2016 Sermons

Redeeming Pleasure01/03/16

  • Speaker – Jeremy Jernigan
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Sexuality, Temptation
  • This week we heard from a guest speaker, Jeremy Jernigan, teach on the topic of his new book, Redeeming Pleasure.  The topic of pleasure within the church has often been shied away from because of an assumption that pleasure is connected with guilt and shame.  Jeremy emphasized the need to seek pleasure on God’s terms where we will experience maximum pleasure rather than seeking pleasure on our own terms which ultimately leads to less pleasure.

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Cage Free Living01/10/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • In this opening sermon of the Cage-Free series, Greg gives us an overview of the basis of the Spiritual Warfare worldview. This view is central to our picture of a Jesus-looking God who does not himself cause evil or suffering.

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The Declaration of Independence01/17/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Satan, Spiritual Warfare, Individualism
  • In this second installment of the Cage Free series, Greg explores the connections between truth and lies, behavior, and our trust in God to meet our innermost needs of security, worth, and significance. Getting free of the bondages that cage us requires examining everything in our life through the lens of Jesus. Deception is the main tool of Satan, so ultimately it is the truth that sets us free.

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Solitary Confinement01/24/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Spiritual Warfare, Individualism
  • We live in a world that isolates us – brokenness and loneliness are all around, and they’re caused by our Enemy who is at war with God.  But Jesus overcame the Enemy, and now we can all not only be healed of our own brokenness, but we have also been gifted to bring healing and freedom to other’s lives as well!

    We sat down with Melany to hear some of her story. 
    Click here to see that interview. 

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Custom Made Cages01/31/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Spiritual Warfare, Temptation
  • This week we heard from Greg Boyd during our fourth installment from the Cage Free series.  Greg explored the custom made cages that can be built overtime in our soul and the need to perform consistent soul audits.  The enemy will take advantage of any area of wounding to lie to us about our real worth.  We need to sit with God to become aware of these wounds, allow God to remind us of how much we are loved, and come up with a plan with God and others for how to move beyond this place of woundedness.

    We also sat down with Laure to hear some of her story.
    Click here to watch that interview. 

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Extending Freedom02/07/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Faith, Healing, Relationships
  • “When Jesus saw THEIR faith, he said… ‘Son, YOUR sins are forgiven…  Pick up your mat and walk.’”  Satan tries to isolate us, but the truth is that everything in the Kingdom is in relationship.  We NEED others, and others NEED us!  To allow the Enemy to keep us from sharing God’s blessings is to remain in a cage of deception – but to love others as best we can, even though we’re still imperfect ourselves, is to be set free!

    We sat down with Jim to hear some of his story. 
    Click here to see that interview. 

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The Story of Salvation02/14/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Evangelism, Forgiveness, Salvation
  • The first in our new sermon series about evangelism, Greg takes a look at the message itself. He looks at the most frequent (and often cringe-worthy) ways the "good news" is often presented, and then helps us see the really good news that we should be sharing.

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We Are Priests02/21/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Evangelism, Forgiveness, Grace
  • This week we heard from Seth McCoy during our second installment from the Everyday Influence series.  Seth explored how being a priest is the best, hardest and most important job in the world.  The primary role of being a priest is in learning how to give and receive mercy based on the good news of the Gospel.

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Everybody's Got A Hungry Heart02/28/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Evangelism, Kingdom of God, Humility
  • In this third installment of the Everyday Influence evangelism series, Greg shares how the real good news is meant to impact all of our relationships, especially with those that don’t know Jesus. We were created with an innermost need and desire for significance and value that only God can satisfy. We were also born into an environment filled with lies and deception about how that desire is to be satisfied. Our call to share the good news starts with our experience of the good news. Greg shares how listening and learning are just as important in evangelizing as speaking and sharing. As the saying goes, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

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Following Promptings03/06/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Evangelism, Fear, Holy Spirit
  • We can all struggle to hear and obey God at times – but why?  Is it that we’re not listening well?  Or that we’re afraid that we might not like what we hear?  We’re not alone in those realities – even Jesus’ disciples found themselves there, hiding from others and living in fear.  But when they received the Holy Spirit, they had supernatural help to overcome their fears – and so do we!  The truth is, we shouldn’t be afraid of what will happen if we listen to the Holy Spirit, we should be afraid of what we’ll miss out on if we don’t!

