Pasadena Mennonite 공개
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On September 11th, we were honored to hear from Sarah Augustine, a Pueblo (Tewa) descendant and author of "The Land Is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery" (Herald Press, 2021). This is the first week in a series called Anabaptist Academy, and centers around Jesus and Justice. The Doctrine of Discovery is a legal doc…
 
Jason T. Smith, gifted in weaving together cultural ideas and theological metaphors, spoke to us on September 4th. Kujenga means “to build” in Swahili. In Kenya, both Swahili and English are official languages. And Leslie Scott, an Englishwoman born in Kenya brought a derivative of the word kujenga to the western world: Jenga. After her family move…
 
We enter Luke 10:38-42 with Mary and Martha, and the topic of empathy. Mike Rewers empathizes with a rather unpeaceful Martha and her blindness in the moment. But when we can become aware of our inability to see clearly, we become more able to see the other with loving and accepting eyes, which is how God sees us — and them. We have to bump into ot…
 
As the apostles wonder whether Jesus has returned from the dead to restore the kingdom of Israel, Jesus instead speaks of power that will come upon them in the form of the Holy Spirit. This was not a dominion over others, but the power of the Spirit of God. What if this is a power that allows us to bypass the offenses of others, that makes it possi…
 
“What a time in the U.S. to be asked to talk about conflict resolution,” says Kathleen Klompien-Wedberg as she begins her sermon relating to our Peaceful Practices Curriculum. She notes that the past few weeks have seen the world in a time of war and aggression on multiple fronts. Yet our passage in Matthew 18:10-22 about trying to reconcile, again…
 
Lisa Thornton began our summer sermon series on “Peaceful Practices — A guide to healthy communication in conflict.” Lisa finds curiosity to be an intentionally chosen posture. Curiosity isn’t merely about inviting all opinions to the table and giving them equal value, but about looking at others around the table regardless of their opinion, and ho…
 
Pentecost Sunday celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit in a new way following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Rob Muthiah reviews how the Spirit of God is present in creation, throughout the Old Testament and in the life and ministry of Jesus. And so, Rob asks, what about today? He goes on to use a metaphor developed by theologian and v…
 
Lisa Danner talks about the challenges of family conflicts for those attempting to live a pacifist lifestyle. Some of our toughest conflicts involve issues where we feel forced to choose between articulating a deeply held value or “maintaining peace” by way of keeping silent. Lisa summarizes a key finding of Dr. Tania Israel’s research on dialogue …
 
Rhoda Blough, our representative from Everence, a faith-based financial services group, references Exodus 16, about manna, and the Matthew 14 passage that describes Jesus feeding a crowd of 5,000. Along with these passages, she shares from a money autobiography and the realization that her parents had left a legacy of abundance to her family. From …
 
Bert introduces the Jesus of Matthew 4:23-25 as a sort of traveling pentecostal preacher: he’s preaching the gospel, healing people, casting out demons, and he gathers a large international following. Jesus was doing this in synagogues, which to us were religious spaces, but in first century Galilee these were the town governments, centers of self-…
 
Joshua Grace and friends Dimitri and Rufo painted and presented a mural to PMC, representing the land that we at PMC meet on: the unceded territory of the Hahamong'na tribe of the Tongva people who have lived in and stewarded the land of the Los Angeles basin for thousands of years. Joshua has been working on a parallel project — a lenten daily rea…
 
Sue Park-Hur reflects on God's call in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, and the call to love as a whole in chapter 13. This is a reflection rooted in warmth as it was also an affirmation and celebration of God's call to ordination for Mariann Reardon as the service wrapped around this event for the congregation. This is God's familiar passage to us as an in…
 
On January 9th, Tim Reardon spoke on Luke 3:15-22. Here we meet people out in the desert, who are filled with expectations, hopes… So what were these people expecting? It was a particular vision of the world — the vision of Isaiah 40:3-5 — of mountains being brought down, valleys raised up, and people seeing the salvation of God. This vision was a …
 
Kathleen Klompien-Wedberg talks about the toxic positivity and consumerism of the typical American Christmas, and how it leads us to feel tired and jaded. In this week’s scripture, Luke 3: 7-14, even the unlikely hero, John the Baptist calls us back to what we ought to talk about who is left out of the typical Christmas—the othered, the neurodiverg…
 
Stories are important because they color the way we view God. In Philippians 1:3-11, Paul is writing from prison to the church in Philippi — a loving letter, full of affection and joy. Hope is important for Paul — both in the way the world is structured and in where it’s going. The creation story in Genesis 1 is believed to be written while the Jew…
 
