…. Welcome to the Living Stream Church of the Brethren! We worship together online on Sunday evenings at 5:00pm Pacific Timezone (6:00 Mountain Time, 7:00pm Central Time, 8:00 Eastern Time). Join us then at our web streaming host to find the doorway to our online gatherings, with friends from around the country and around the world. All are welcome here!
At Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, last week, a lot of emotions and issues were in the air. We’ll continue exploring the conversations emerging from the conference in coming weeks. But in this first week back, on July 13, I want to focus on the one theme that resonated throughout every corner of the conference: our sisters and brothers in Nigeria, and the violence plaguing their communities.
Dr. Rebecca Dali of the EYN, pictured here, is a powerful witness for peace in the face of terrible violence. What does the experience she has shared mean for our faith? Will this moment change us?
It occurred to me (as it has likely occurred to others), that what the EYN is facing right now is the sort of challenge to its peace witness that many of us in this Living Stream are not facing -but the sort of violence that our spiritual ancestors were facing when they developed their authentic Brethren peace witness, during the US Civil War or during the 17th-century religious violence in Europe. What, then, does our faith call us to here and now?
On July 13, our worship will focus on lifting up EYN and all the people of Nigeria suffering from extremist violence. The EYN has called us to join them in fasting and praying – let us do so. Please bring your hopes and prayers for these sisters and brothers, as we join our words and thoughts together in praying for peace.
If you can’t join us Sunday, post a prayer on our Facebook wall, email us what’s on your heart, write a song or poem or paint a picture and send it to us – or share what you’re moved to share however you can. Let us allow the heaviness of this pain to weigh on us for a moment, and shape us to be people fully present to the world around us.
Will you be in Columbus? Let us know so Living Streamers can meet up!
Pastor Audrey will be present in Columbus and participating in a few venues where you can reach her – as a Ministry of Reconciliation mediator, speaking at the On Earth Peace breakfast with Ruthann Knechel Johansen, staffing the Open Table Cooperative booth, and more. Be in touch and she’ll keep an eye out for you especially. We hope to see many of you in person there!
On Sunday, June 29, worship includes discussion about Annual Conference, with an online panel with Kimberly Koczan-Flory and Elizabeth Ullery of Open Table Cooperative. What are we expecting at this Conference – and how are we living as Courageous Disciples in our own ways today? Watch the conversation in the archives all summer long.
On Sunday, July 6, as we return home from Columbus, Living Stream will not be holding our regular evening worship service. Instead, we invite you to take part in the Church of the Brethren-wide Annual Conference Sunday, by worshipping with us through live stream, by clicking this link. Living Stream Tech Deacon Enten Eller works hard to stream live every business session and worship service at Annual Conference, so we invite you to join us online during any part of the Conference, and especially on Sunday, July 6. You can join in worship live at 8:30 am Eastern time, or watch the archives of the worship service at any time. Write in a comment to let Enten and the rest of us know you joined us there!
Are science and faith mutually exclusive? How can we move past the impasse and find a way to learn from and grow through the conversation between these two important fields of human existence? (Neil deGrasse Tyson, an acclaimed astronomer, offers one lyrical view in the picture shown)
With an online congregation, it can be hard to get feedback about what we’re doing. Your ideas and views are invaluable as we decide what to do, week to week and year to year. You might not know it, but one or two conversations with Pastor Audrey can change the course of what we do! We’re here for you and we do what we can with limited resources to make this work – help us know what’s most worth focusing on.
Beyond egglaying bunnies or candy,
New bonnets and eyecatching fashions,
Easter hope goes deeper than the roots of spring flowers,
It’s more warming than April’s sunshine,
More joyful than springtime breezes.
Easter hope is more than the “something for nothing” type;
it’s the discovery of Something of great value
in the midst of life’s nothings.
Greater than the hope of “striking it rich”
by discovering gold, jewels or buried treasure;
Easter hope is discovering the wealth hidden in daily life.
Surpassing the “lottery ticket” brand of hope
– wealth for one at the expense of the many –
Easter hope offers riches to everybody,
all at the expense of One.
Easter hope’s more like a “free lunch” hope;
“Come, eat without earning; feast without fee,”
a remembrance meal of unleavened bread
that will cost you everything you are
and feed you into Eternity.