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The Vocation of Serving03/13/16

  • Speaker – Sandra Unger
     
  • Topics – Evangelism, Judgment, Calling
  • For the fifth installment of our Everyday Influence series, Sandra shares her own life example of being stuck in a "box" of self-proclaimed righteousness, and how she realized that we are all in the same box: the big box of "screw-ups." It is within this big box that Jesus dwells, and does his great work.

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Creating Ripples03/20/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Evangelism, Faithfulness
  • In this sixth and last installment of the Everyday Influence series, Seth explores the positive ripple effect of us sharing the impact Jesus has had on our life. We don’t share the good news for a variety of reasons, but the promise of scripture is that if we show up and share, God will provide the power to our words that has the potential to change hearts. We don’t have to be perfect; in fact that’s part of the good news. Our story, infused with the power of the Holy Spirit, is enough.

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Rediscover the Resurrection03/27/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Resurrection, Transformation
  • This Easter we heard from Greg Boyd on how the resurrection confirms that Jesus is the true revelation of God.  Jesus is the exact representation of God and the truth is that the mercy of God triumphs over judgment.  It is our task to align or re-align our picture of God with the person of Jesus seen in the resurrection.

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Rediscover Humility04/03/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Judgment, Love, Humility
  • Jesus commanded His followers to love, and He commanded us not to judge. Yet the Christians of today are known outside of the Church as arrogant, judgmental, and intolerant. What is wrong with this picture?! In this message, Greg shares three ideas on how we, who say we follow Jesus, can truly become the humble, serving, loving people that the Church is supposed to be.

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Rediscover Faith04/10/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Faith
  • A popular view of faith is as an absence of doubt. But Greg shows us why this view not only is a barrier to new believers, but is also a dangerous way of doing faith.

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Love Mercy04/17/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Grace, Kingdom of God, Humility
  • In this first message of the Love. Walk. Do. sermon series, Greg tackles the first portion of the prophet Micah’s depiction of what God requires of us – to love mercy. Loving mercy means loving it when people don’t get the negative consequences they deserve. If justice is about collecting a debt, then loving mercy is about hating debt collecting. In a very counter cultural depiction of the Kingdom of God, Greg examines how we can’t truly love mercy until we realize the extent to which we depend on it from God.

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Walk Humbly04/24/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Transformation, Humility
  • We all want a place at the top. A place of prominence and authority. From the story of Esau and Jacob, to James and John, to me and to you, the desire for a place at the top can frequently be seen. But for Jesus, a position at the “top of the Kingdom” can only be found through humility. 

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Do Justice05/01/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Politics, Justice
  • This third sermon in our Love. Walk. Do. series focuses on the importance of doing justice. There is always a danger in attempting to find solutions to justice issues with the political system where all solutions are ambiguous in nature. We are called to actively DO justice in our church and communities as a sign-post of the beautiful Kingdom of God because all of humanity has unsurpassable worth.

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Passionless Hope05/09/16

  • Speaker – Jessica Kelley
     
  • Topics – Hope, Pain & Suffering, God's Will
  • This message examines Christian hope and how we are called to prophetically speak hope into seemingly hopeless situations. While hope is vital, certain understandings of God’s character and role in radical suffering can leave victims of trauma with passionless hope. But when our picture of God is rooted solidly in the revelation of Jesus, it is possible to have a passionate faith, regardless of the circumstances. *We have Jessica's book available for purchase; please email Jodi at jcremers@whchurch.org if you're interested!

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Stories Of Justice05/15/16

  • Speaker – Mark Moore
     
  • Topics – Pain & Suffering, Spiritual Warfare, Justice
  • Week four of our Love. Walk. Do. sermon series focused on stories of justice for human trafficking victims. Mark Moore, Church Mobilization Director at International Justice Mission (IJM), shared stories of what IJM has done to actively bring justice and healing to human trafficking victims.  

