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“baptist + belonging + beloved community + CBFNC + Emily Hull McGee + LGBTQ”

Coming to Ourselves

Thank you, Emily, for the warm welcome. And thank you to my mom and dad for  thinking that this was a good idea.   It’s an honor, and frankly a...

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Who Sinned?: Transforming Power and Authority

I am truly grateful for the invitation to be with you all this morning and to share Midwives of a Movement with you, if you joined us during the Sunday School h...

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Again & Again: Losing & Finding

Have you heard the story about the guy who loses his keys? There’s a guy… and he loses his keys! He’s looking and he’s looking and he’s looking for hi...

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Tender Care: A Spiritual Detox

If you’ve been following along for these Epiphany weeks, you know we’re spending time with the Gospel of Mark. The most abrupt and fast-paced of all the gos...

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Tender Care: Living Under Water

As the scene opens, Pete, Delmar, and Everett are seated around a campfire: hungry, scared, and on the run. They’re outlaws you see, having barely escaped a M...

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Christmas Eve 2023

Christmas Eve Worship: For Good News of Great Joy

Just the other day, I was checking out in the line at Target with what I was sure was the last Christmas present I’d need to buy (spoiler alert, it wasn’t!)...

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To Dwell Among Us: For Fulfillment

We’re talking about fulfillment today, and I’m not just referring to the Amazon Fulfillment Centers all around the country who are in their final press to C...

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To Dwell Among Us: For Nearness

Are we there yet? Is it time? Has my package arrived? Is my treatment almost over? Will we ever … get there? Fill in the blank with any of the yearnings in ou...

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Intending to Do Good

Perhaps you’ve felt the seasonal confusion this week—making your Thanksgiving meal while Halloween skeletons and pumpkins look over your shoulder, watching ...

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To Dwell Among Us: For the Way

“The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” Mark writes as this first gospel begins....

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Intending to Be Ready

If you are a music major in any college or university, the classic rite of passage as a junior or senior is the preparation of your recital....

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Attending Church: Presence

Cartoonist and comedian Seth MacFarlane, creator of “The Family Guy” show, was interviewed a dozen years ago on NPR’s Fresh Air about a new album he had c...

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Attending Church: Fruitfulness

Over these past few weeks, we’ve been looking together in the parables of the Gospel of Matthew, listening to Jesus use these short, enigmatic stories intende...

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Attending Church: Responsibility

These fall weeks, we’ve journeyed with Jesus through the Gospel of Matthew – first in an agrarian stretch of parables through Matthew chapter 13, learning o...

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Attending Church: Stewardship

There once was a man named Pahom. Pahom loved land, truly more than anything in the world. He loved the land so much that he convinced himself it was necessary ...

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Tending: What’s Priceless

As the story goes, an oyster saw a loose pearl that had fallen into the crevice of a rock, right on the ocean floor. It took great effort, but she finally manag...

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Tending: What’s Small

The kingdom of heaven islike a mustard seed, Jesussays. The kingdom of heaven islike yeast. We’re back with Jesus in the parables, in these two tiny stories f...

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Tending: To Hold and to Stretch 

It was the summer of 1946 when a rumor began in South America that there was a famine sweeping across the continent. ...

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Tell Me A Story

Barbara Brown Taylor once told a story about a day she went to her local nursing home one afternoon to celebrate communion with the guests there....

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Then and Now: Purpose (The Story of Joseph)

In her clever short story called “Personal Testimony,” author Lynna Williams tells of the 12-year old preacher’s daughter who goes to a fundamentalist Bib...

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Then and Now: Power (The Story of Jacob’s Sons) 

A few weeks ago, I suggested that you all might be humming the songs from the movie musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, after we watched it together on our Friday ...

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Then and Now: Struggle (The Story of Jacob)

This time last year, I completed a journey I thought would just about do me in....

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Then and Now: Conflict(The Story of Jacob, Esau, and Rebekah)

I feel confident that in a few months when all the “best of” lists begin to come out, that the memoir called Spare will be at the top. You know the one. ...

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Then and Now: Oppression (The Story of Hagar)

He shuffles through this world, practically daring someone to see him. Overlooked and oppressed by every earthly measure, he prefers to blend in and be passed b...

