This Week in Worship

Sermon Series:
4 –– Back-Talking God  
Matthew 15: 21-28
Rev. Sara Steenhouse, guest preacher

Sunday, August 13, 10:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary

This Sunday I will present Part 3, Back-Talking God, in my summer sermon series, Fierce, looking at some of the women of the bible and their stories of mercy, bravery, wisdom and salvation.

This week we’ll encounter another Canaanite woman, this one unnamed, who approaches Jesus in a desperate situation.  Her daughter has been possessed by a demon, and she is convinced that Jesus – and only Jesus – can help her.

But the response she gets from Jesus is, well, let’s just say it is less than compassionate and helpful.  At first, he ignores her and when he finally does respond his words are insulting.  But this woman, desperate for her daughter’s life, pushes back.

I think a lot of us grew up thinking that we couldn’t question God, we couldn’t ask why to our church, we couldn’t have doubt about anything we were told.  But what we see over and over in scripture are people – good, honest, faithful people – arguing with God.  

What happens in this story is somewhat astonishing.  Now, I won’t spoil the surprise, I’ll just encourage you to come hear the sermon!  But suffice it to say that this outsider seems to understand what God is up to better than the insiders.  

Perhaps that’s important for us church-folk to be reminded of.  Maybe, because they are outside looking in, they can see the things the rest of us take for granted.  They can ask the awkward questions that we’ve never thought of.

I’ll look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman
Senior Minister

The way we worship is the way we live.

Worship is the work of the people, bringing together our fullest selves in a communal act of love and gratitude.  Each voice is important; each person is valued as the Spirit draws out our authentic gifts and talents, shared in the ever-widening circle of God’s people.  We hope you’ll join us this week as we gather to worship the God of extravagant welcome.

Current Sermon Series
Fierce: Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, and Salvation

Women in the bible aren’t always shy or quiet; they are more than just players in a man’s story or morality tales about how to be better wives and mothers.  They’re fierce and funny and demanding. They are foremothers of the faith.  Their stories are messy, challenging and beautiful, and relevant to 21st century people.  When we pay attention to their stories, we can see not only their particular, fearsome lives but also our own.

July 23                    
Mother of All Living
Genesis 2: 4 –7, 15-23; 3: 1-13

July 30                    
Who’s Naked Now? 
Joshua 2 & 6

Aug 6                       
Who Are You Responsible For? 
Rev. Sara Steenhouse, preaching                  

Aug 13                    
Back-Talking God   
John 4: 1-29
Matthew 15: 21-28

Aug 20      
Church Ladies  
Romans 16: 1-6, 15-16              

Aug 27       
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
John 20: 1-18