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War and Peace05/22/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Non-Violence, Spiritual Warfare, Conflict
  • In this first message of the Flesh and Blood series, Greg dives in to relational conflict by properly defining kingdom peace and kingdom war. We live in a fallen creation whose inhabitants too often reflect the ideals of the enemy rather than participating in the triune God’s invitation to reflect His perfect love to each other. The principalities and powers play us off one another creating human enemies, but in reality the battle is not against flesh and blood. We were created to fight and protect, just not against each other.

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When Conflict Burns05/29/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Reconciliation, Spiritual Warfare, Conflict
  • In this second message of the Flesh and Blood series, Seth describes the unceasing realities of conflict not only in the world in which we live, but also in our own lives; our own relationships, and our own hearts. Walls of conflict exist all around us, and those walls are torn down because one man chose to die. Through Christ’s death, the walls of conflict and separation are torn down. As the head of the church (that is Christ) leads the body (that is the church), the conflicts that divide the world are torn down and truth, justice, mercy and peace become embodied. 

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When The Spirit Moves06/05/16

  • Speaker – Jo Saxton
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Transformation, Justice
  • Jesus caused a stir in his community when he read the words from Isaiah 61 in his synagogue and announced their fulfillment through his own life and ministry. It’s no surprise; these words outline a powerful declaration of the Spirit of God at work. This sermon explores what happens for us everyday 21st Century believers as we embrace Isaiah 61. When the Spirit moves we are transformed; we become rescued and redeemed people that renew and rebuild communities.

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Life Without Walls06/12/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Forgiveness, Relationships, Conflict
  • In this, the third message in our Flesh and Blood series, we focus on Jacob's story in Genesis. His story is a great illustration of how we build walls inside ourselves, and it brings to light who we are really protecting ourselves from.

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Tearing Down The Tower06/19/16

  • Speakers – Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy
     
  • Topics – Community, Kingdom of God, Reconciliation
  • In this, the final part of the Flesh & Blood series, we examine how racial reconciliation is a vital part of the gospel message. To be a Jesus-follower is to be one who seeks peace-making and is always striving towards reconciliation.  We discover that we are only able to achieve reconciliation to the degree that we are willing to learn about perspectives that differ from our own. 

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Walking In The Spirit06/26/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Spiritual Warfare
  • We began our new Holy Spirit series by hearing stories from Rob & Fred, friends of Greg's and podrishioners from a house church network in Philadelphia. They shared about what it looks like for them to choose to live in the flow of the Holy Spirit on a day to day basis.

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Who Is The Spirit?07/03/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Trinity, Imagination
  • This second sermon in our God in Us series focused on the broad question of, “Who is the Spirit?”  This message focuses on three characteristics of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is God, The Holy Spirit is personal and the Holy Spirit is distinct in nature.  Greg emphasized that the main role of the Spirit is to show us clearly the person of Jesus and help us to recognize God when we would have no other way of recognizing Him.  The Holy Spirit is working to remove the veil in our mind and can do this through our imagination.

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Philando and Jeronimo07/10/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Reconciliation, Conflict
  • This weekend's sermon is a response to the recent police/black lives matter conflicts from Baton Rouge, Dallas and here in Saint Paul. We took a break from our current 'God In Us' series to talk about this together.

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A New Mind07/17/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Hope, Transformation
  • God makes amazing promises over the kind of life we can live through the power of the Holy Spirit. This power will flow out of us like a river of living water. But we frequently experience a distance between the kind of full life that God promised and the kind of life we live now, don’t we? So how can the distance of this gap begin to close? Paul tells us, one of the key ways in which we can do this is through the practice of being transformed by the renewing of our mind. The primary place in which The Holy Spirit meets with us is in our minds, and we, through the power of the Spirit, can choose our thoughts, we can set our minds on things that are above. 

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Walking in the Light07/24/16

  • Speaker – Kendra Diehl
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Judgment, Sin
  • In this fourth message of the God in Us series we explore what it means that the light of the world has taken up residence in us. Throughout scripture we see the theme of darkness and light battling back and forth. In Genesis we read of the Spirit hovering over the darkness and bringing order to the chaos, light to the darkness. In the gospel of John, Jesus calls himself the light of the world, and promises his followers will have the Holy Spirit in them if he goes away. So what does it mean to have the light of the world living inside us?

