This Sunday is the second week of Lent. Our focus Scripture is Mark 8:31-38, which includes the well known line from Jesus as he chastises Peter, “get thee behind me Satan!” It is a shocking rebuke from the Lord of Love to his friend and follower. The sermon is an exploration of what may be behind the force of this statement and why Jesus is so quick to shut Peter down and redirect both him and all of his followers.
Chris Davis opens worship with one of his pieces titled “Identite.” Sandy Thoit offers a call to worship and reads today’s Scripture. Erin McKibben and Tim Accurso offer the hymns “I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art” (624), “We Are Your People” (436 Presbyterian Hymnal), and “O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High” (618). Michelle Hertig brings us a Moment for Mission, encouraging an even greater One Great Hour Of Sharing this year. Finally, Chris Davis closes the worship with Brahms, “Intermezzo” Op 118, no.2.
Rev. Jen Fraser will continue with the fourth lesson of her six-week class, "Reclaiming Evangelism.” This is an honest examination of the history and practice of evangelism with an eye toward re-discovering the intention and meaning behind Matthew 28: 19-20. The class consists of four main sections.
1) Evangelism and the early church
As the early church was first developing, evangelism was a means of inviting the marginalized into the "way of Jesus." Opening up an alternative spiritual community to Gentiles, the poor, slaves, women, and children in which the Roman honor/shame value system was inverted, and God appeared among (and cared for) the lowest in society.
2) Evangelism and the politically emerging church
As the church began to emerge as a political power, hierarchical structures were consolidated within the institution. Evangelism then becomes a means of securing allegiance and controlling the resources within territories.
3) Evangelism as a tool of colonialism
From early modern European expansion, to the "Christianizing" of Native American communities, to the contemporary white evangelical church's embrace of the conservative political agenda, evangelism continues to serve as a tool for consolidating power and wealth.
4) Evangelism in a multi-cultural, interfaith society.
Is it possible to redeem evangelism from its legacy as a tool of political, social, economic and cultural dominance? What should we call it when we open up about matters of faith with our family, friends and neighbors? Can we share our spiritual/soulful experiences with others without trying to "convert?" Do we as Christians have something of real value to offer the "non-believer?"
Please Join us Sundays right after Coffee Hour at 11 AM on Zoom!