Sowing Good Seeds

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24MODERN LESSONThe Summer Dayby Mary OliverWho made the world?Who made the swan, and the black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean--the one who has flung herself out of the grass,the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.I don't know exactly what a prayer is.I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downinto the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what else should I have done?Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?ANCIENT LESSONMatthew 5:1-12When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

The Evolution of God: Jesus Becomes Christ

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, Mark 6:3, Luke 4:22, Matthew 13:55

The Evolution of God: They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from I Corinthians 13, Galatians 3, and Galatians 5 (assorted verses)

The Evolution of God: Monotheism

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 43:10 & Isaiah 44:24Series OverviewMonotheismShaped by economic and political realities, as well as theologyKing Josiah-Godfather of monotheismCentralized worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem, destroyed shrines of other godsJosiah’s reforms ultimately failedHistorical contextKing Josiah’s death ushered in decades of suffering for IsraelitesNorthern kingdom fell to the Assyrians; Southern kingdom to the BabyloniansResulting nature of Yahweh--powerful, vengeful, brutalTracing evolving nature of Yahweh through Hebrew ScriptureComplex-Bible not in chronological orderGenesis 1 and 2, ex.Bible as we know it evolved over centuries; patched together from different traditionsNature of God evolves in Hebrew ScripturesYahweh as vengeful tyrantNahum 1:2: “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord, the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and rages against his enemies.”Joshua 6:20b-21: “so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it. Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.Numbers 25:3-4: “Thus Israel yoked itself to the Baal of Peor, and the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and impale them in the sun before the Lord, in order that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”Contrary to what many Christians believe, Jesus and the New Testament did not transform the character of God. Plenty of loving care on the part of Yahweh also shown in the Old Testament, as well as judgement and anger in the New Testament. What about us? Are we stuck with the God they needed?

The Evolution of God: From Polytheism to Monolatry

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:1 Kings 18:21-40Progression - primal religions to monolatry to monotheism. Monolatry is the worship of one God without denying existence of many gods.Why should we care? Jezebel, the foreigner; husband King Ahab. Jezebel encouraged worship of Baal, King Ahab of Yahweh.Elijah’s Showdown; Yahweh v. BaalBackground--Israel in drought; alleged reason--Yahweh is angry about Baal worship Jezebel encourages and Ahab allows.Contest will determine which deity is most powerful.ResultV. ConclusionsFull-fledged monotheism is comingPolitical and economic realities involved in transitionImplications of monotheism--religious intoleranceNext week: Monotheism: Worship of Yahweh as one true God

The Evolution of God: the God of our Understanding

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:I Corinthians 13:9-13Evolution of GodOur understandings of God are based on conjectureIs everybody religious? What does it mean to be religious?God has evolved, at least in human understandingFall Worship Series OutlinePrimitive, polytheistic viewsRise of monotheismJesus, then later emergence of Christianity from JudaismWhat comes next?Two clashes that impact our perceptionBetween civilizationsReligion vs. science

God is Still...Creating

The Rev. Kathy Bowser


Description:Scripture from the Rig Veda 10.129 (Hinduism)

Cultivating Sacred Community

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from 1 John 4:12, 16 and Isaiah 43:19

Hey! You!

Ms. Betsy Stirbens


Description:Scripture from Genesis 2:19-20a; Luke 10:38-42; and Psalm 139

Redeeming Patriotism

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Congregational Question: "Do dogs go to heaven?" Listen to Pastor Lee Ann's response followed by the Modern Lesson and Sermon.

Questions of the Pastor

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Pastor Lee Ann responds to spontaneously written questions from the congregation.

I Can't Believe That's in the Bible

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from:2 Kings 2:12-23-You call me bald?Judges 3:12-23- Take that, chubby!Ezekiel 14:1-16-Use WHAT for fuel?Exodus 4:24-26-Moses gets lucky.Leviticus 21:16-20-God Demands perfection.

Blue Zones

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:1) Belong2) Move Naturally3) 80% Rule4) Plant Slant5) Wine at 56) Down Shift7) Loved Ones First8) Right Tribe9) Purpose

Spirit: Chaos to Comprehension

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Pentecost SundayScripture from Acts 2:1-21

What the Rebellion Can Teach Us

Sophia Alvear


Description:Scripture from Psalm 27:16

Something Very Important

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Acts 17Modern Lesson: At the River (an excerpt) by Mary Oliver

Finding the Way

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from:Matthew 7:12, ChristianityHillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a, JudaismThe Prophet Muhammad, Hadith, IslamConfucius, Analects 15.23, ConfusianismThe Buddha, Udana-Varga 5.18, BuddhismBaha'u'liah, Gleanings, Baha'iGuru Granth Sahib, p. 1299, SikhismLao Tzu, T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien 213-218, Taoism

Through the Breaking of the Bread

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Luke 24:13-35Modern Lesson “Everything” by Mary Oliver

Spiritual Not Physical

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Matthew 28:1-8I Corinthians 15:35-44a

The Banquet: What if Nobody Comes?

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Matthew 22:2-14 & Luke 14:16-24

The Good Samaritan: Friends and Enemies

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Lenten Series Part IIIScripture from Luke 10:25-37 - read by Tyler Araki with parts read by Betsy Stirbens and Sammy Conde

The Great Story

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Lessons"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change." - Leon C. Meggison"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. It is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles DarwinScripture from Romans 8

Being What We Ought to Be

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Matthew 25:40

Reflecting on Standing Rock

The Rev. Lisa Barnett with the Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:Scripture from Matthew 28:19-20Modern Lesson "For Standing Rock, a Commission" by Maren Tirabassi

Not for Sale

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce and Les Hodge


Description:Scripture from Hebrews 13:3 and Isaiah 61:1Slavery is defined as ... the holding of people at a workplace through force, fraud, or coercion for purposes of sexual exploitation or forced labor so that the slaveholder can extract profit. Source:

What's in a Pastor

Ms. Betsy Stirbens


Description:Scripture from 3 John 3-4

In the Brokeness

The Rev. Lee Ann Bryce


Description:The Fourth Sunday of Advent: LoveRemembering the ForgottenScripture from Micah 7:18-19, Genesis 4:1-15, Matthew 6:l9-12

Choir Cantada

Various Speakers


Description:Featuring “On Christmas Night” by Bob ChilcottPerformed by the Chancel ChoirChris Wilson, DirectorMichael Reed, AccompanistJanis Grannell, Flutist

A Common Life and a Common Good

The Rev. Lee Ann Brycez


Description:Scripture from Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4Ancient Lesson "The Guesthouse" - Rumi (translation by Coleman Barks)