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Then and Now: Promise (The Story of Abraham)

I was a tender 12 years old, and God had called my family to leave our home of sweet small town life in Laurens, South Carolina for the booming metropolis of Kn...

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Alienation and Reconciliation (The Story of Noah)

If you’re like many in the Christian tradition, the last time you may have thought about Noah was as a child yourself, or when a child in your life got those ...

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Then and Now: Boundaries (The Story of Adam and Eve) 

Have you read the story called The Giving Tree? You know this one, don’t you – the story that poet Shel Silverstein gave us about the tree who loved the lit...

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Then and Now: Goodness (The Story of God)

I bet you know that story about the little girl, who could be one of yours or one of ours, who drew a picture in Sunday School one week....

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The Resurrection Way Ahead

The late preacher George Buttrick was once sitting on an airplane, readying for his flight, and making notes for an upcoming sermon he was planning out. ...

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The Resurrection Way of Us 

You’ve heard me tell pastor Tom Long’s story, where, as the brand new pastor of a small church, he decided to try out a new teaching opportunity — a pasto...

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The Resurrection Way of Witness

We have in my house a new hot item, the most fought-over item in the house. Now you may think perhaps it’s a toy, a video game, maybe a book, or maybe even ou...

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The Resurrection Way that Abides

“I love you, now leave me alone.” That’s the title of an article you can find from this week’s New York Times, subtitled: “What Friendship Means to an...

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The Resurrection Way Home

Just this week, our country’s Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an 81-page public health advisory for the latest epidemic to sweep our nation....

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The Resurrection Way of Surprise

read this week a story from Smithsonian magazine about a travel writer from the early part of the 1900s who loved to tell strange stories....

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The Resurrection Way of Life

Over the past month or so, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of stories in our news and social media that reflect on the three covid-era years we’ve co...

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The End of Ways and Means

We’ve spent this school year “on the way” with Jesus, examining the ancient roads he walked, the paths toward God he proclaimed, the journey of life and f...

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Lessons Along the Way: Motion vs. Action

On the first day of his film photography class at the University of Florida, professor Jerry Uelsmann decided to do a semester-long experiment....

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Lessons Along the Way: Finding the Good Path

Back in the summer of 2019, I traveled with our youth to Passport Camp. That year, Passport was held at my alma mater after all (go Paladins!), and any chance t...

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Lessons Along the Way: Knowing Our Place

Jesus continues with his encouragement away from what distracts us from God’s kingdom here on earth and toward that which brings life....

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Lessons Along the Way: Do Not Worry

We’re moving steadily through Jesus’ lessons along the way in the Sermon on the Mount, considering over these past weeks the things that capture Jesus’ im...

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Lessons Along the Way: What’s at the Heart

“For Christians,” Frederick Buechner says, “to observe the forty days of Lent is to tithe for a holy use roughly a tenth of each year's days.”...

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Lessons Along the Way: Shaping the Inner Life

It's Ash Wednesday, the day in our Christian year when we consider the truth of our finality and fragility: that 'from dust we came, and to the dust we shall re...

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Lessons Along the Way: On a Moral Imagination

As the story goes, Mullah Nasrudden once found a diamond by the roadside. Muslim law dictated that finders became keepers only if they first announced their fin...

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Lessons Along the Way: What’s Hard Between Us

Perhaps it’s the coincidence that this year finds Valentine’s Day just a couple of days past the Super Bowl, but I find that I have hearts on my mind and, w...

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Lessons Along the Way: Blessing

On a warm Sunday morning in May 1911, a group of 13 friends set out by foot and by buggy from Highlands, NC to Whiteside. ...

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Home by Another Way: Sent

Today, we conclude our month of talking through the Epiphany passages of Jesus....

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Home by Another Way: Called

In the comic strip, Linus had gotten fed up with Lucy. She was up to her self-focused ways again, and he was over it. ...

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Home by Another Way: Tempted

“A rich industrialist from the North was horrified to find a Southern fisherman lying leisurely beside his boat. ‘Why aren’t you fishing?’ asked the ind...

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Home by Another Way: Baptized

If you’ve been following our worship themes this school year, you know we’ve been exploring the language, “On the Way.” After a fall spent unpacking the...

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