Purity: Glass of Wine, Glass of Urine

2015.11.29 - Kevin Makins - Sexuality & Incarnation

Purity: Glass of Wine, Glass of Urine

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Luke 8, Leviticus 15, Numbers 19

When you think of Advent and Christmas, what comes to mind?

Mangers? Sheep and oxen? Snow and hot chocolate? God with us?

All good answers. But we’ve talked about that stuff before! Let’s face it, after years and years (and years) of Advent, we could be tricked into thinking we’ve mined the depths of the season, and there is nothing left to discover.

But this, of course, would be a huge mistake… because there is always more to discover.

Advent is about the anticipation of GOD taking on FLESH. God coming entering into God’s creation, taking on our skin, purifying our world, and birthing something new in the midst of it.

And there’s something… deeply sexual about the whole thing!

So what if we explore that for Advent 2015? What might we learn about our relationship with God, with one another, with the creation and with our own bodies?

And how might it fill us again with wonder: Wonder at the Divine Mystery of the Incarnation!

This week we start with what it means to be pure and holy, and how it relates to sex, to God, and to Christmas!

Exclusive: Opening Cans of Worms

2015.11.22 - Kevin Makins - Three Important (& Annoying) Parts of Discipleship

Exclusive: Opening Cans of Worms

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(Oh boy, lots of bible in this one…) - Deuteronomy 7, Luke 6, Amos 3, 5, 9, Matthew 5, 1 Corinthians 5, Matthew 23

As we close off this sermon series we look at yet ANOTHER idea that is straight up offensive to us, and that we’ve all been hurt by: exclusion.

But the idea of exclusivity is actually a pretty robust theological theme in the bible. From beginning to end there is language that we would describe as… GASP!… exclusive?!

What do we do with this language? Is God for some, and not for others? Are all religions more or less the same? Should we ever be exclusive in our relationships or our commitments?

What does exclusivity have to do with the Christian faith?

Here is Kevin’s best attempt to kick off the conversation this week as we talk about how being a disciple is exclusive, and why that is both good and annoying!

Submissive: Freeing Ourselves

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2015.11.15 - Alison Witt - Three Important (& Annoying) Parts of Discipleship

Submissive: Freeing Ourselves

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Philippians 2

Oooh. Submission! That’s not a word that is very popular in our culture. But what is the good news in submission?

Alison Witt shares her own story of discipleship, how submission has helped her become more like Christ, and clarifies what submission is, and is not.

Good stuff!

Costly: The Kingdom of God is For Babies

2015.11.08 - Kevin Makins - Three Important (& Annoying) Parts of Discipleship

Costly: The Kingdom of God is for Babies

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Luke 18:15-30

Jesus was asked by rich ruler “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

His response? “Sell everything you have, give it to the poor, then come and follow me.”

Which is… a little uncomfortable for all of us wealthy Westerners.

If we’re going to follow Jesus it will cost us everything, but we will receive something more. We will receive something that has been with us from our very first breathe.

Participation: Saved FROM Something, FOR Something

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2015.11.01 - Kevin Makins - Our Weird Church
Participation: Saved From Something, For Something

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Beginning with the relationship between “Heaven” and “Earth” and ending with a story about salad-dressing-baby-blessing, this sermon looks at what it means to be active participants WITH God.

Because we aren’t just saved FROM something, we are saved FOR something: we are saved to partner with God in the Ongoing Resurrection and Reconciliation of All Things!

That’s some GOOD NEWS right there!

Side note from Kevin (Pastor at EC): At the end of the gathering I got to give these ribbons to everyone in the church, who lined up one by one and received them. I said to them, and I say to you readers now:

“______ it is my honour to present to you this participation ribbon. May you continue to partner with God in the Ongoing Resurrection and Reconciliation of All Things!”

Some people are still wearing them! May you remember you are a participant, and may you find joy in that partnership.

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ADDITIONALLY I mention some slides in the sermon, calling them “Circle Theology”, but you can’t necessarily visualize them easily, so the slides are all posted below for your viewing pleasure and aid!

Pioneering: Being an Indie Church

2015.10.25 - Kevin Makins - Our Weird Church
Pioneering: Being an Indie Church

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Why do so many Christians spend so much time building lives of safety and security? And why do so many churches strive to build little empires?

It’s time that church went indie.

Creative: Third Way Thinking

2015.10.11 - Kevin Makins - Our Weird Church
Creative: Third Way Thinking

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When people think creativity they often go right to eccentric artists with paint all over their faces… and we’ve got a few of those in our congregation.

But being creative is about WAY more than the arts.

Creativity is for everyone! And it’s the only way to follow Christ in an increasingly polarized world.

Flip the To Do List

2015.06.28 - Kevin Makins - The Church Calendar

Flip the To Do List

Exodus 16

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So this weeks sermon question: do you have a “to do” list?