Lisa Danner talks about the season of Advent as a time to create space for waiting. She highlights that people seem to have a propensity to get distracted from things that matter and invites us to analyze what pressures, mindsets, or stressors might be let go in order for us to have experiences of wonder. The post A Season of Waiting appeared first…
 
Adam enters into the week’s scripture passage of John 18:33-37 in light of Jesus' words to Pilate, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews." Adam's own understanding has come from his transition from prison guard to anabaptist seminarian and…
 
Mark 13:1-8, is known as the little apocalypse. This is a foreign genre to us, though common at the time of Jesus’ life. Surprisingly, these were originally texts of hope, written to provide another vision of the world for people suffering and oppressed. In apocalypse, worldly power is turned on its head, and God’s justice reigns, assuring the vind…
 
David Gist reflects on the meaning of the phrase “You will always have the poor among you,” or “with you.” It’s a rather famous phrase — or infamous, given how this passage has been used to perpetuate greed and capitalism. But what was the context for this phrase, initially from Deuteronomy? David was called to work with Bread for the World just ov…
 
In Mark 12:28-34, a religious scholar asks Jesus about Old Testament law — what the greatest commandment is. Jesus responds by quoting the Shema: a Deuteronomy passage instructing the Jewish people to love God with all their heart, soul, and might. Jesus adds “mind.” Secondly, he says, is to love one's neighbor as one's self. Jesus is confirming hi…
 
Jason takes the passage of Mark 10:35-45, in which Jesus calls his disciples to divest themselves of power in order to serve, and weaves it together with stories of Judy Chicago and Sojourner Truth. Jesus continues to turn the tables on culture, and to call for the divestment of power and dominance in order that his followers might serve. The post …
 
Bert Newton talks about how the early church spread the idea of God’s New Society in which all would be housed, how churches are attempting that today, and how the campaign to help churches build affordable housing continues that vision. He also describes how Jesus and his disciples spoke up in their city councils (synagogues) and how we can do tha…
 
The passage of Mark 10:2-16 has greatly impacted Susan Cameron’s growth and thinking about what God is trying to say to us through the Bible — particularly because of its abuse and misuse. Studying family systems in seminary at the time she was practicing family law brought light to Susan’s view of what Jesus was saying in this passage. Rather than…
 
As a chaplain in a hospital context, Adam offers solidarity with those who need confession. His touchpoint with James is the call to “confess to one another … and you will be healed.” At a recent hospital event, a tea for the soul with hospital staff, one doctor remained behind to talk about the challenges his patients were carrying. Their need, an…
 
Long influenced by Yale theology professor Willie James Jennings, Frank Scoffield Nellessen spoke about God creating home: a place of safety, of love, of belonging, where we could provide for and take care of one another, get to know one another: a place of life. For “to be a creature is fundamentally to be a homemaker." The Word became flesh and m…
 
Sam Bills was drawn to Jesus’ healing of a deaf and mute man — restoring him to community. It offers a gospel of hope, healing, hearing, restoration and expanded understanding for himself and for our community — all expressed in the word ephphatha, open up. But this is the second story of healing in our passage. The first is that of the Syrophoenic…
 
Tim addresses Mark 7:1-23, where the Pharisees come to Jesus asking why his disciples don’t practice ritual hand washing before meals. Jesus doesn’t get upset that the Pharisees are obsessively following laws, but because they are not sticking closely enough to the law. Their traditions are getting in the way of God’s commandments. The intent of th…
 
Lisa Thornton begins her encounter with Ephesians 6:10-20 by suggesting we do a google image search on “armor of God,” and see the resulting images of battle armor. This makes sense in the world we live in today. Paul, the author of Ephesians, uses this imagery because it was familiar to his readers; and though we don’t generally have soldiers marc…
 
Midway between gen X and millennials, Tim identifies more with a micro-generation: “the Oregon Trail generation.” This is the final generation with an analog childhood and an adolescence marked by a seismic shift to a digital world. Tim compares the slowness of the Oregon Trail game with the pressures of covid. In Ephesians this week, chapter 5:15-…
 
Melissa Spolar spoke about venturing out after improvements in COVID care post-vaccine. She participated in two mud & obstacle races. The first, “Tough Mudder,” was presented with teamwork as the spirit of the event. Next, a Spartan Race, was based on self-challenge, success and competition. Feeling covid isolation from church community, Melissa ap…
 
Lauren Murtidjaja tackles this passage that we're almost too familiar with. Yet scripture is living, moving, breathing — so Lauren jumps in to share observations from her encounter with the text. What hasn't been said about this story? Why is David not at battle with his troops as a King should be? David catches sight of Bathsheba bathing, purifyin…
 
