There's always more material than I can fit into a sermon on Sunday morning. This week, in the discussion of Jesus as teacher, what was left on the cutting room floor was a deeper reflection of the type of teaching Jesus did.
Yes, he often taught by example. Like in this week's scripture where he knelt and washed the disciples feet and then commanded them to go and serve likewise. But his style of teaching in parables was often perplexing to his followers. Rather than offer rules or doctrines, he told open-ended tales that "invite us to struggle with their meaning, to wonder, to see the world from unexpected angles." (Freeing Jesus page 43) Amy-Jill Levine says parables "challenge us to look into the hidden aspects of our own values, our own lives. They bring to the surface unasked questions, and reveal the answers we have always known, but refuse to acknowledge."
"Parable" comes from two Greek terms, para meaning "to come alongside," and ballein, meaning "to throw," So, through the parables, Jesus is coming alongside us and throwing off the cozy theological comforters we sometimes wrap ourselves in. "The whole point of a parable is to disturb and perplex us, shaking up what we believe to be true, all without providing an easy answer or simple moral to fall back upon." (Pg 45).
So this summer, as we imagine Jesus coming alongside us on our travels – made more literal with bobble-head and finger-puppet Jesuses.... we might also ask what we might throw off? What new perspectives might we explore when we fill in the blank in varying ways, "The kin_dom of God is like a __________." Fill in whatever is current in your life – a trip to the Baseball hall of fame, or visiting sacred sites overseas, worshiping with strangers down south, or a visitor to church helping out with the Food Bank (all things that happened to members this last week).
See you on Sunday as Pastor Kristy reflects on Jesus as Savior.
Bishop Peggy Johnson writes on July 19, 2023:
New England Conference,
I know we are still in shock and so deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar. Bishop Devadhar died unexpectedly on July 18, 2023.
Bishop Devadhar was a faithful light to our conference; his dedication extending his service into what would have been his retirement. He has left us an indelible legacy that lives on among us even now.
Our hearts and prayers are with Prema and their family. The family has requested no phone calls at this time, but prayers and letters of condolence can be sent to them at:
7128 Thorndale Lane Cincinnati, OH 45244
We will share details about the arrangements when those are known.
The Church Photo Directory is complete and here! We are excited to see all your beautiful faces in color and current, active members contact information provided as well.
There are only a few hard copies left - available at the Church Office, pick one up when you are here on Sunday. If we run out, the photos will be available online and/or we can send you an email copy. We want to limit the access to the full directory online so that we do not share members personal information online.
Contact the office if you want the link to the online photo version or if you'd like the full directory with contact information sent to you via email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug 5 - Potluck Supper is for anyone interested in volunteering at the Ham & Bean Suppers, anyone who wants to learn more about this ministry opportunity, and anyone who has been involved in previous suppers.
Sept 9 - Church Members Family & Friends Ham & Bean Supper - This will be a trial run of our buffet format and we encourage everyone to attend and help us make improvements. Tickets will be sold at the door.
Oct 7 - Our first Ham & Bean Supper open to the public. We're so excited to resume this ministry in our community and look forward to seeing both new and familiar faces! Tickets will be sold at the door.
Ham & Bean suppers will resume full schedule on the first Saturday of each month after we launch the first one on October 7th!
We are in need of a few more volunteers to help us blast off at Vacation Bible School. This includes a Bible story leader and other opportunities. Please let Pastor Kelly or Andrea Weir know if you can help out. Volunteer form is also linked below!
If you love golf, there's no better way to put in some quality time out on the green than by supporting a good cause. First Church of Nashua's "There's No Place Like Home" Charity Golf Tournament is on Monday August 7th, 2023 at the beautiful green of the Nashua Country Club. Tee-off is 12 noon and check-in is at 10:30. All proceeds support organizations that help homeless youth and family move forward, including Stepping Stones, Family Promise, and the Front Door Agency. If you want to support Stepping Stones directly through this fundraiser, you can purchase a Game Card at the event.
"THE 7 DEADLY SINS OF WHITE CHRISTIAN NATIONLISM: A CALL TO ACTION"
Summer keynote event: The Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism: A Call to Action.
At Unitarian Universalist Church, Concord, NH
We are SO excited to welcome the Rev. Dr. Carter Hayward to New Hampshire on August 29th. In a time of rising hate activity across our state, Rev. Dr. Heyward is going to talk with us about her book, the Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism. Together, we will learn about action steps we can take in our own churches and communities as we grow our muscles in this work together.
There will be opportunity to spend time together in both small and large groups, and to connect with other voices of faith from across the state who are also interested in doing this work. Registration, and more details about our book group accompanying this event coming next week!
Thanks to our partners at the NH Conference of the UCC, and Episcopal Diocese of NH who are working with us. We hope you will save-the-date, and join us.
This summer, we're BLASTING OFF! To Mars and Beyond... we'll learn how God can empower us to GO BEYOND with faith, boldness, kindness, thankfulness, and hope. We're on a mission, and we'd love to have you voyage with us!