A word about this series from Pastor Laurie:
In the wake of mass riots spurred by the acquittal of four LAPD officers who had brutally beaten him during a DUI traffic stop, Rodney King pleaded for public calm in a press conference on May 1, 1992. His heartfelt cry became iconic, the subject of respect, scorn and parody. King struggled with addiction throughout his life, dying on Father’s Day of 2012 in a drowning accident, just two months after publishing his memoir. He had mellowed and found a degree of peace in his life. The phrase Can We All Get Along, without a question mark, is engraved on his tombstone.
It is a question that still matters, and not only as it relates to police use of force and race relations. During our Neighborhood Prayer walks last year, the concern most frequently raised by the people I met was about “getting along.” Whether it was a prayer request for peace, a commentary on the divisiveness in our political system, or a more personal observation about how people treat one another on the streets in their everyday, walking-(or driving!)-around life, there is a deep cry of pain that I hear, for connection, community and kindness.
In this series, set for the month of February — a season that includes Valentine’s Day, the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, and Black History Month — we will examine some of the biblical principles around “getting along” with an eye to interpersonal relationships, community building, and the way of peace.
February 2 – Greatest Commandments (Mark 12:28-34)
February 9 – Bear One Another’s Burdens (Galatians 6:1-10)
February 16 – In Spirit and in Truth (John 4:4-34)
February 23 – Second Mile (Matthew 5:38-48)
A sampling of Pastor Laurie’s sermons are found on this website. Contact the church office if you’d like a copy of a specific message not found here.
(After Swing Low, Sweet Chariot) What do you think that song is about? (responses) I ask because, for the songs we’re going to sing together today, there may be more than meets the eye. The music we call spirituals, that arose from the experience of slavery in the United States, was a special form of […]
In the first session of our current Wednesday Bible study series, called What Is the Bible?, we did a fun activity demonstrating how the Bible has become an integral part of Western culture. We looked up a number of Bible verses listed on a handout, and guessed at what common English phrase or idiom came […]
We left off last week in the middle of the conversation that Moses has with God speaking out of the burning bush — and I introduced you to the concept of “call reluctance,” a term widely used in the field of sales, which has a great deal of resonance for me when I consider the […]
Is there a story behind your name? How many of you were named after a relative or after a famous person? (responses) Did any of you receive a name that had to do with the circumstances of your birth — perhaps after a saint, or, as in today’s Bible story, because of something that happened […]
I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly. — John 10:10b The driving force of American consumerism is the idea, well-woven into our culture, of scarcity. It is a principle that is drilled into our brains from early on; we are told, over and over, until we start telling ourselves, and […]
I can’t think of a day better than Father’s Day to talk about the Lord’s Prayer - or, as many Roman Catholics call it, the “Our Father.” While the claim that Jesus was somehow unique in referring to God as “Father” is not true (a more accurate statement would be that he was steeped in […]
Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Christian Church, and every year on this day we return to the story of our ecclesiastical roots. It is a story of wind and fire, symbols of the outpouring of the mysterious Holy Spirit on a group of praying, but hiding, disciples, transforming them from fearfulness into […]
Our Wednesday Bible study group has been discussing a book and video series by Anglican Bishop and renowned scholar N.T. Wright; it is entitled Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense. This past week’s chapter was on the topic of worship and prayer, and one of Bishop Wright’s assertions is that “One of the great spiritual […]
My kids might not remember this story now, but when they were younger, they used to laugh about something funny Katie once said back when she was probably six or seven, and her brother was ten or eleven. The three of us were in the car, driving to or from school, and Tom and I […]
It’s one of my favorite Bible verses, Isaiah 40:31: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” I love the version we sang a few minutes ago, which was composed by a […]