A Righteous Nation

From our service on July 4, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Today is the Fourth of July, the day each year when Americans celebrate the birth of our nation. Nearly 250 years ago on this day, the United States of America declared its independence from the British Empire. Patriotism is a natural human instinct, but how does this relate to religion, one might ask? Why should a church, just because it’s based in the USA, celebrate Independence Day and preach a sermon about national pride?

Although Christianity transcends any nation, any political or geographical grouping of human beings, the United States of America has a rich history of striving to embody the national ideal of God’s chosen people — a holy people, set apart for a special purpose in the world, much like the self-conception of the Biblical Hebrews.

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.

Desmond Tutu

From our service on April 4, 2021, a story of the inspiring life of Desmond Tutu, as recounted by Colin Mills.

Easter 2021 Service: “He Is Risen!”

Last week, we talked about “The Incredible Power of the Cross.” But as inspiring as the cross can be, it’s not the final chapter of the story — either for Jesus or for our own lives. In today’s service we reflect on the Biblical testimony of the resurrection. We also tell the story of Desmond Tutu, a courageous minister and human rights activist who has devoted his life to the cause of justice, reconciliation and renewal.

Richard Allen

From our service on February 21, 2021, a story of the inspiring life of Richard Allen, as recounted by Colin Mills.

February 21, 2021 Service: “Commitment”

During Lent, many followers of Jesus make conscious sacrifices or commitments to become more righteous in the path of Christ. In our service this week, we focus on the theme of Commitment — an essential virtue for spiritual progress, or for any kind of success in life. We also honor Richard Allen, a former slave who was so committed to the cause of equality that he founded a new Christian denomination.

Repentance

From our service on February 14, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


On this day, the last Sunday before Lent, many Christian churches observe the Feast of the Transfiguration, or “Transfiguration Sunday,” calling to remembrance the story in the Gospels when Jesus revealed to his chosen disciples his glorious nature as a spiritual being of light.

As the story goes, “Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. … [A] bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” [Matt. 17:1-2,5]

This week, followers of Jesus observe Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Lenten season of sacrifice leading up to Easter. Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer and fasting — and it is a time for contemplation of our human nature as both the dust of this world and the light of the Spirit into which we may grow through our spiritual discipline in walking the path of Christ. As a reminder of these truths, many Christians place ashes on their foreheads and recite the words, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

Bartolomé de las Casas

From our service on February 14, 2021, a story of the inspiring life of Bartolomé de las Casas, as recounted by Colin Mills.

February 14, 2021 Service: “Repentance”

At the beginning of Lent, Christians reflect on the theme of Repentance — turning away from wrongdoing, and reorienting our minds, our lives, and our world toward the God who calls us to be transformed in the image of Christ. This week we observe Transfiguration Sunday and Ash Wednesday. We also honor the repentance of Bartolomé de las Casas, a slaveowner who became an activist for the equal rights of all.

The Ministry and Teachings of Jesus: Openness and Inclusion

From our service on January 24, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Who was the real Jesus Christ? Although Jesus of Nazareth is undoubtedly the best-known religious leader in history, opinions differ widely about the meaning of his mission and how we should interpret it today.

Last week, in part one of this two-part series on “The Ministry and Teachings of Jesus,” I focused on the themes of charity, healing, and forgiveness. This week, I want to emphasize Jesus’s message of openness and inclusion.