Remember Your Spirit-Week 4 // How is Your Soul? // Nicole Thompson

Whether you join us masked-up in the sanctuary or from the livestream–we’ll rejoice in the house of the Lord, bound together by shared worship.  Worship is our gift to God–but as we give it away, we nourish and strengthen our spirits.

And in the House of the Lord we find wisdom for these days.  Jesus spoke words of peace and revelation to his first disciples–who also lived in turbulent and uncertain times.  When their spirits were overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, he did not shame or scold them.  He taught them to look around to find peace:

Consider the birds of the air–consider the Lilles of the field…neither can care for themselves but notice how extravagantly God cares for them.  Remember God cares for you even more deeply.

Look around–notice the tender intimate faithfulness of God in nature and let it bear witness to you.  

I hope you’ll be rejoicing in worship with me on Sunday as Nicole brings us a message of courage and consolation!


Pastor Kate

Remember Your Spirit-Week 3 // Can These Bones Live? // Pastor Kate Murphy

Son of man, can these bones live?

In the 37th chapter of the book of Ezekiel, God takes the prophet to a valley covered in mounds of dry bones.  He takes Ezekiel by the hand ‘back and forth among them,’ so he can see the magnitude of the death and decay up close, over and over.  And only then does God ask the question.  Can these–even these, all of these–bones live?

In this season, it’s not our bones but our spirits that feel dried out and full of death.  We’ve been living with the fear and rage of this pandemic for so long. Our hearts break for the suffering of lives devastated by fires, floods, earthquakes and wars.  Our hope is crushed by the power and pervasiveness of systemic racism and the feebleness and futility of our attempts at healing and reconciliation.  

Can the bones in that valley–after all that time dessicated by death–live again?
Can our spirits in this season–crushed by sin, despair, fear and death–be full of holy life again?

Our prophet brother Ezekiel knew that this is not a question for us humans.  His answer was really a question. ‘Sovereign God, you alone know.’

The God who re-membered those bones is the same God who re-members our spirits.  Listen and hear why we, especially now, have reason to hope.


Pastor Kate

Remember Your Spirit-Week 2 // What is Unseen is Eternal // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (NIV)

In the midst of life, we are in death…

That’s the first line of an ancient Gregorian chant believers used to sing each week in worship.  It’s a song modern hearts refuse to sing.  It may be a true statement, but most of us would prefer not to be reminded of it.  We build our worship services around the truths of our faith that inspire and encourage us.  

And that may be our mistake.

This month, we remember our spirits, and seek courage and wisdom and hope for these difficult days.  And our problem isn’t that we don’t know Jesus or love him enough.  I think our greatest spiritual challenge is wrong expectations.

Our expectations of life with Jesus here on earth are wrong.  Somehow, we’ve gotten the idea that if we love Jesus and Jesus loves us, we will be supernaturally shielded and protected from all pain and suffering.  But this is not what Jesus promised us.  Our ancestors knew that–which is for them that song was a source of encouragement and strength.  They expected trouble and sorrow on earth–and so they sought the Lord in it.

Maybe they learned these right expectations from Paul.  In his second letter to the Corinthians, he testifies:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

Part of the burden of these days is not just the pain and fear–but the nagging thought that it wasn’t supposed to be this way, that something’s gone horribly wrong.

But scripture and faith teach us to expect seasons of pain and loss.  Jesus promises not to save us from these days–but to bring abundant salvation life into those days.  The good news isn’t God is good when life is good–but that God is good even when life isn’t good.  Because, on this side of eternity, often it isn’t.

That song the monks chanted is true–in the midst of life we are in death.  But in Christ, the reverse is also true.  Because of Jesus, even when we are in the midst of death, we have life.  Come and see…

Remember Your Spirit-Week 1 // Empathy // Pastor Kate Murphy

The Bible talks a lot about faint-heartedness and that used to seem like an antiquated phrase–but now, I understand.  And I know I’m not the only one.  There is nothing cute or inspiring about resilience anymore.  

Covid, Haiti, Afghanistan, the storms, the fires–we are drenched in death and despair; we can no longer power through. And we don’t have to.  Because our God doesn’t demand that we try harder or adjust our attitudes or perform gratitude.  We can, as the psalms teach us, take our faint hearts to ‘the rock that is higher’ than we are.  We can acknowledge, unashamedly, that we need spiritual renewal to face the days that lie ahead. 

Our September worship series is called ‘Remember Your Spirit,’ and together we will seek God’s provision, wisdom, strength, and solace for our weary souls. Because beloved ones, even if our worst fears are true, even if this is the very worst it’s ever been, even if it’s not getting better any time soon…

Even if…God is still enough. Especially when everything is not okay, our spirit can be renewed in the Lord.  God’s promises are for such a time as this.

This Sunday we look at the very earliest picture of life in the church in Acts 2:42-47 and discover how those saints, who knew a bit about rapid disorienting change, received abundant joyful life in Christ through foundational spiritual practices.  Together we’ll learn that, while this season is unique in its challenges, the path to joy and peace and growth is unchanged and deceptively familiar.