Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tiny Church. Big Footprint.

Being a tiny church, I think we often wonder how big our footprint is--does it really matter if we exist as a church? The answer to that is clearly YES! Small we might be, but God works through us too.

But I was thinking the other day about the fact that we're not as small as we think we are, because the New Covenant family includes those who fellowship in our building. I wonder if you know about all the people who call our church home?

On Saturdays, the Mt. Holly Spanish Seventh-Day Adventist church worships in our sanctuary. Around 60 people gather for worship and Sunday school--mostly offered in Spanish. There are children everywhere, and music rings out strongly from the sanctuary. I met Pastor Elder José Guevara for the first time a couple of Saturdays ago--it was a joy to meet with a colleague, and he expressed great appreciation for our hospitality.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Prodigal Daughter

Six years ago this month, a young girl committed suicide in my hometown. I never met her, but I always felt as if I should have, because she was friends with some of the students I worked with. This last year I wrote a sermon for her and for our youth group. I always wished I'd been able to find the words in 2003, but maybe it just takes time. A phone call today reminded me of Maggie and how much I wish I could have been there for her.

Here's a couple of links for help--either for yourself or for a friend:

     *Suicide Prevention Hopeline: 1-800-442-4673
           Lots of resources on this website.

     *PostSecret Community: so you know you're not alone with secrets.

     *To Write Love on Her Arms:
          An awesome website dedicated to providing hope.

If nothing else, e-mail me.

Here's some lyrics from Kimya Dawson's "Loose Lips"

So if you wanna burn yourself remember that i love you.
and if you wanna cut yourself remember that i love you.
and if you wanna kill yourself remember that i love you.
Call me up before you're dead, we can make some plans instead,
send me an IM i'll be your friend.
Here's that sermon. Love to you all...

Luke 15:11-32

Psalm 139:1-12

This has to be one of the most overused parables in the Scriptures. I hesitate to bring it to you today, because it seems like after three years of seminary I should have developed more “sophisticated taste.” But this is the story that started me on this journey, and it seems fitting to pause and give thanks by returning to my theological roots. Perhaps you have your own connection to this parable—so many of us do.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Danger: Biohazard

Sermon Sept. 27, 2009
by Katie Mulligan

Disclaimer: Lest anyone think that I think I'm some paragon of virtue, let me assure you that this sermon was written in the midst of intergalactic sibling warfare in the living room with occasional outbursts from me like: "Stop it stop it stop it! Why can't you get along for just three minutes?" *foot stomp* *glare*

Your absence has gone through me
like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

--W.S. Merwin

1st Scripture Reading: Mark 9:38-50

2nd Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Well, I come to you this morning with scripture that is somewhat radioactive. Reading the Mark passage this morning I had a vision of watching a cute little fuzzy baby bunny suddenly transform in front of my eyes into a monster with fangs and claws. I mean, the words of Jesus can be very challenging at times, but at least much of the time there is a loving side to the words. But sometimes Jesus’ words cut sharply no matter what side of an issue one is on. This week’s passage is one of those times for me—this scripture is toxic. Usually this makes me want to put it down and go find something else to read, but this time we’ll just dive in and spend two weeks on this passage. As a pastor friend of mine said about this passage this week: Good luck with that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Things Happening This Week

Just a couple of quick notes:

Tues 9/22: Session meeting, 7pm

Wed 9/23: Bible Study at 2pm, continued study in Hebrews

Thurs 9/24: Covered Dish Dinner, 6-7:30pm.
Discussion topic this month is "Revisioning."

Sunday 9/27: Bible Study: "Prayer", 10am
Worship, 11am Mark 9:38-50 (part 1 of 2)

Monday 9/28: Islam Class, 12noon

Wherever You Go

Sermon Sept. 20, 2009
by Katie Mulligan

Someone asked me to post my sermon, so here ya go. No pressure to read it though :-)

Hey, hey, hey — don't be mean.
No need to be mean.
'Cause, remember:
no matter where you go... there you are.

--Buckaroo Bonzai

First Scripture Reading: Exodus 13:17-22

Second Scripture Reading: John 13:36-14:7

“When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. He has been a party to, has made, sustained and moved moment by moment within, all our earthly experiences of innocent love.” –C.S. Lewis

It’s a well known fact that I have little-to-no direction sense, even though my undergraduate degree was in Geography. This is known by those who ride in my car and who often end up going for longer rides than they planned. It is known by those who wait for me at the other end of my journeys, wondering when I’m going to get where I’m going. It’s known to a few of you here in this church, who have received phone calls from the road asking one more time, “How do I get to your place?” And so your gift last week, of a GPS unit, was a kindness beyond imagining—both for you and for me. I can’t say I’ll never get lost again, but at least (if the battery is working) I’ll be able to get unlost without folding and unfolding those paper road maps that never go back together the right way.