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The Gifting Spirit: Part 107/31/16

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Baptism of the Holy Spirit08/07/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts
  • This next sermon in our series, titled God in Us, focused on the meaning, biblical background and practical application of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This phrase has created much controversy in the church today while often creating more division than unity.  The evidence in Scripture emphasizes that there is a difference between having the Holy Spirit as a follower of Jesus and the act of being filled with the Spirit, but that this filling of the Spirit looks more like the extravagant love of a married couple than any spiritual test.

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The Gifting Spirit: Part 208/14/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts
  • In this sermon Greg goes over the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. After explaining each gift, he addressed why he believes these gifts are still relevant and important for the church today. He ends with an encouragement to zealously seek after all gifts God has for you. 

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The Taste of the Spirit08/21/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Kingdom of God, Spiritual Warfare
  • As we continue our summer series on the Holy Spirit, this week Seth explains the role of the Holy Spirit in producing fruit that serves as evidence of a follower’s life in the Kingdom. As a way of understanding the fruits described in Galatians 6, a description and function of the soul is first explored. We use our will not to grit our way into a Jesus looking life, but rather to surrender our life, in order to gain the life the God promises. Our job is to surrender. The Holy Spirit's job is to produce the fruit in us. 

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The Hope of the Hope of the World08/28/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Community, Holy Spirit, Hope
  • Hope is a vital part of life. In this segment of our summer series on the Holy Spirit, Seth explores how the Holy Spirit fuels our hope by giving us a vision of God’s plan for the world and by empowering us to take action towards bringing that plan into reality.   

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The Spark and Sustainer of the Church09/04/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Holy Spirit, Peace
  • One need not look very far to see examples of discord, hostility and disunity within humanity and even within creation. Culture wars, political wars, theological wars and military wars abound.  What, we might ask, is the source of all this hostility? And, more importantly, what is the source of true peace, true unity, true harmony? Paul tells us in Ephesians that Jesus is the one true peace.  Jesus IS our peace and the Holy Spirit is the unifier. A new president or policy or military leader or social activist will not bring peace. Only when people accept the one (Jesus) who IS peace, who IS harmony will true unity come. 

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Risky Life09/11/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Identity in Christ, Relationships, Covenant
  • Greg opens our new Worth The Risk series with a discussion of commitment, the constant desire to find something better, and argues that you can only know the Truth about anything by passionately committing to it.

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Risky Friendship09/18/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Community, Kingdom of God, Conflict
  • Being made in the image of God means that we are created to make and keep commitments. In this second segment of our Worth the Risk series, Seth explores commitment’s role in our relationships. A kingdom relationship is a creation in and of itself, and that creation requires constant care in the form of honest conversations about the things that come between us. Our tendency is to avoid conflict, confrontation, and rebuke because we believe a lie. We believe we can’t be honest and keep our friendships, but like all forms of deception this lie leads to relational death. 

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Risky Marriage09/25/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Kingdom of God, Marriage, Power
  • In this third message of our Worth the Risk series, Greg talks about marriage relationships and explores the meaning of Ephesians 5:22, which says that wives must submit to their husbands.

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Risky Family10/02/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Conflict, Family
  • We often craft together ideal images of of what a “good Christian” family ought to look like. Images of the idealistic post-war, bourgeois nuclear families are more frequently articulated as the “biblical” family. But, is that accurate? Greg provides for us a snapshot of the various families portrayed throughout the biblical narrative. From Adam and Eve to Solomon and his many wives and concubines, to Abraham and Sarah, we gather a sense that “biblical” families are just as messy and dysfunctional as what we may witness today. The hope of the family unit is Christ! The Christ who works within the mess of it all to make something beautiful.

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Risky Church10/09/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Kingdom of God, Covenant
  • In this final sermon of the Worth the Risk series, we look at how the cross offends our worldly values, and how we as followers, and the church as a whole, are called to respond to this confrontation.

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One President10/16/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Politics, Nationalism
  • This weekend Greg taught about the difference between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, Jesus is our King (and president) and followers are marked by their indiscriminate love and refusal to rule over others. During this election cycle believers are called to put their trust in Jesus alone and not be pulled into trusting in the rulers of this world. 

