Preacher: Rev. Andy Bryan

Illustration of the word 'Why' in printer block type.

Why We Do What We Do

October 12, 2020
Paul and Silas were not only “doing the right thing” they were doing it “for the right reason.”
Photo of early bible open to Thessalonians.

Turning the World Upside Down

October 5, 2020
The mission of the church can really raise a ruckus, and working together on a mission like that creates a deep and affectionate relationship.
Photo of a river running through the forest over rocky terrain.

The River

September 28, 2020
Water appears throughout scripture as a source of life, renewal, and promise. "Everything will live where the river goes."
Young woman practicing breathing in a yoga position.

The Air

September 21, 2020
Wind (air) is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, a life-giving presence that moves within, among, and around us. 
Photo of a single older tree with limbs reaching to the sky.

The Forest

September 7, 2020
Humanity is created in community with creation; when God’s creation suffers, we suffer too. Trees are the lungs of creation, making it possible for us to breathe.
Artist rendition of Queen Esther.

Esther Saved

September 2, 2020
When Esther risks her own life to approach the king, she was doing so in order to save the Jewish community in the nation of Persia. The story highlights God’s…
Painting of what Huldah may have looked like.

Huldah Spoke

August 17, 2020
When Huldah declared her prophecy, she was speaking on behalf of God, expressing God’s anger at the unfaithfulness of the people. She called the people to remember because the nation…
Painting of a farmer sowing see by hand.

The Good Soil

July 27, 2020
The Word of God is present everywhere in the world; it has been “sown” like seed. The Word of God always finds a way to grow, in spite of any…
Photo of a sheep.

The Good Shepherd

July 20, 2020
The parable of “The Good Shepherd” is about knowing God, and being known by God. There is a deep, authentic relationship.
Photo of workers in a vineyard

The Good Wage

July 13, 2020
The wage each worker was paid in the parable of the vineyard was “good” because it recognized the value of each person’s work, no matter how long each had worked.
Good Samaritan painting by Paula Modersohn-Becker

The Good Samaritan

July 6, 2020
The Samaritan was called “good” because he showed mercy to the one who was injured; his acts of compassion made him a neighbor even though his ethnicity made him a…
Photo of the ocean with the words 'Anticipate your heaven below, and own that love is heaven.'

Eternal Life

June 29, 2020
Our forgiveness makes a difference in the present; it is not only a ticket into a post-mortem life everlasting.
Photo of a green sprout gtrowing from a stump.

Alive to God

June 22, 2020
Being forgiven empowers us to die to our old selves, become alive to God, and live as our new, true, Christlike selves, which means we in turn forgive others.
Christ in Alabama Painting by William H. Johnson

Still Sinners

June 15, 2020
The love of God is proven by the fact that Christ “died for us while we were still sinners,” meaning that we do not earn God’s forgiveness, but rather that…
Art depicting the dove descending on the disciples on the day of Pentecost

What Does This Mean?

June 2, 2020
The way the Holy Spirit moves among us can be perplexing and sometimes elicits skepticism; it is hard for us to believe that God is so generous with God’s Spirit.
Art depicting the Ascension of Christ.

Aldersgate

May 25, 2020
John Wesley went to a Moravian group meeting “reluctantly,” feeling like he had failed - and the Spirit warmed his heart and empowered him to launch the Methodist movement.
Paper cut-outs with Truth and question marks written on them.

Give Me Your Hand

May 18, 2020
Methodism is both intellectual and emotional, a balance of head and heart. A rigorous exchange of opinions is good, as long as we manage to do so with grace and…
The word Love written in the sand by the sea shore.

It’s A Both/And …

May 11, 2020
Methodism is a balance of personal holiness and social holiness, not either/or, but both/and.
Sheep following a shepherd.

The Way of Salvation

May 4, 2020
The grace of God - preventing, justifying, sanctifying, and perfecting - is the source of our salvation, all along the way.
Photo of dogwood branches in full bloom.

Emmaus Days

April 27, 2020
During  “Emmaus Days” all of us can get a glimpse of who Jesus really is. The slower pace of life can increase our awareness of God.
Painting of the wounded hands of Christ.

Easter Evening

April 20, 2020
Doubt is not the opposite of faith; the opposite of faith is certainty. Having and expressing doubt is a healthy way to deepen one’s faith.
Young girl looking through a window.

Fear and Great Joy

April 13, 2020
Easter is scary, and joyous at the same time; resurrection is more than a feel-good metaphorical concept – it changes us.
Man and woman with hands pressed against a glass barrier.

Triumph

April 6, 2020
When Jesus enters Jerusalem one final time, it is in “triumph,” but not as the crowds perceive it. How does Jesus re-create the human concept of victory.
Photo of light streaming through a dark forest.

How Do We Fit In?

