Dangerous Words: A Sermon on Matthew 5:38-48

The sermon from Sunday, February 19, 2017 on Matthew 5:38-48

When we read Scripture, we read it through the lens of our lives. We can’t help it. We take Scripture and we make sense of it in our lives. Who we are – as an audience for Scripture – matters.

When we preach from the texts of the Bible  – I or anyone else – we’re preaching to people who are in a particular place. There aren’t any universals. It matters how you preach what to whom. A lot of times preachers don’t necessarily take that into account. They preach like everybody needs to hear the same message.

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Photos from our February 12th Installation Service

Sunday, February 12, 2017, Beloved Community Church UCC celebrated the installation of Rev. Jennifer Sanders, the second minister to serve as head pastor of our congregation since our founding in 2000.

rev. jennifer

The service of installation celebrated the covenant between Rev. Jennifer, Beloved Community Church, the United Church of Christ and the wider community.

Continue reading Photos from our February 12th Installation Service

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Beloved Community annual meeting Sunday, February 19th

Join us this Sunday after the 5 pm service to vote on our budget and plan for the year ahead. All are welcome and invited to attend to the business of the church.

If you are not yet a member of Beloved, please make your membership (covenant) official to be eligible to vote! Read our church covenant, which is the basis of membership in our community, and talk to Rev. Jennifer to learn more about this commitment!

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Salt and Light: A Sermon on Matthew 5:13-20

The sermon from Sunday, February 5, 2017 on Matthew 5:13-20.

I begin tonight with a quote from one of my favorite theologians, the German writer and activist, Dorothee Soelle – “How to be a Christian is something you learn not from books or information packets but primarily from other human beings.”

You are salt and you are light.

Not you might be.

Not you could be.

Not maybe possibly one day you will be.

You are.

Salt and light. Salt which gives flavor and preserves and keeps. Light which illuminates and guides. Continue reading Salt and Light: A Sermon on Matthew 5:13-20

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Brown Bag volunteers needed Saturday, February 18th

Volunteers are needed to help with brown bag hospitality on Saturday, February 18th, for our neighbors who stop by for brown bags. This program provides a bag of non-perishable food to 48 local neighbors in need. Bag packing lasts from 5-6 pm Wednesday, and hospitality lasts from 10-11 am Saturday. We serve food and fellowship with guests as they arrive.

Contact Molly Merkle to volunteer!

 

Brown Bag 2017
Wednesday pick-up Saturday distribution
January 18 21
February 15 18
March 15 18
April 19 22
May 17 20
June 21 24
July 19 22
August 16 19
September 20 23
October 18 21
November 15 18
December 13 16

Beloved Community Church

Beloved Community Church

131 41st Street S, Birmingham, AL 35222 (Avondale)

(205) 595-6080    beloveducc@gmail.com

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That Which is Blessed: A Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12

The sermon from Sunday, January 29 on Matthew 5: 1-12

How do you preach a sermon about a sermon? That’s what we will be doing here in these next weeks as we look at the Sermon on the Mount. Our Gospel passage tonight picks up where we left off last week. Jesus has gathered his disciples and begun traveling around, healing the sick and proclaiming the good news.

Here is where we first to get from Jesus himself what that good news might be. We have this incredible moment of a long, important sermon. Matthew contains several of these long discourses. There are a lot of Jesus’ words in this Gospel.

This sermon, my friends, including the part that we focus on this evening, was written for times such as these. Jesus is telling us about what good living looks like here and he’s offering us the great promise of following in his path.

Continue reading That Which is Blessed: A Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12

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“In the Company of the Poor” study group Sundays at 3 pm

Our Liberation Theology study group is working our way through In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez.
Farmer is the founder of Partners in Health while Gutierrez is one of the founding voices of the concept of liberation theology.
Reading schedule:
February 5th: chapters 3-5
February 12th: chapters 6-7 and the afterward
Anyone is welcome. Our goal is to both make sense of the material together and to make sense of it in our own personal and communal contexts.

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Gathered Around: Christmas Eve Sermon 2016

A sermon from Christmas Eve on Luke 2:1-14

It’s Christmas Eve. It’s also the first night of Chanukah for our Jewish friends. What a lovely thing that in this turbulent time in our world that these two observances coincide so closely.

Chanukah is the Festival of Lights. A hundred and sixty five years before the birth of Jesus, the Maccabean Jews recaptured Jerusalem from the Seleucid Empire (its latest conquerors) and rededicated the Temple. They found only enough sacred oil to light the lamps in the Temple for one night. But somehow the lights burned for 8 nights, long enough for them to get more of the oil. It was a miracle, one that is remembered in the modern observance of Chanukah.

And for Christians, from the first chapter of the Gospel of John – the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.

Now I think darkness often gets a bad wrap because we don’t understand it very well, but that’s a discussion for another time.

The essence of these 2 times have something in common, something that at the real heart of the matter is the notion of a miracle.

Continue reading Gathered Around: Christmas Eve Sermon 2016

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Christmas Eve Service, Christmas Potluck + Worship

All are welcome to come as you are.

Saturday, December 24th, 5 pmChristmas Eve Candlight Service with carols from Beloved Community Orchestra.

candlelight-service


Sunday, December 25th, 3 pm: Creative potluck – bring food, a musical instrument, poetry to share  – these are the gifts we bring!

potluck

Feel free to come to the potluck only – whether we have seen you before or not, come alone or bring the whole family! – but also, feel welcome to stay for our worship service at 5 pm.

christmas-worship

See you for Christmas at Beloved!

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On Walter Scott, Nativity Scenes, Soft Robes, and the Revolutionary Jesus

Sunday’s sermon on Matthew 11:2-11 – 

Last week B came running up to me after the service as I was standing here talking to folks. His sister was with him, but I believe in this case he was the instigator. They’re not here tonight but I told their Grandma to tell them I was talking about them.

So he comes running up and he’s got something in his hand and he’s excited. “Look, look!” he said. “I found Baby Jesus.”

“I see you did.” was my reply. “Now go put him back where you found him.”  

Big eyes. Zoom. Off they went.

Continue reading On Walter Scott, Nativity Scenes, Soft Robes, and the Revolutionary Jesus

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