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Dynamic, new expository Sermons and resources
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Let’s Create a Preaching Renaissance 

This
Week’s
Sermons

Master Sermon

Weekly powerhouse sermons based on the traditional lectionary.


 Radioactive Faith

Light and ashes –the combination of Jesus’ Transfiguration and Ash Wednesday result in a radioactive faith.

Story Sermon

Interactive metaphor-rich sermons based on the new Story Lectionary along with Image Exegesis.

The Funeral Crasher

Jesus crashed every funeral he attended, even his own!

My Prayer For You

Pastor’s Prayer for 26 February 2017

Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you.

Amen.

-Thomas Aquinas

 

Sound Theology with Colleen Butcher

 

The Week Between

Each season of the liturgical year is like a room full of beautiful artifacts and experiences that we spend a number of days or weeks exploring. As we move from room to room in this narrative house, we must pass through various doorways. The connections between seasons are sometimes... read more

The Open Table

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

–Review by Ashley Linne

This film is rated PG.

This movie combines two of my favorite things: strong women and space. Hidden Figures tells the true story of the history-making triumphs of three female African American NASA mathematicians: Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. The incredible story unfolds in the 1960s space race and civil rights era, and until very recently was totally unknown to the public.

Given the serious nature of the cultural backdrop, this film is anything but solemn. The optimism, humor, and determination of the three main characters are contagious. These women are bona fide heroes, but also extremely relatable. The challenges they face are universal for women yet particular for them as women of color, and their incredible strength to overcome is inspiring. The soundtrack is just as buoyant. Hidden Figures includes all the formulae of an enjoyable film. But don’t be fooled into thinking it is a “chick flick.”

The title of the film invites the audience to search beyond what seems obvious. To this end, the filmmakers utilize both dialogue and silence throughout the movie. A couple of central lines of dialogue center around “looking beyond.” Al Harrison, Katherine’s gruff but ultimately supportive boss played by Kevin Costner, says to her, “What I’m asking everyone one in that room to do, all my geniuses, is to look beyond the numbers. To look around them. Through them. For answers to questions we don’t even know to ask.”

This film deserves more than one viewing to be unpacked from a semiotic standpoint. I’m sure there are many gems waiting to be uncovered: for instance, the use of color (our three main characters are frequently dressed in vibrant colors, which makes them stand out against the sea of white button-up shirts of their costars; thus, the women are hidden in plain sight). We don’t have space here to explore all the imagery, but two images surrounding Katherine’s character did stick with me well from the start.

Chalk. Twice in the film, once as a child and again as an adult, Katherine is handed chalk and invited to work out complicated equations on the chalkboard. The shot zooms in on the handing of the chalk from the male authority figure to Katherine. This action really spoke to me. The chalk served as a symbol of authority and sharing knowledge. These men were empowering Katherine to do what they knew only she could do. I wonder how many “hidden figures” are in our churches, waiting to be trusted and supported by those of us in authority. It’s frequently stated throughout Hidden Figures that the limitations and barriers of their culture are “just the way things are.” What status quos in our churches need to be challenged? Who are the people ready for the next step, just waiting for a mentor to “pass the chalk”? read more…

The Digital Feast with Derek White

Learning and Leading

If You Want to Learn Faster, Overclock Your Audio and Video Summary: “Skimming, after all, was how people dealt with the original info boom, the Gutenberg press. It produced such a flood of books and pamphlets that readers learned to vary their reading speed—sometimes zipping through pages, sometimes lingering... read more