October 3, 2021 Service: “The Reality of Evil: What It Is and Why It Matters”

Evil is not a popular topic to preach on or discuss. But we live in a world that is full of evil, and the inclination to sin lurks within the hearts of all of us. Throughout history, human beings have struggled to create societies where all people’s rights are respected. Why does evil so often triumph over good, and how can we change that? Today, we begin a three-part series on evil: what it is, how it works, and how to overcome it.

September 5, 2021 Service: “The Simple Life”

Many great philosophers and religious teachers throughout history have taught that people should live simply. What does this mean, and why is it so important? In our fast-paced and materialistic modern world, it’s especially easy to get caught up in the desire for worldly things. But Jesus warns of the spiritual danger of accumulating more and more stuff. In today’s service, we explore the theme of the simple life.

August 1, 2021 Service: “Faith, Doubt, and Spiritual Growth”

What does it mean to have a mature religious faith? Should we stifle our doubts and close our eyes to other religions and belief systems? Or should we explore with an open mind and be willing to embrace whatever ideas and traditions can best inspire us to live a life of higher meaning and conscience? In today’s service we explore the subject of faith, doubt, and spiritual growth. We also tell the story of Thomas Merton, a 20th century Catholic monk whose faith was deepened by interfaith dialogue and exploration of Eastern religions.

July 4, 2021 Service: “A Righteous Nation”

On the Fourth of July, Americans celebrate Independence Day. Why should Christians care to observe the birthday of one particular country? Like the Biblical Hebrews, the United States of America has conceived of itself as a chosen people, called by God to be an example to the world. America has sometimes failed to live up to this calling, but we should continue striving to fulfill our lofty ideals. In today’s service we discuss what it means to be a righteous nation. We also remember Washington Gladden, a prolific minister who preached that righteousness and salvation are not only for the individual, but for society as a whole.

June 6, 2021 Service: “The Mystical Body of Christ”

When Christians take communion, the bread and wine of the Eucharist represent the body and blood of Christ. This sacramental ritual helps us become one with Christ, together with each other in the church. Beyond rituals, how can we feel connected with Christ so that we can grow in his divine image? In this service, we explore the theme of the church itself as the mystical body of Christ, in which we should be united in helping each other become our best selves.

May 23, 2021 Service: “Come, Holy Spirit!”

Today is Pentecost, the day each year when Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the early church, many people believed in ongoing revelations from God. For much of Christian history, this belief was suppressed, but it reemerged with the Pentecostal movement in the early 20th century. In this service we discuss the openness to the gifts of the Spirit that has brought controversy and confusion and the potential for positive change. We also tell the story of William Seymour, an African American minister who was a founding leader in the rise of Pentecostalism.

May 16, 2021 Service: “Ascension”

What is the meaning of salvation? Some say that people are saved if they have the right beliefs. Others say we must live a good life, following the example of Christ. And some believe that in the end, everyone will go to heaven. But how do we really ascend from the sinful world of the flesh to the heavenly world of the Spirit and attain to eternal life with God? In this week’s service we explore these important questions. We also tell the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a 20th century minister and martyr who taught that true faith can be costly.

May 9, 2021 Service: “Heavenly Mother”

The Bible is full of examples of the Divine Feminine, but most people think only of the male attributes of God, our Father, or the proverbial “Man Upstairs.” Without seeing God as our Heavenly Mother, mainstream Christians are missing an important part of the story. Today we celebrate Mother’s Day — and not only do we honor our human mothers, we give thanks and praise to our Mother in Heaven. We also tell the story of Pandita Ramabai, a Hindu woman who worked for equal rights for women and girls in India, and later became a Christian.

May 2, 2021 Service: “Technology and the Apocalypse”

In the past few hundred years, technology has profoundly changed the world. From heavy industry to nuclear weapons and the rise of artificial intelligence, what are the spiritual implications of these developments? Christians have long expected the end of the world. In this week’s service we ask: Will modern technology bring heaven on earth or the apocalypse? We also tell the story of Dorothy Day, a Catholic activist for peace and social justice, who opposed the dehumanizing extremes of capitalism and the threat of nuclear war.

April 25, 2021 Service: “Seasons of Renewal”

There’s a time and a season for everything. Some times are full of struggle, while other times are filled with the blessings of renewal. In the world today, we’re dealing with a lot of challenges. This is especially true for the Christian church, which is in deep decline. In this week’s service, we talk about the hope for renewal of the church. We also tell the story of C.S. Lewis, who lost his faith but later regained it and became one of the greatest evangelists of the 20th century.