Tim Reardon contrasts a monument to the Egyptian pharoah Ramses II o the temple that God would build from the time of David through to the time of Christ. The poem, Ozymandias, is a comment on a monument to fallen power — a call to fear. Paul's description of the temple of God's people built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and the c…
 
Jason Timothy Smith deftly weaves together the symbols of our nation's history, the art and life of Jasper Johns, the call of Ezekial as prophet to the nations of Israel in Ezekiel 2:1-5, and above all — the mercy of Jesus. See and hear as Jason calls us toward that mercy. The post Three Flags appeared first on Pasadena Mennonite Church.…
 
A sighting of bald grapevines led Tim Reardon to look into viticulture — both now and in Jesus' time. What he learned shed new light for him on Jesus' parable of the vine in John 15. He learned that there is a source vine — a trustworthy root. And next that there are two types of pruning — and not all branches are meant to bear fruit. How does this…
 
Lisa continues our reflection of the roles each of us uniquely play in the kin-dom work that our community has set out to do. Hopefully, our small efforts at righting the world add up and bring us closer to the kin-dom of God described and displayed to us by Jesus. The story of Tabitha in Acts 9 is one such story. We know that she devoted her life …
 
Sarah Fuller takes on a tricky passage following the Israelites' demand for a king to lead them. Saul, a man of status, is annointed as king, but fails to obey God. God instructs Samuel to anoint a son of Jesse instead. The selection process reflects God's perspective: "...the Lord does not look at the things human beings look at; people look at th…
 
This Memorial Day sermon makes clear that what we remember and how we remember matters — for our understanding of the world, and for how we define ourselves. Memories are foundational for how we connect with our past and with others. They help build collective memory, social memory, memories that we all hold in common. To these memories we build mo…
 
Lila Hunt went looking for something missing in her relationship with God, and found positive influence in the pentecostal tradition. And so as an anabaptist, she considers herself a hybrid. Pentecost in Acts occurred during Shavuot — or Pentecost in Greek. It commemorated the giving of the Torah by God at Mt. Sinai. The risen Jesus had instructed …
 
What is Ascension Sunday? Resurrection part 2? “Why are you staring toward heaven?” two white-robed men ask. And for us as well, our focus is here. This king, this proclaimer of good news to the poor, this enemy of the state, this executed criminal, has been enthroned — and stands at the center of all that is. The Jesus community remains in hiding …
 
Bert Newton unpacks John 10:1-16, and asks, "How do we become shepherds in a society where often our official shepherds are much like the hired hands that Jesus describes?" What do shepherds do? They organize sheep. And in organizing, we are all both shepherds and sheep. Together, organized and using our diversity of gifts and talents, we can move …
 
This week Frank led us in reflecting on how we can be a community of action, by considering how we might find ways to move together as a body. Key to this common, community action is not the need to be individuals who do everything, but in recognizing our unique gifts and how we can contribute to a common movement. Along the way, Frank tells us a f…
 
In this week’s sermon, Melissa Hofstetter reminds us of the power of connection, for those of us especially that may feel out of touch in this moment. As she considers Jesus’s offer to Thomas to touch his side, we are invited to consider the importance of touch, in Scripture and in our lives. As we focus on the wound, we consider the intimacy of wo…
 
Our Easter reflection focuses on a Jesus who comes and dismantles the stories of oppression, colonization, and death that we have been formed into and invites us into eternal life in the present. Where the powers of the earth are not Lord; where death is not the last word; but Jesus is Lord, who comes in life and forgiveness. The post Resurrection …
 
Rob leads us through Jesus’s journey down the “Stairwell of Love.” Beginning with Philippians 2:1-11, Rob shows us how Jesus begins a descent out of love and obedience. This loving journey down this stairwell is mirrored in the days of Jesus’s crucifixion. Jesus moves from the top of the staircase, likeness with God, divinity, and moves through hum…
 
The people of Israel waited hundreds of years for the promise of a new reality, where, as Jeremiah prophesied, God would restore the people and write his Law on their hearts. Jesus, himself, tells us that the times have changed, that God’s salvation is at hand, that we are in a new time and a new reality. Though this can be difficult to imagine, we…
 
This Week, we consider the strange comparison made in John 3 between Jesus and the story about Moses lifting up a Bronze serpent in the wilderness. Using a reflection from Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama, we reflect on how the central image of Christianity, the cross, is not a "bridge" but an encounter and a conflict. The post Jesus and the Bronz…
 
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