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Upcoming Services


August 27
The Reverend Dr. Eric C. Smith
Matthew 16:13-20
This passage contains a famous saying of Jesus–a question, really–and also a famous moment in church history. The question is Jesus asking his disciples, “who do people say that the Son of Man is?” What follows is a conversation about Jesus’ identity and the various opinions people had of it. But then Jesus focuses on Peter, who had given the best answer, and he gives Peter authority over the church. This moment is the basis of the ideas of apostolic authority and the papacy, among other things, but it’s really remarkable that it’s so deeply connected to Jesus’ own identity. This Sunday, we’ll explore this passage and ask who Jesus is in 2017.

September 3                            
The Reverend George Anastos
Exodus 3:1-15
I read once of a minister who watched two church members reconcile after a particularly bitter period of alienation. As each, with tears, apologized to the other and owned how their respective behaviors had contributed to the conflict, the other expressed sincere forgiveness. The minister wrote that although this was taking place in the church parking lot (!) he felt he should take off his shoes, for he was standing on holy ground.

Today’s lesson is of Moses’ encounter with God as God speaks to him from a burning bush. God said to Moses, “Put of the sandal from your foot, for the place on which you stand—it is holy ground!” That minister in the parking lot was onto something. Holy ground can erupt anywhere.

September 10                          
The Reverend Dr. Eric Smith
Exodus 12:1-14
The bible is a strange book. It comes from a past that is sometimes unimaginable to us, and yet it speaks to us in the present. It tells us about the lives of people we will never know, but it also tells us about our own lives. The passage for this week is one of the great ritual moments of the Hebrew Bible–the Passover meal and its preparation. And yet to our modern eyes it seems gory, oddly specific, and strange. This juxtaposition, of the profane and the profound, is a microcosm for the way the whole bible works: as a dim mirror for our own experiences, and as a dirty window through which we can see into others of God’s people, and the way they journeyed through the world together.

September 17                          
The Reverend George Anastos
Exodus 14:10 – 15:21
It is fascinating how our societal sensibilities shift over time. When I was a boy in Sunday School we learned the story of the people of Israel crossing the Red Sea. The Egyptian army was hard on their heels, but then . . . the waters came flooding back drawing the Egyptian soldiers and their horses. Nowhere in the telling of the story was their sadness for all the lives lost. What would it be like if we heard this story from the perspective of the Egyptians?

September 24                          
The Reverend George Anastos
Exodus 16:2-15
Today’s lesson relates the story of the people of Israel complaining that there is no food, and God raining down manna upon them. You cannot really blame the people for complaining. It is likely that Moses had not thought quite that far ahead. Getting the people out of Egypt and slavery may well have been the easy part. Forming them into a self-sufficient people took decades.