Expressing our love in sincere, artful worship

The scriptures and the world around us point to a God who is ceaselessly creative and artistic. Therefore, the arts are not a tangential part of the path of Jesus. Authentic Christian practice involves high quality artistic expression that strives to be thought provoking, life giving, and prophetic. This means that Christian spirituality involves creative expression in many forms: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. When our worship becomes more artful, we connect, both personally and communally, more fully to the nature of God. 
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FEATURED CONTENT

“The Long Road to Freedom” by Jacqui Lewis

SERMONS  |  Convergence Network

Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of Manhattan. Middle Church is a dynamic 900-member multiracial, multicultural, inclusive congregation in which everyone is welcome just as they are as they come through the door. Lewis is also the Executive Director of The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society....

Pulpit Fiction Podcast

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Convergence Network

Pulpit Fiction Podcast: Lectionary Podcast for Preachers, Seekers and Bible Geeks

Robb and Eric met in class at Eden Theological Seminary, got to know each other while playing volleyball on Eden's church league team, and became friends after the games over pizza, wings, beer, and Police Trainer at Smugala's.  

Robb and Sarah and Eric and Nina spent almost every weekend together while they were in seminary, and are still able to get together every once in awhile.  This picture was taken over Thanksgiving weekend, 2013.  They share a common passion for justice, mercy, and an abiding love for Jesus.  They also a share a love for good scotch, the Bears (we won't talk about baseball), Anchorman, The Office, and Star Wars.
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The Spirituality of Popular Music

SERMONS  |  Dwight Lee Wolter

In an era when fewer and fewer people go to church, it is often the song, not the sermon, speech or blog that touches people’s lives in a deep and meaningful way. Houses of faith may embody ethics, morality and good deeds; but the church can learn more of these same things from the street, perhaps as much as the street can learn from the church. This brief essay explores this idea....

Matthew 19:26 Artwork

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Franklin Fong

Matthew 19:26

Beautiful artwork by Father Franklin Fong and the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara illustrating Matthew 19:26 — "With God all things are possible."...

Courage: Philippians 4: 12-14 Artwork

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Franklin Fong

Philippians 4: 12-14

A beautiful hi-resolution illustration of Philippians 4: 12-14, painted by Father Franklin Fong of the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara....

Parker Palmer: FIVE HABITS OF THE HEART

COMMENTARY  |  Living Lectionary

Parker Palmer Five Habits of the Heart
http://www.couragerenewal.org/habitsoftheheart/
...

CELTIC CROSS

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

Philosophy and Worship by James K. A. Smith

WORSHIP  |  Living Lectionary

Litanies and Prayers- Ken Sehested

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Holy Week: Betrayal and Denial

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Occasional Poet

This poem was inspired by the dramatic betrayal by Judas and denial by Peter.

Betrayal and Denial
Rev. Laurie Blonk Sponaugle  

There is no escaping…
The breath-stealing bite
of the dual edged sword.  

Close enough for eyes to lock,
And wills to soundlessly utter longing
And lament to stab through even the strongest of spirits.  

Witness soul deep betrayal
as heartbeats sync with a kiss…
followed doggedly with fear, varnished in denial.  

Before the verdict is cast in stone
Before the sentence is carried out beam over beam
before the cross is weighted down with love.  

One, Two final thrusts
of the razor sharp blade
gutting the soul.  

As one beloved, steals away from the sacred table,
another scurries behind the mob;
both cloaked in the shado...

The Biblical Roots of Islam

SERMONS  |  Dwight Lee Wolter

Genesis 16:1-12, 15; 17:20; 21:1-3, 8-21

A shared sermon conducted with a Muslim physician about Abram, Sarai, Hagar and Ishmael that includes music and other modalities that embraces commonality in a worshipful context.
...

The Worst Resurrection Story

WORSHIP  |  Living Lectionary

John 21:1-14

http://www.crosswalknapa.org/blog/2017/4/28/the-worst-resurrection-story

The Resurrection Story can be told in many ways. ...

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE PODCAST

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

Luke 18

http://www.storydivine.com/?p=381

A PODCAST on BRIDGING THE DIVIDE...

The Woman Behind Textweek

WORSHIP  |  Living Lectionary

https://www.faithandleadership.com/woman-behind-textweekcom

Faith of a women that made a difference when her son had Autism

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

...

Interdependence Day Independence Day

SERMONS  |  Living Lectionary

Deuteronomy 10:17-21; Psalm 145; Hebrews 11:8-16; Matthew 5:43-48

http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/stw/2013/06/13/independence-day-2013/

Interdependence Day and Independence Day

Independence Day, let’s also think of it as “Interdependence Day”; a day when we celebrate not only being free from unjust rule but also a day when we commit ourselves anew to extending liberty and justice to everyone who seeks it, without partiality.
...

Sustaining Hope in the Face of Climate Change

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/sustaining-hope-face-climate-change

Climate Change Video with three different Protestant Churches...

Blessing When the World is Ending

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

http://paintedprayerbook.com/2016/07/18/blessing-when-the-world-is-ending/

Artwork By Painted Prayers Jan Richardson
Beautiful artwork and creative ideas for ministry...

Blessings For Getting The News ArtWork

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

http://paintedprayerbook.com/2016/07/27/blessing-for-getting-the-news/

Artwork and Poetry "Grace In The Dark"
When we get news from someone, death or other, this artwork touches a sweet place for the heart. Jan Richardson- poem as well. ...

Salt and Light: Living a Faithful Life Podcast

SERMONS  |  Living Lectionary

Mathew 5: 13-20

https://faithelement.net/9-06-salt-and-light/

Podcast

We take a look at a popular passage that calls for Christians to be “salt and light” in the world. What can we learn about living a faithful life by looking more closely at the nature and use of both salt and light?

...

A Hymn After Gun Violence

WORSHIP  |  Living Lectionary

Isaiah 4:2; 1 John 4:18; James 3:1-12; Micah 6:8; Matthew 25:35

A hymn written after the Orlando mass killings, plus other hymns for reflection on gun violence:


To see the complete resource, click here: http://www.carolynshymns.com/to_a_place_of_celebration.html

To a Place of Celebration
EBENEZER 8.7.8.7 D ("Why Do Nations Rage Together")

To a place of celebration filled with laughter, dancing, joy,
Came such violent devastation — one man's efforts to destroy.
God, we grieve for loved ones taken; we lament, "What can we do?"
Now, we're feeling lost and shaken; heal our nation! Make us new!
Weapons kill — and so does silence; hear our prayer as we confess:
We have given in to violence, we have bowed to hopelessness.
God, we've lost our sense of vision of a world where there will be
Plowshares made from violent weapons, justice in society.
Give our leade...

Testing the contributor system again

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

Testing new self-managament system...

Creativity Episode 1: Drawn In

COMMENTARY  |  Darkwood Brew

Brian McLaren calls Troy Bronsink’s book, Drawn In: A Creative Process for Artists, Activists and Jesus Followers, a “fresh vision of God that draws us into a new way of being.” The first episode of the Creativity series features in-depth conversations between Troy Bronsink and Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D.. We explore how God’s rhythms are manifest in creative life that is as sincere, vibrant, and artful as it is faithful to the scriptures, and we present concrete ways to find connection with the Holy. ...

Darkwood Brew Subscriber Discount

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Darkwood Brew

Download this resource to access special Darkwood Brew content exclusively for This We Affirm subscribers....

Test Resource

SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

Test resource...

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