity, like the bread, as not only as Chosen, Blessed, and Broken - but also Given to the world.
We continue to gather 'At the Table' as we open ourselves up to what it means that God finds us in our places where we are broken-open - our missteps, our brokenness, our suffering, our sin. Yes - even here - we are enfolded in belovedness.
Jesus' life, death, and resurrection unfolded under the rule of the Roman Empire, whose military, economic, and social control amounted to the biggest empire the world had ever seen. Into this repressive environment, Jesus-followers instituted 'Love Feasts' - weekly meals where the sacrificial love of Jesus was remembered, practiced, and subversively chosen by those who sought a new way of being in the world.
Being chosen by God is often interpreted as being given elite status. But Jesus turns this understanding upside-down in through the parable of the great banquet.
The joy of the resurrection is all around us...the world turned upside down!
Jesus' command to love each other includes using our prayers as a method to love our neighbors. What can this look like? How do we love others through prayer? Our final prayer practice of Lent is the practice of intercession as we join Jesus in Jerusalem with palm branches and shouts of Hosanna!
Anger, sadness, disappointment. When we think of what "Christian folk" look like (in worship, in daily life) these are not often the expressions or emotions we associate with Jesus-followers. Shouldn't we be shiny and happy all the time? And yet. The Jesus story is a story of wholeness: including the full expression of all the things we feel and experience. This Sunday we experience the prayer practice of Lament.
We're busy. We know it. There is so much we don't get to - including paying attention to what's happening in our inner world. How do we slow down enough to hear the heartbeat of God in us and in our lives?
We're consumers. On a fundamental level we need to consume food, water, nourishment. And we also consume goods, services, and activities. Curiously, the life of Jesus invites us to challenge and even give up the basics we consume in order to grow. How does making room in this way DO THAT?
Our Lenten practice of prayer will draw us into our skin - reflecting and experiencing what it means that prayer is deeply connected to our lived, physical lives.
Lent has begun! This Sunday we set ourselves toward Jesus' cross and resurrection beginning our journey of Lent together though prayer. We'll set our posture and begin our practices with journaling and listening for the heartbeat of God.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent which is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. Lent is traditionally a penitential season and we will be focusing our hearts and minds in the practice of prayer.
We continue last Sunday's conversation on using our gifts as we explore the Great Love Chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. Here, we listen through Lectio Divina to how God is inviting us to love well with all of who we are (especially in community) as we wrap our series on the Force of Nature.
Community - a mash-up of people and all that we bring together. This Sunday, we wrestle with the question: how can who we are and what we’re wired for be leveraged by God to love others well?
At the times when we stare down uncertainty, we "lift our eyes to the hills" (Psalm 121) in desperation as we face hard times. We're exploring a central piece of Salt House's identity: who God is for us as a community of Jesus-followers who wrestle with how to live faithfully through times of transition.
The Prophet Isaiah - at his time in the 8th Century BCE - addressed concerns of internal communal life and the tensions that arose among the parties that we might label "liberal and conservative." We'll listen for how this ancient text speaks to and directs our response in these troubling times, considering how we can use the force of nature we are as community to be a blessing for refugees, immigrants, our Muslim neighbors, and all who are on the fringes.
At the core of the Jesus story is a message of oneness, of unity - a message that gets lost in the dividing lines too often drawn to pronounce our differences from others. As we continue exploring the Force of Nature we become in community, using the ancient practice of Lectio Divina ("Holy Word") we'll listen together for God's invitation into the kind of oneness Jesus makes possible for us, and for all.
When was a time someone provided comfort for you through a hard day, a hard time, in your life? Sunday - as we explore the landscape and power of community - we'll dive in to how God shows up in the folks in our lives, and what it means to be Alongsiders (yeah, you'll see - it's totally a word).
Our new sermon series, Force of Nature, takes us into the power of community. This Sunday we'll hear two opportunities in the stories shared from our own Kim Saunders and Levi Bilderback. Kim will speak of how God has expanded her experience of creativity - and how that comes alive in community. Levi will walk us through his own story of God's call to become a farmer.
We are wired for relationship. And there is power and influence we access when we come together as a group of people. Like rain water that flows into streams then growing stronger in larger rivers - people united together become a force that can carve and shape the landscape of the future. We're launching a new series on the organic, creative, powerful things that happen in community - a Force of Nature.
Start 2017 off on the right foot as we engage in a spiritually-rooted approach to New Year's resolutions. We'll walk through a playful and personal exercise looking back on 2016 and looking forward into 2017, listening for what God is saying to each of us.