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Communion on Zoom

Everyone, we are trying something a little bit new this upcoming Communion Sunday — per request of parishioners. I know many of you are not computer savvy, but directions will be sent out and members of our community have volunteered to help out if you are still completely confused come September. This zoom service will replace the youtube sermon for the week of September 6, but it will be recorded and posted on youtube and here on the website later…

Fundraising Letter

June 24, 2020 Dear Friend, I am writing with a heavy heart, and with a plea. Last summer, I learned that the Florence Congregational Church was going to be sold to another organization and that it was going to lose its home. Not only the Church, but all of the vital community groups that have gathered there for generations would lose their home including Beit Ahavah, the reform Jewish community that has worshipped there for over 20 years would too.…

Redesigning of the “Sunday Sermon” Newsletter

Today Rev. Averill is sending out a test version of the new format to Sunday Sermon weekly email. The hope is to make the weekly emails more dynamic, a tad more colorful, and easier to navigate than the textual option used over the past several months as we switched over to virtual ministry. This will also make managing our subscriber lists (and giving people the ability to subscribe or unsubscribe) faster and more user friendly. Of course, we want to…

Mini Sermon #15

Scripture Passage: Matthew 15:21-28 (NRSV)Full Scripture Passage: Matthew 15:10-28 (NRSV)Secondary NT Passage: Romans 11:1-2, 29-32 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 113 (NRSV) (KJV) This passage is a microcosm of what I like to call the historical Jesus. I’ve written about the historical Jesus before, most notably in mini-sermon #7 (the Racist Jesus), and for about two news cycles back in June (and forgive me if there were more), the idea of “what Jesus really looked like” was a hot topic. Funny thing is,…

Mini Sermon #14

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 14:13-21 (NRSV)Secondary Lesson: Exodus 16:13-16 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 17 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Romans 9:1-5 (NRSV) Where are the Miracles? In the modern age, we’re taught that miracles aren’t real, at least, not anymore. They’re dismissed, they’re disproven, and more often than not they’re explained away as “fits of fancy” or straight out “delusions.” We live in an age of skepticism, which while not quite so bad in and of itself can have serious consequences to our worldview…

Quote

While recording a scripture lesson, I received this unexpected yet absolutely marvelous compliment: You preach it like a Puritan.” Kyle Brazauski As a descendant of Thomas Rogers, who sailed on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom, I can’t think of a higher compliment to my preaching.

Mini Sermon #13

Scripture Lesson: Matthew 13:31-33 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 105:1-11 (NRSV) Jesus had a tendency in his parables and his preaching to be highly revolutionary. He would make a statement or posit an idea, often wrapped in allegory, and when you unpacked it and looked at what he was almost “secretly” telling his followers, the implications could absolutely blow the mind. It’s no wonder that the Zealots (a group of Jews who wanted to expel Rome from Israel, even by force) thought Jesus…

Mini-Sermon #12

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 13:36-43 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 139:1-12 (NRSV) When I was growing up (and dinosaurs roamed the earth)… I always viewed the Parables of Jesus as happy fairystories … One of my parents always read me a Bible story when I was going to sleep… and if God once sent down a plague, well, that didn’t happen anymore… and if the world hated Jesus so much that they crucified him then, well, my child’s…

Minister’s Vacation

Reverend Averill will be going on vacation from Friday August 7 to Monday August 10. As such our virtual ministry will be on hiatus for one week (specifically the youtube sermon on Sunday August 9 and mini-sermon #15 – posted on Wednesday August 5 and sent out to the Parish Visitor mailing list on Tuesday August 11). For any questions or concerns, please contact us.