March 30, 2020
The UMC is experiencing a shift, and in many ways is serving as a case study for how NOT to negotiate it. We can do better - we can live…
Iconic image of the Woman at the Well

Where Is It Going?

March 24, 2020
The "compartments" in which we have placed ourselves are artificial. The divisions among various expressions of church are deteriorating, and a new eclectic theology is emerging.
Photo of dandelion seed blowing in the wind.

Where Did It Come From?

March 16, 2020
Reform happens in cycles, and all this has happened before. This season is really just a part of the natural seasonal life of the church.
Desert River painting by Peter Praisey

What Is Happening?

March 5, 2020
This season in the church feels unsettled, uncertain - it is a time of reform where we are examining assumptions and thinking differently about what church really is. And that's…
Photo of hands holding a paper cutout of the word Hope.

Still I Rise

February 20, 2020
God gives strength to those who are weak, lifting up the oppressed, and giving victory to those who trust in God.
Children walking down a road.

A Brave and Startling Truth

February 10, 2020
Human beings are “neither devils nor divines” in the scope of God’s glorious creation; our insignificance compared to the infinite space of God’s creative power is (ironically) empowering. Please read…
Byzantine mosaic of Christ.

Touched By An Angel

February 3, 2020
To discover and realize that you are loved by God is the most liberating, affirming experience one can have.
Black and white photo of caged bird.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

January 27, 2020
Can we hear the caged bird sing? And having heard the cry, do we know why? The church of Jesus Christ must learn how to recognize the structures that are…
Photo of river flowing past a rock and a tree.

On the Pulse of the Morning

January 21, 2020
Our connectedness to God, to the earth, and to one another, is a source of hope and assurance. It's what we seek as we head toward the horizon.
Image of water splashing, representing baptism.

Reboot the System

January 15, 2020
Baptism initiates and incorporates us as the Body of Christ; when we renew our baptismal vows we are re-incorporated, the body is renewed.
Art depicting Isaiah the prophet.

And On Earth, Peace

January 3, 2020
The birth of Jesus is the inauguration of a reign of endless peace. It is not a culmination; it is a beginning, the beginning of the reign of the Prince…
The Nativity; artwork by Gari Melchens.

Emmanuel


Jesus is the embodiment of peace, “God with us.” Within the startling simplicity of a sign, the birth of a child, we get the Prince of Peace.
Photo of Santa with head in his hands, clearly stressed.

Weak Hands, Feeble Knees, and Fearful Hearts

December 17, 2019
God's peace is embodied, physical, and something we can feel. It's not just spiritual reality.
Peaceable Kingdom painting by Edward Hicks

Tender Wolves, Tenacious Lambs

December 10, 2019
The image of tender wolves lying down with tenacious lambs implies both have changed: the wolf has become more gentle and the lamb has become bolder.
Image of a man with a fake smile pinned on with clothes pins at each side of his mouth.

Again I Say, Rejoice!

November 27, 2019
To “rejoice always” is not to live with an artificial happiness or to pretend everything is okay. It is to live with faith in God’s goodness.
Roman statue with laurels around the head.

Press On!

November 18, 2019
Earthly gains are nothing; we must press on, leave them behind, and actively purse the heavenly call of God.

Joy Complete

November 11, 2019
The grace of God not only allows us to see God's vision for what this world should be, it also empowers us to do it, i.e. to act upon that…

Good Work

November 6, 2019
God can work through any circumstances, good, bad, or otherwise.

When We Get It Right

October 22, 2019
When we get it right, generosity is both a response to God’s good gifts and a way we participate in God’s work in the world. We discover the joy in…
Photo of chalkboard with 'Priorities' written on it with lines from 1-5.

Tethered to God

October 15, 2019
Giving generously aligns your life more closely with God. But, it takes planning for generosity and intentionality of giving to break free from the cycle of consumerism.
Painting of Prodigal Son by Jorge Cocco

Breaking Free

October 7, 2019
Breaking free and aligning your life with Jesus is the most gravity-defying thing you can do. To break free is to allow God’s priorities to shape ours.
woman happily holding $100 dollar bills

Discovering Gravity

October 1, 2019
There are forces in the world that pull us in many different directions, and not all of them are in the direction of God. Often, there’s a gap between the…
Painting by Sara Beth Baca depicting Lydia of Thyatira.

Live Like Lydia

September 23, 2019
Lydia welcomed Paul, Silas, and Timothy into her home, an example of extending hospitality beyond the superficial into relationship. We are all called to hospitality.

Who Are You Callin’ “Wee?”

September 16, 2019
The story of Zacchaeus shows how hospitality can change the host. As Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus into his home, he himself was transformed.
Circle of people with hands joined.

There Is Still Room

September 11, 2019
Invitation and hospitality are ongoing practices of discipleship; the church is never “full” – there is still room at the table.