Maybe it’s physical, maybe it’s mental, but a list of all the things you need to get done, should get done, or would love to do? And how long is your list? Because honestly, many of us now have MULTIPLE lists that are full with good and important things that just HAVE to get done. And it can be sort of crippling sometimes…

Well there is this story in scripture about food that fell from heaven, and it has a lot to teach us about God and about our lists.

And don’t worry, the sermon gets mega practical.

“It’s An Old Ship, Bill...”

2015.06.21 - David Barker - The Church Calendar

“It’s An Old Ship, Bill…”

1 Timothy 3

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The good Doctor looks at 1 Timothy 3 to give us the church as explored in three metaphors… and a bunch of different stories!

And given the first metaphor… here are some nice photos from our love feast the evening before this sermon:

Every Revolution Needs a Clipboard

2015.06.14 - Kevin Makins - The Church Calendar

Every Revolution Needs a Clipboard

Acts 6

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So many of us love when things are “non-institutional” and “organic… man…” So naturally we LOVE the stories about the early church: everyone sharing their resources, the poor being provided for, a genuine Spirit-led movement.

However if we read just a few more pages we stumble along the Spirit of God doing something different… essentially handing out clipboards, putting on a tie, and saying “but for real now, we’ve got to start getting organized!”

How does the Spirit work in chaos, and in order?

MacNab Presbyterian is Not Our Home

2015.06.07 - Kevin Makins - The Church Calendar

MacNab Presbyterian is Not Our Home

1 Peter 2

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Eucharist Church has moved locations five times in five years… which is sort of crazy! What have we learned in that wandering, and what can we learn about wandering from the story of scripture?

These are the questions we ask as we settle into our (hopefully longer term!) new building: MacNab Presbyterian!

A quick tour of our time together on Sunday! We started in the garden outside before the gathering eating popsicles. JP came out and started leading us in music, singing “come into this place, meet us with your grace…”

We then entered into the hall where we will be gathering, and continued to worship and learn and communion together.

Finally we moved into the Sanctuary and got a tour by one of MacNab’s elders. He shared the history of the building, the stained glass windows, and the congregation… and it was super inspiring and gorgeous. We closed with a hymn and a benediction from the mega-pulpit.

Two Kinds of Safe

2015.05.31 - Kevin Makins - The Church Calendar

Two Kinds of Safe

Acts 7-8, 1

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Anyone have a story about a time where someone was hurt by a person who claimed to be a Christian? Where a congregation was prejudice, controlling or judgemental?

… Thought so.

In a time where SO many people have been hurt by people claiming to be Christians, it’s refreshing and encouraging to see so many communities valuing the idea of “safe church”

But there is another question worth asking: should the church be safe?

This week we also dedicated Aaron and Cath’s baby Georgia, so if you hear references to families that are joining us, or some general baby-talk, that’s why!

The text:

Acts 9:1-5

That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison.

Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them.

Which Floor Are We On?

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2015.05.24 - Kevin Makins - The Church Calendar

Which Floor Are We On?

Acts 2

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Who is the Holy Spirit and what is s/he doing in the world?

Also, the first 15 minutes of this podcast feature an EXCITING announcements about the future of Eucharist’s public gathering. If you are someone who attends the gatherings, listen up! If you are just a “pod-rishioner” then feel free to jump to minute 15.

The text:

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: "In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

“Megazord, Broken for You”

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2015.05.17 - Leshia Knopf - The Church Calendar

“Megazord, Broken for You”

John 17:6-19

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Leshia’s last sermon of her pastoral internship is a reflection on being like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ… and the strangest metaphor we’ve had in a long while…

Also, the podcast begins with an introduction to Chrisy Hurn and Meredith Park, Eucharist Church’s Artist-in-Residence for the summer of 2015. They’ll be making amazing art all summer.

The text:

“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.

But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

Reversing the Instinct

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2015.05.10 - Kevin Makins - The Church Calendar

Reversing the Instinct

John 15:9-17

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Let’s talk about friendship for a bit!

The text:

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Witness is for Everyone

2015.05.03 - Connan Kublik - TrueCity Pulpit Swap 2015

Witness is for Everyone

Acts 8

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TrueCity is a local network of over a dozen congregations, committed to serving the city for the common good. One of the ways we celebrate this movement is to rotate our preachers once a year, and welcome other pastors to preach in our pulpit!

Connan from NewCity Church joins us as we take part in the “TrueCity Pulpit Swap 2015” on the theme of “witness!”

Hurt Sheep Hurt Sheep!

2015.04.26 - Kevin Makins - The Church Calendar

Hurt Sheep Hurt Sheep!

John 10

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So quick question: have you ever been let down by someone you looked up to? A pastor, mentor, youth leader, parent, or any other “spiritual” role model?

I’m guessing you probably have…

What do we do with that pain and hurt and anger? And how can we move on?

Oh, and Happy National Pretzel Day!

The text:

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”