Monday, July 10, 2017

Letters to the Church: Corinth, Revisited

This week we head back to the ancient city of Corinth to look for connections between their community's struggles and life in faith and ours today. A lot has changed since the first letter we read from Paul to them, so there are lots of new things for us to learn. I hope you'll take time to read 2 Corinthians this week. If you start today, here's a plan:

Monday: Ch. 1-2
Tuesday: Ch. 3-4
Wednesday: Ch. 5-7
Thursday: Ch. 8-9
Friday: Ch. 10-11
Saturday: Ch. 12-13

Check out the video below (go to blog site if you receive this by email) to get a broad overview of the book, then check out the whole picture by looking at the "map" by the Bible Project at the top of this page. What things do you already see that you think our community needs to hear today? Get those wheels turning and we'll talk about it on Sunday!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Letter to the Church at Philippi (and Broadneck)

Our letter for this week is probably my favorite of Paul's letters (probably because it's the most upbeat AND has one of my favorite passages in scripture, pictured at right): Philippians. It's only four chapters long and full of joy, so give it a read this week by clicking on this link or looking it up in the translation of your choice.

Before or after you do so, watch the video below or at and check out the Bible Project map of the book that will be in our bulletin this week. What connections do you see between this community and ours?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Letters to the Church: Corinth (Round 1)

This week's letter is the second longest of those attributed to Paul in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians. Reading it through this week will take a little more time, but I still highly encourage you to take the time to do so! Here's how I would recommend breaking it up, if you want to read a chunk each day.

Tuesday: Chapters 1-4
Wednesday: Chapters 5-7
Thursday: Chapters 8-10
Friday: Chapters 11-14
Saturday: Chapters 15-16

This follows the breakdown of chapters in this week's video from The Bible Project (found below or at and in this week's "map" (found at the bottom of this page--click to enlarge--and also in this week's bulletin). I think this is a great, really clear way of thinking about the message of 1 Corinthians and how it teaches us to deal with hot-button and potentially divisive issues in our community today. And goodness, don't we need to learn about that?

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Letters to the Church: Galatia

Our second letter as we continue our series of seeking to understand how letters addressed to early church communities speak to the things we face as a community today is Galatians. It's only 6 chapters, so I hope you'll read the whole thing over this week (2 chapters today and one each day that follows and you'll be there! It's even better if you read it through in one sitting, but I am a realistic woman:)). Here's a link to an online text: Read Galatians Here.

Before or after you read it, take 9 minutes to watch the great video below from The Bible Project. You can also follow this link to view it on YouTube.

Here's our Bible Project "map" of the book, which will also be in the bulletin Sunday.

As you read, look, and listen...what connections do you see between this church and ours? Come ready to share your insights during the sermon on Sunday!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Letters to the Church: Thessalonica

Welcome to our summer sermon series! This summer we will be focusing on letters written in the name of Paul to early church communities throughout what are now Turkey, Greece, and Italy. What do the issues small churches in these ancient cities have to do with the issues our modern church faces in Annapolis? That's what we hope to find out together!

Each week we will read excerpts of a different letter in worship, but I want to challenge you to read the whole letter before we gather in worship. This sounds like a lot, and some letters are a bit long, but this week's is not--1 Thessalonians (we are going not in the order the letters appear in the Bible, but in the order most scholars believe the letters were written--hence why this book, believed by most to be the first New Testament book written, is our starting point). Before or after you read the letter, watch the YouTube video below produced by The Bible Project, which summarizes the book beautifully in only 7 minutes (if you get this by email, go to the blog to see the video). There's also a visual map of the book, which will also be in our bulletin Sunday, which you can click on to enlarge and explore.

I look forward to diving together into this part of scripture in which we haven't spent much time together--I think it has vital things to teach us!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I Am the Good Shepherd

As we continue our worship journey through the seven I Am sayings in the Gospel of John, we come to perhaps the most familiar (or at least the most popularly depicted): "I am the Good Shepherd."

I wanted to share some of the 10 million ways Jesus the Good Shepherd has been depicted in art. Look at these images along with John 10:11-18, our text for this week. Which ones do you think reflect the text most closely? Which ones speak most to you?

Some of the most ancient depictions of Jesus the Good Shepherd, from catacombs in the 3rd-4th century:

Some of the more classical (some might say sentimental) depictions of Jesus as Good Shepherd. Did any of these hang on the wall of your church or make their way into a stained glass window near you growing up?

A few modern interpretations from around the world (Cameroon, Latin America, Germany, India)


Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Powerful Field Trip

In my sermon on Sunday, I will share an experience from our congregation's trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC on Monday that gave me insight into our "I Am" Saying for this week--Jesus' lesser-known statement that "I am the Gate." At potluck after worship, we will also be having roundtable discussions sharing things we experienced and learned at the museum. But in the meantime, I wanted to show you a few pictures I took of images or quotes that really resonated with me throughout the museum. How do they resonate with you?

See you on Sunday and we'll talk about it!