How the Journey Inward Transforms the Journey Outward
Summary of Series: The Hero lives in a world that they take as given and sufficient. Somehow they have the call or courage to leave home for an adventure of some type, to go beyond their comfort zone. On the journey, they find their real problem. They are almost always “wounded” in some way and encounter a major dilemma, and the whole story largely pivots around the resolution of the trials that result. There is always a wounding; and the great epiphany is that the wound becomes the secret key, even “sacred,” a wound that changes them dramatically. Their world is opened up, the screen becomes much larger, and they do too. He or she “falls through” what is merely his or her life situation to discover his or her Real Life, which is always a much deeper river, hidden beneath the appearances. The hero or heroine then returns to where he or she started, and “knows the place for the first time,” but now with a gift or “boon” for his people or her village. They have found life energy and it is more than enough to undo the energy of death.
MAY 22 – Coming to Peace with Imperfection Scripture: Acts 9:1-20 Story: Peanuts Comic Strips – Lucy and her brother Linus. SUMMARY: Using the apostle Paul and Peanuts character Lucy Van Pelt, we explore our human striving for perfection that always leaves us angry and frustrated. Only the humbling gift of unconditional love can open us up to accept ourselves and others and allow us to find peace in our own imperfections.
MAY 29 – I’m So Special Scripture: Genesis 37:3-11, Genesis 45:4-18 Story: Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems SUMMARY: Using the story of Joseph and Leonardo, we explore the human need to be unique and the temptation to compare ourselves to others in ways that damage our own and other’s self images. Finding our foundation in our identity as children of God opens up our ability to be creative and loving because of our connection to God.
JUNE 5 – PRIDE INTERFAITH SUNDAY 10 year anniversary as a Reconciling Congregation with stories and testimonies of the way God has worked over time to create a place of inclusion and welcome for all.
JUNE 12 – The Need to Succeed Scripture: Genesis 25:21-34 – Jacob steals Esau’s birthright Story: Joy from Inside Out – clip on Riley’s first day at the new school - where she puts Sadness in a circle and they are sucked out of the tube into long term memory SUMMARY: Using the story of Jacob and the character of Joy (from the movie Inside Out), we explore our human willingness to deceive in order to get what we want and to achieve success. It is only in experiences of great humility where we recognize the call to honesty and truth as the only pathway to life and peace.
JUNE 19 – Finding Freedom and Humility – SAMMI PREACHING Scripture: John 20:24-29 Story: Hermione from Harry Potter SUMMARY: Using the story of Thomas and the character of Hermione from Harry Potter, we explore the human tendency to desire to have all the information before taking a risk and experiencing things for ourselves. The invitation of Christ to have faith and trust without fully knowing invites us into the uncomfortable opportunity for transformation.
June 26 – Avoiding Life Story: Marlon from Finding Nemo SUMMARY: Using the story of Peter and the Marlon, the father in Finding Nemo, we explore our struggle with fear. The invitation of Christ to come out on the water and experience transformation despite our discomfort is the invitation to become courageous and faithful.
July 3 – No Pain, No Gain Scripture: Ecclesiastes 9:7-9, King Solomon Story: St. Francis by Brian Wildsmith SUMMARY: Using the story of King Solomon and St. Francis, we explore the tendency to avoid pain and struggle. The invitation toward joy is a call to walk into the places of struggle and pain and find the presence of God there, in all parts of creation.
July 10 – Freedom School Sunday Join our scholars, families, staff, and congregation for an uplifting and meaningful service focusing on the powerful work of our 8 week summer literacy program, Freedom School.
July 17 – Beyond Our Doubts – ROBB PREACHING Scripture: Luke 10:38-42, Martha Story: A Sick Day for Amos McGee – by Philip C. Stead & Erin Stead SUMMARY: Using the story of Martha and Amos McGee, we are reminded of our human need to help and serve others as a source of pride and identity. The invitation to us is to find humility and recognize our own needs, to also be helped and served and to find freedom and life as a result.
July 24 – Playing it Safe Scripture: Jonah 1 Story: Lion King – Simba – clip where Nala finds him and he is unwilling to go back and face the family SUMMARY: Using the story of Jonah and Simba, we explore our human tendency to avoid making decisions that we know we must make, instead putting them off for another day or even running away. The invitation is to receive God’s love for us and for others which calls us out of our unwillingness and into action. Scripture: Galatians 2:1-11 (Peter tries to play it safe)
July 31 – Tearing Down the Wall Scripture: Psalm 51 – King David comes clean before God and begs for forgiveness Story: The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems SUMMARY: Using the story of King David and our stubborn pigeon, we explore our human tendency to create walls between others and ourselves and to treat people as objects. The invitation from God is to a place of vulnerability and love, allowing us to break down our walls and experience true connection and love with others and with God.