The Strength You (Already) Have

Rather than focus on what we don’t have,

and what we can’t do, I think we need to ask a different question: how might God be speaking to us through what we do have and what we can do?

Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt like an impostor, as if you didn't belong? I remember thinking I was alone in this feeling, but then I discovered that some of the most talented and successful people I know experience this on a regular basis. When God called Moses, Moses had questions about God, but also questions about himself: Am I good enough for God to use me? Will people believe God is working through me? 

Wisdom From The Margins

A good sermon will often lead to more questions than answers. This week, Rev. Peters poses this question - what happens if we take ourselves out of the center of our theology, and invite a fully new idea from the margins? Will we find God only in the places and people familiar to us, or something entirely unexpected. Teaching from the book of Acts, Rev. Peters brings the story of the Ethopian eunuch to new life.

The Gift

On the first Holy Saturday, those who loved Jesus most had nothing to do but wait. They had nothing to celebrate, neither could they properly mourn. They simply had to wait for the sabbath to pass so they might properly bury and mourn their lost Rabbi. They didn't know that the greatest gift they would ever receive was mere hours away. 

Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise

Last year I had a conversation with a person I greatly admire. She has experienced great strife in her life, and yet I’ve always seen her respond with great kindness and grace, even in the toughest moments. I finally got the courage to ask her: How do you do it? Why don’t you yell and scream and curse at the people who are trying to hurt you? She replied, I can’t control those people, I can only control myself, and I think that Jesus wants me to show them love, even when they can’t show it to me.

These simple words wrecked me. We read a similar sentiment shared by Jesus in the gospels, but I’ve never seen it lived out with such courage. Ever since that conversation, I’ve asked myself: What can I control?

Is my Father still alive?

The book of Isaiah offers us a simple and yet profound statement about the nature of God's work in this world:

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

The truth is we do not always perceive it. We don’t always see and understand how God is moving and fostering change and growth. Moreover, it’s not our job to see it all or to know it all—we are called to be people of faith. We are called to be the people who listen, discern, and trust that God is moving through it all, even when we can’t quite perceive it.

This week, 4,000 United Methodists from across the globe are traveling to St. Louis for General Conference. I invite you to pray for them all, to pray for the church, and to do your best to trust that God is up to something in our midst, even if we can’t quite perceive it.

Leading the Blind

We all want good things for ourselves, but what do we want for our enemies? As we continue our Woke Church series, we explore how Christians are called to love, pray for, and invite those who might oppose us.

Dare to hope - Subversive Joy

Advent and Christmas are supposed to be a time of joy. But do you have a hard time finding it in the midst of the injustices swarming around us? The gospels offer us a vision of finding joy despite the brokenness. What can Mary and Elizabeth teach us about subversive joy?

Dare to Hope - Help is on the way!

I’m convinced waiting can be its own kind of torture. When anxiety is high, minutes imitate hours and time constantly threatens to stand still. Once I had to call 911 to help someone I love. When I think back on that call, I remember the careful and measured words of the operator: she said “I am going to wait here with you. It won’t take long—help is on the way!” I can’t tell you whether it was her promise to stay with me, or the assurance that help was inbound that helped to calm my nerves at that moment—I think it must have been the combination of those promises. I didn’t have to worry because I wasn’t alone, and I could trust that things might be okay because, after all, help was on the way.

Of Kings and Kingdoms

A few days ago I saw a bumper sticker that read “Jesus for President.” This sparked a hilarious image of a brown-skinned man in sandals and robes sitting at the Resolute desk. What kind of President would Jesus be? Would he even want the job, or would he reject the whole system of power? Scripture calls Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but what kind of Kingdom would Jesus want to rule?

Resurrecting Faith - Practice

As a teacher, there are plenty of pet peeves that bother my wife in the classroom—but the biggest one is the saying “practice makes perfect.” When she hears it, she responds, “No, practice makes better.”

I think our faith is the same way—sometimes we expect things to be perfect, but perhaps we are better off working to make things better. How do you practice your faith? Is it hard to find consistency and energy in how your intentions become your actions and habits? This week we’ll continue our series Resurrecting Faith as we talk about the ways we practice our faith.

Resurrecting Faith - Say Yes.

This service is dedicated to those who lost their lives at the Tree of Life and Louisville. May their souls rest in power.

Resurrecting Faith

Faith requires attention. Especially when it seems far away or nonexistent.

What the Bible Really Says About the End of the World

Worship Pastor Justin Bullis brings a beautiful interpretation of what the Bible really says about the end of the world - perhaps it is not something we should fear but welcome every day, as we make our world anew with our work as the body of Christ. Perhaps every day provides the opportunity to be “the end of the world as we know it.”

Bonus Episode - Casa de Paz

Each month at Belong, we partner with one organization and support them as best we can. We work in all sectors of justice, and this month’s partner organization is Casa de Paz. They provide relief, care and dignity to those folks experiencing immigration detention and they carry out their beautiful mission with love and steadfastness. We are so thankful to support them and we hope you enjoy this special episode where we hear from Casa de Paz founder, Sarah Jackson, and we take you inside the immigration detention center to hear what it is like to volunteer for Casa.

What the Bible Says About Sex

Guest Paster Rev. Elizabeth M. Jackson speaks on sex in the Bible - what it says and what it doesn’t say. Touching on her personal experience as a queer woman growing up, she also provides a beautiful insight on the lack of passages in the Bible that address “homosexuality” pointing to the “clobber” passages that have been twisted and used to oppress the LGBT community for millennia.

We thank Rev. Jackson for being with us and bringing us this powerful message this week as we continue our series “What Does the Bible Really Say?”