The sermon from Sunday, June 18, 2017 on Matthew 9:35-10:8
Christians are called to be healers. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.
To be a follower of Jesus is to accept that we are tasked with healing. It’s one of the foundational aspects of the Gospels. Jesus heals and he tells those who would follow him to do the same.
There is much work to be done. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.
We as followers of Jesus are called to the work of healing as a primary commitment – the work of healing ourselves, the work of shared healing with those around us, and the work of healing the world.
This world where we glorify guns, but deem it okay for a police officer in Minneapolis to shoot and kill a black man who lawfully has one. We grieve tonight for the death of Philando Castile – and for a world that perceives blackness as threat.
There is a need for healing.
Continue reading The Work of Healing
The sermon from Sunday, June 4, 2017 on Acts 2:1-21
I want to tell 4 stories tonight. None of them is long, but they all speak to the Pentecost moment.
The first takes place not so long after the actual event of Pentecost. Nero was emperor of Rome for 14 years – from 54-68 AD. History remembers him as cruel and tyrannical, vain and corrupt. He executed his own mother. He slaughtered Christians – then still a minor, troublesome sect in the empire – for sport. He spent far more money than the imperial coffers could sustain. He was obsessed with his own popularity.
In the year 64 AD, there was a massive fire in Rome. It is said to have burned for 5 days. It destroyed 70% of the city and left half of Rome’s population homeless. It was massive. There were rumors that Nero had had the fire started to clear way for a new planned palace – 1st century gentrification and redevelopment – and to deflect those rumors, Nero instead blamed the Christians. Christians then were still widely persecuted, but this imperial finger-pointing ignited a whole new wave of the killing of Christians. Continue reading The Work of Pentecost
Don’t miss our annual concert of spiritual and sacred music with Birmingham’s best musical talents – celebrating 17 years of Beloved Community!
Sponsor an ad for our 17th Anniversary Commemoration Booklet
Full page ad: $100
Half page ad: $50
Quarter page ad: $25
Ads may promote a local business or organization, honor a friend or a loved one, or just share a message for the church on the occasion of our anniversary!
Join the liberation theology study group Sunday afternoons at 3 pm to discuss James H. Cone’s seminal work, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.
The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk.
Our study will begin Sunday, May 21st, 2017 at 3 pm with a discussion of the intro and chapter 1.
Palm Sunday processional Sunday, April 9th, 4:45-5 PM
Religious procession in Avondale with Beloved and The Abbey
Maundy Thursday service at Beloved, April 13th, 6 PM
Joint UCC service with our fellow UCC churches (Covenant Community UCC, First Congregational UCC and Pilgrim Church UCC).
Good Friday – Stations of the Cross – Linn Park, 12 PM
Starting at noon at Linn Park and ending by 1:30 at Kelly Ingram Park, this pilgrimage involves 15 blocks of travel on city sidewalks. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Greater Birmingham Ministries, First Presbyterian Church and Church in the Park.
Good Friday – Seven Last Words of Jesus Service – 12 pm at Talladega First Congregational UCC
202 Martin Luther King Jr Dr N; Talladega, Alabama 35160
A powerful service with 7 UCC pastors reflecting on Jesus’ last words. Contact Jennifer to RSVP.
Sunday, April 16th, 7 AM at Avondale Park (4101 5th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222)
Joint Easter sunrise service with our neighbors at Avondale UMC and Saint Junia. In case of rain, will move to Avondale UMC at 500 40th St S, Birmingham, AL 35222.
Resurrection Sunday at Beloved!
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.
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
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!
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
All are welcome to come as you are.
Saturday, December 24th, 5 pm: Christmas Eve Candlight Service with carols from Beloved Community Orchestra.
Sunday, December 25th, 3 pm: Creative potluck – bring food, a musical instrument, poetry to share – these are the gifts we bring!
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.
See you for Christmas at Beloved!