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“Like a Tree”

9th Sunday after Pentecost

1 John 4:16-19

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“Where the Kingdom Is”

7th Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 10:1-11

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During this season of vacations and travels, I have one question for you: how do you know what to pack?

In my experience, this is one of the most anxiety-making parts of getting ready for a trip – figuring out what to take and what to leave behind. Because what if you get to your destination and discover you failed to bring the one thing it turned out you absolutely needed? And which is worse – to overpack, or to leave behind something essential? Read the whole story…

“All In”

6th Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 9:51, 57-62

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This past week our church website committee, which is in charge of overseeing the redesign of our church website, was given an unusual assignment. The design firm we are working with asked us to fill out a kind of “Mad Lib.” Do you remember “Mad Libs”? It’s a template word game where you fill our a series of blanks with whatever word you choose and then you see what kind of paragraph or story you have created. Our “Mad Lib” was designed to help our committee state, in a focused way, what is most essential to communicate to other people about who our church is. The paragraph began, “We are the only _______________ that _________________.”

It was a struggle. Because no matter how I filled in the blanks, what it sounded like hubris. “We are the only congregation in Ann Arbor that….” what? No matter what you put there – unless it’s horrible – it’s going to sound self-promoting. Read the whole story…

“Do You See?”

4th Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 7:36-50

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“Who Are We?”

Trinity Sunday

Psalm 8

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“The Power of Our Influence”

Children & Youth Sunday Worship Service

7th Sunday of Easter

1 Timothy 4:11-16

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“Dearly Beloved”

6th Sunday of Easter

Acts 11:1-18

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“The Lamb, The Shepherd”

Campus Ministry Sunday

4th Sunday of Easter

Psalm 23

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“The Things We Can’t Believe”

Easter Sunday

Luke 24:1-11

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“Disciplines of the Spirit: Reconciliation”

5th Sunday in Lent

Luke 19:41-42

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“Disciplines of the Spirit: Growth in Wisdom and Stature”

2nd Sunday in Lent

Luke 2:41-52

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“Disciplines of the Spirit: Commitment”

1st Sunday in Lent

Psalm 27

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On Wednesday night, Paul and I gathered in this space with many of you, to begin this holy season. We stood at the front of these two aisles, and people silently made their way forward and presented themselves to us. Beautiful, quiet faces, expectant eyes, you looked up at us, as we dug our fingers into ash, and marked your foreheads with crosses, and said to each of you, “Remember that you are dust. And to dust you shall return.” And some of you said thank you.

It is an intimate and tender thing, to stand facing each other and saying such things. And to me, it is one of the holiest and more profound moments of the Christian year, when we gather together to remind ourselves and each other that we’re all going to die. It is a hard and simple truth, and we come together to get honest about it. And as painful as it is, it can also be very clarifying, very liberating, and very illuminating, because that hard truth shines with a greater and beautiful truth – that all our times are in God’s hands, that our lives and our deaths are held by unseen hands of love, and that not even the grave separates us from such love as this. That, in fact, that love comes to find us in our sin, in our darkness, in our failure, and in our death, and lifts us into wholeness, and into grace. Read the whole story…

“Solved by Walking”

Transfiguration Sunday

Amos 3:3

Stacey Simpson Duke and members of the La Danta Mission Team

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“When the Scroll Came to Life”

3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

Luke 4:14-21

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“Rising to Our Name”

Baptism of the Lord

Luke 3:21-22

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