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.
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Before we begin what has become a Palm Sunday tradition of sorts here — a dramatic reading of the Passion story, and reflection on that story through music — I’d like to set a tone for our observance by sharing an insight from Pastor Magrey deVega, the author of Embracing the Uncertain, the Lenten study […]
Before today’s scripture was read (either this morning, or at Bible study this past week), I wonder how many of you would have been able to recall a detail or two had I asked you what you knew about Zacchaeus. (Some in our Wednesday class were not sure how to pronounce his name, which, to […]
Last week’s “connection question” in worship had to do with the transgression that was most likely to get you in serious trouble when you were a kid. A lot of people said “talking back” was that “unforgivable sin.” Well, you might notice that there’s a lot of “talking back” in today’s Bible story — a […]
My weekly e-newsletter from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center included an article this week entitled: “World Happiness Report Finds That People Are Feeling Worse.” This report ranks countries according to their overall level of happiness based on survey responses to the Gallup World Poll. It is a survey which has been conducted annually since […]
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When the world shifts under your feet, challenging your assumptions, how does it feel to pray the father’s prayer, to ask Jesus for help where your own faith falls short? Or what about praying to achieve the calm and relaxed state of holding the two together — the comfort and the discomfort?
My water fitness class class had me praying with both my body and my spirit on Wednesday, as I thought about this Church of ours, and the effort to move forward, and being pushed back, and surging forward again, and redoubling the effort, over and over and over — and the need for rest and self-care in between periods of intense effort, and how this makes us stronger.
The message that Jesus delivers to the crowd is not easy — and I can imagine the questions that would be tumbling around in their heads in response, starting with “love your enemies.”
A world without haves and have-nots, without divisions over race or gender or national origin, a world of creativity and spirituality, of abundant health, vitality, learning and grace. These things, I propose to you, are the expectations — or at least the hopes and dreams — of the crowd in the public square.