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No Country10/23/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Community, Kingdom of God, Calling
  • Jesus calls us to be His ambassadors. Living as an ambassador of the Kingdom God instead of a citizen of the kingdom of the world requires an awareness and intentionality to not buy in to the "me first" culture of the world. Christians throughout history have usually migrated to one of two extremes in our relationship with the world. Either we withdraw and isolate ourselves from the culture to the point of irrelevance, or else we acquire as much power as possible in order to force or legislate Kingdom of God behavior in to the culture. Neither of these work, or are what we're called to. Instead we're called to a third way as an ambassador and missionary in a foreign land where we interact and show the people the Kingdom by how we live, love, and steward our talents and resources, and then invite others to join.  

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No Enemy10/30/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Judgment, Non-Violence, Politics
  • In this third week of our Without Borders series and a week before the election we are reminded that Jesus' challenge to us in loving our enemies was designed to remind us that God has no human enemies. He has called us to be agents of peace, to find the commonality between us and to build on it. This practice will be exceedingly challenging during this election time. We are quick to blame and quick to judge. Jesus invited people on the polar opposites of the political controversy of his day to be brothers within his community of disciples. 

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One Hope11/06/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Politics, Nationalism
  • In this final pre-election sermon, Greg reminds us that while the kingdoms of the world rise and fall and are ultimately doomed, the kingdom of God is everlasting and truly deserving of our hope.

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No Fear11/13/16

  • Speaker – Dennis Edwards
     
  • Topics – Faith, Kingdom of God, Peace
  • Fear and Faith. Throughout much of the biblical narrative we encounter stories of people who danced between fear and faith.  Stories such as the fear of the disciples on the stormy sea, to the townspeople after witnessing the healing of the Gerasene demoniac, to Jairus and his daughter. Yet, in the midst of these fears, we also encounter the Jesus who is bigger than our fears. The Jesus who tells us, “Do not fear. Instead, have faith.” In this weeks’ message our guest, Pastor Dennis Edwards from Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN, takes us on a journey through these stories and exhorts the church to live in love – for there is no fear in love. 

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One Weapon11/20/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Love, Conflict
  • In this final sermon of the Without Borders series, Greg explores our ultimate weapon for fighting the powers of this present darkness. (Hint: it isn't more darkness)

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Marvelous Light11/27/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Creation, Kingdom of God, Worship
  • In the sermon this week Greg reflects on how the heavens tell of the glory of God. The vast and beautiful universe, bigger than the human mind can conceive, points to a marvelous creator. This same awe-inspiring creator is the one that became human to love and save all of humanity. 

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The Light of Love12/04/16

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Forgiveness, Grace, Relationships
  • As we move toward Christmas during our Across the Universe series, Seth explores what it means when God, the Creator of the universe, calls us home. This message took a look at what home means, and what we’re being invited in to, as seen through the unique lens of the prodigal son.

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Invasion of Light12/11/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Hope, Identity in Christ, Presence of God
  • In this third week of our Across the Universe series we are reminded that the counter-cultural beauty of the Christmas story is in the reality that the God who created the vast expanses of the universe became small and vulnerable. While it is often the case that we marvel at what is grand and big, the message at Christmas is that oftentimes the most profound experiences of God are in the seemingly mundane moments of life. Our call is to be a people who remember and remind others that the God of the universe does not only go half way for us, and so we should go all the way in love for others.

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Keeping the Light12/18/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Discipleship, Kingdom of God
  • Keeping the Light. Throughout the biblical narrative, we see that Jesus is the light of the world. And that light is shared with humanity in order that we may shine the light. In the Old Testament, Israel was called to be the light to other nations. With the Incarnation, Jesus came as the light of the world. And today, the family of God is to bear witness to the light of the world. Greg shares with us how we are blessed to be conduits of light, to shine and share the light.

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Lighting the Way Home12/24/16

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Love, Reconciliation, Presence of God
  • Jesus is the Light of the world, and this Light has always been at work within us, whether or not we've been aware of it. Once we surrender to that Light, we find ourselves swept up into the greatest love story of all time! 

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