First Loves – Week 3 // But Even If Not // Pastor Kate Murphy

The Bible is full of beautiful prayers.  Glorious metaphors, poetic imagery, mind expanding allegories and symbols describing the way people love God.  But those four ordinary little words might be the boldest and most beautiful declaration of human love for God in all of scripture.

In this season, when we’ve finally been able to return to in-person worship, we are trying to focus on a less visible but more life-giving journey–one we can all make together no matter where we worship on Sunday mornings–a return to our first love for the Lord.  Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego have a lot to teach us about what that looks like.  These three friends are remembered for the way God rescued them from the fiery furnace, but their absolute devotion to God is the hidden treasure in their story.  I’m excited to share their story with you.

First Loves – Week 2 // The Holiness of Party Crashers // Pastor Kate Murphy

This Sunday we move deeper into our worship series ‘First Loves,’ remembering the time a righteous Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to dinner but went out of his way not to welcome him, because the invitation was not about friendship or hospitality. It was Simon’s opportunity to size Jesus up and put him in his place. Nobody said anything, but everybody knew what was going on.

I’ve been to parties that felt like that, I’ve even been to churches like that.  Where everyone says the right words, and everything looks beautiful, and no one dares to tell the truth about anything.

But then a sinful woman broke into that righteous man’s party.  Everyone knew who she was and none of them wanted her there.  Except Jesus.  She broke in–because she knew that anyplace Jesus was, was a place she belonged–and she brought love and generosity and freedom with her.

In this season we return to the Lord, not our building or our righteous routines.  And this story reminds us that the people we most want to shut out are the very people who teach us how to belong.

First Loves – Week 1 // Rediscovering Our Love for the Lord // Pastor Kate Murphy

This Sunday we launch a new worship series called ‘First Loves.’ We’ll explore what binds us and grows us in Christ. Hint: it’s not fear or obligation or doctrine. Hint, hint: it’s also not favor, blessing or even salvation. A healthy relationship with God can’t be motivated by desire for what we might gain or fear of what we might lose.

The only thing strong enough and holy enough to secure us to God is love. Our love for God–which grows out of God’s love for us.

That’s why, in this season, we’re not encouraging people to come back to church. We’re calling people to come back to Jesus.

Please join us as we look at the letter Jesus wrote to the church in Ephesus and pray for a revival and rekindling of our love for God.

Pentecost // An Origin Story // Kate Murphy

This Sunday, we are able to gather together physically for worship for the first time in more than a year. We have survived an absence that has turned out to be longer than we ever could have imagined. I thank God that, last March, we had no idea how long we would be forced to stay apart. I don’t think my heart could have handled the truth. Like many of you, I have been praying for and dreaming of this day for months and months.

But this Sunday, we will NOT be celebrating our return to the sanctuary. We will be celebrating Pentecost. We will not be celebrating our return to the church building, but the miraculous and improbable gift of the Holy Spirit that makes us the church.  

I hope you will listen-in as we experience together the life-changing story of Pentecost and discover our spiritual origin story.