Read Deuteronomy 10:12-21 and John 15:12-17 One day, as Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem, where he would be betrayed, arrested, mocked and executed, two of his disciples – James and John came up to him and asked, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you…Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus told them that they had no idea what they were requesting, then he asked them, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” James and John assured Jesus that yes, they were able. Jesus then told them that...
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Worship at 10:45 a.m. Sunday
The Naked Now by Richard Rohr:
9:50 a.m. Sunday
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou 7 p.m. Thursday
Available via ZOOM (meeting ID 918 2215 0134 / Passcode 961177)
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We are committed to creating a community consistent with Jesus’ teachings of acceptance and love for one another. In this spirit, we invite people of every race and ethnicity, culture, age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability, faith history, marital status, educational background and economic status into full participation in the life and ministries of our church.
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
As New York City residents and members of the Bay Ridge United Methodist Church, we have been extremely disturbed by the recent increase in reports of harassment of Muslims and other ethnic minorities in our city. While many New Yorkers, and Americans in general, are struggling with financial issues and other concerns, it is imperative that none of us blame innocent people despite the fact that the climate since the election has been growing toward this trend. Hatred and violence are not acceptable to the majority of Americans, and are certainly not consistent with the views of our Church.
The Church Council,
Bay Ridge United Methodist Church
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ThE word, ‘evolving’, creates some tension with some Christians and I suppose with some people belonging to other religions as well. Even in the 21st century there are people of good intention who believe it to be a matter of faith to accept what the Church once insisted was the age of the universe and the order of creation. Such folks hold strongly to this belief fearing that if we start to shed the beliefs that have been handed down to us for God-knows how long that we’ll start sliding down that slippery slope that leads away from the Church, thus away from salvation – that’s why I say that such people have good intentions. But just because your intentions...
(Read Exodus 14:10-31, Mark 1:14-15) “The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of God has come near you. Repent and believe the good news.” For hundreds of years Biblical scholars have pondered what words ascribe to Jesus actually came from Jesus and which were creations of the writer. Most scholars consider this proclamation in Mark’s gospel to be authentically Jesus’ and this proclamation by Jesus to be the crux of his message. Listen to it again: “The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of God has come near you. Repent and believe the good news.” If you think of Mark as one of Jesus’ spin doctors, this is how Mark spun the message of Jesus. “The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of...
(Read Exodus 3:1-12, Luke 4:9-12 Among our greatest attribute as humans is our ability to imagine. When I look at a new painting or read a new novel or listen to a new piece of music – or even a piece I’m familiar with - I am not only in awe of the art; I’m in awe of the artist who created it. Even if I don’t particularly like the piece of art, the music, the novel, I can still admire the person who created it and appreciate the imagination that went into the composition. And that same gift of imagination is at the core of religion. I see the Bible not as a perfect composition that presents a comprehensive...
Read: Genesis 27:41-45, 28:10-22 and Luke 4:5-8 “The best things in life are free.” That’s true, isn’t it? It’s also true that the best things in life cannot be bought. Nonetheless we spend an awful lot of time trying to buy our way to happiness, don’t we? When we stand in Jesus’ sandals and the devil gives us a glimpse of all the riches that can be had, we’re tempted to say, “Well maybe just a little, Mister Devil. I don’t need it all, but some of that stuff looks pretty nice.” I don’t think I could turn it ALL down. I think I’d try to work a compromise with the devil; I’ll take just a little of that, if I’ll...
Genesis 3:22-24 Mark 1:9-12 The first scripture passage comes at the end of a story that you are all likely familiar with, the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent and the eating of the forbidden fruit. The Gospel should also be familiar to you: Jesus’ baptism and what immediately follows. I chose the Old Testament passage, which includes verses that are not part of the three-year lectionary, because I’m a glutton for punishment. Actually not; I chose this passage to begin this worship series Navigating the Wilderness because in order to enter the Wilderness we have to leave many of our preconception and prejudices behind us. And in a way, that means BITING THE APPLE (and yes, I...
Matthew 5:38-48 I encourage you to take out your Bibles and look up the passage. Every translation has its own nuance, and I’d be interested to know your perspectives (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) Next, I encourage you to pull out a hymnal and sing “El Shaddai,” by Michael Card and John Thompson; it’s #123 in the latest UMC hymnal. I’ll read the lyrics, because I confess I’m not that familiar with it, but I can tell you there are people in our church who are. El Shaddai is an ancient phrase, ‘El’ meaning ‘god’ and ‘Shaddai’ may have derived from the Akkadian word ‘Shalu’ meaning ‘wilderness’ or perhaps ‘mountain,’ those mysterious and frightening places where we don’t venture after dark. The phrase...
A Useful Simplification Rev. Emerick When mixed together, two historically significant ideas make a toxic cultural cocktail: (1) the idea that everything that happens, will happen, or can happen, is determined by forces above and beyond us - forces like God, the gods, nature, the “divine right of kings” (and the Church), the “Invisible Hand” of laissez-faire, or fate (which is called “pre-destination” in the Church’s teaching); and, (2) the idea that we are all born rotten to the core (the Church’s doctrine of Original Sin), and therefore we can never do anything intelligent, right, or good. “Christendom” has been serving this toxic cocktail to Western culture for many centuries. And Western culture has been imbibing the toxic cocktail to the...
I BELIEVE By Rev. Robert Emerick -The living heart of Jesus' teaching has two chambers: 1) Jesus taught Heaven On Earth now - in this life - he taught us to pray "your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."* and, 2) Jesus taught that The Way - The Jesus Way - to work with God to accomplish this is to love as he loves.** -Making Heaven on Earth through Jesus' Way of Divine Love is God's Way of Life. -Jesus' teaching and example fully express the essential principles of God's will - God's Way - for human life. -The likeness of God*** within all of us - our Soul - is made of...
Facts Myths The Best Way Forward Rev. Robert Emerick – email@example.com A public presentation to a diverse group of Brooklyn community activists and church members, sponsored by Peace Action Bay Ridge and The Interfaith Peace Coalition, meeting at The Lutheran Church Of The Good Shepherd, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on June 15, 2013 (Updated on 1/27/14) In 2011, I decided to investigate the conflicting claims being made in political campaigns about how to create jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy. Over a period of eight months, I compiled data on the major economic indicators from 1900 to 2011, in order to compare them, in order to see for myself what factors have actually coincided with lower unemployment and higher economic...