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35 minutes | Jul 31, 2022
What Forms Us | Chew On This
Ben Dubow, co-lead pastor of Riverfront Family Church in Hartford CT, asks "does scripture really matter today? Is it still relevant?" We explore how scripture can have practical impact on our lives. By exploring what scripture is not (and what it is) we can better embrace God's Word as being relevant and powerful in our day, without becoming dogmatic in our approach to scripture.
26 minutes | Jul 24, 2022
What Forms Us | Tradition
Rev. Josh Lee continues our "What Forms Us" series with this sermon on tradition. In this series we are gleaning from the founder of the United Methodist Church, John Wesley. John believed that as Christians we should allow our thinking, beliefs, ethics, and practices to be formed by four things (experience, reason, scripture, and tradition) In this message we focus on how Miriam brought her tambourine with her as she fled enslavement in Egypt during the exodus. Miriam choosing to bring her tambourine is a reminder to us that even as we leave faith traditions that have caused us trauma and pain there are still things worth bringing with you!
26 minutes | Jul 17, 2022
What Forms Us | Reason
Keli Young continues our "What Forms Us" series with this sermon on reason. Jesus strains our ability to reason. He was disruptive, not just to systems of oppression but to how people understood the world. but the good news is that we’re not expected to make sense of the world or our faith on our own. The disciples were always curious, constantly trying to figure out Jesus, and by extension their faith. Jesus welcomed their questions, doubts, and fears and he welcomes ours just the same!
28 minutes | Jul 10, 2022
What Forms Us | Experiencing Jesus
Rev. Venida Rodman Jenkins kicks off our "What Forms Us" series with the topic "The Authenticity of Experiencing Jesus." In this sermon, Rev. Venida talks about how each and every experience has formed us -- the good, bad, and the ugly ones, and how those experiences have authenticated our spiritual journey. We can bear witness to these experiences to enlightened the lives of others.
30 minutes | Jul 3, 2022
Unapologetically Us | Free
Guest preacher Chris Romine from Common Ground NYC continued our "Unapologetically Us" series with the topic "Unapologetically Free." To travel with the Spirit of God the way Jesus did, is to be drawn into places we could not have expected, around people we did not know, doing work we could not have anticipated, and having thoughts that might surprise us. To walk in the Jesus tradition is to cultivate a wild, unbridled will to seek collective freedom & enough imagination to settle for nothing less than that. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
26 minutes | Jun 26, 2022
Unapologetically Us | Affirming
Makenzie Gomez continues our “Unapologetically Us” series with the topic “Unapologetically Affirming”. Makenzie draws from Acts 8, when Philip meets the Ethiopian Eunuch. What can we learn from their interaction? How is Philip showing us what it means to listen and be open to questioning? In this message on NYC Pride Sunday, Makenzie encourages us to consider how to shift our allyship from passive to active, and celebrates the affirming faith our community has come to know.
25 minutes | Jun 19, 2022
Unapologetically Us | Wondering
Here's the start of our new sermon series, "Unapologetically Us". Rev. Josh Lee explores Jesus's habit of asking questions instead of providing straightforward answers. Jesus both engages people with questions who would have never engaged him and engages with people's questions who approach him.
22 minutes | Jun 5, 2022
The Holy Spirit | Sharing the Spirit in Community
The power of the Holy Spirit is at work right now revealing the truth that we all can be recipients of the deep, passionate, and fierce love of God. God’s strong and loving arms continue to draw us in, and assure us that no one is left behind.
28 minutes | May 29, 2022
The Holy Spirit | Whispers Of The Spirit
The Holy Spirit calls upon us throughout life, yet, how often are we receptive to the whisper? Some may think they are not worthy to be addressed by the God they've come to know, so they sink away from those fleeting moments. Others know so little that they miss it. In this Sermon, Rev. Josh unpacks an inspiring story from Acts 8, when one of the shunned of society, The Ethiopian Eunuch, bravely follows the whisper.
41 minutes | May 27, 2022
Forefront Conversations with Rusty Hawkins
In 1954, something happened that changed the Southern evangelicals forever - and not in a good way. When the Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional, Baptist and Methodist churches in the south found that public sentiment echoed the court's calls for integration and suddenly their stance on segregationist theology had to change. So, it changed for the worst. In "The Bible Told Them So: Southern White Christians’ Fight against Racial Equality," Professor Rusty Hawkins detailed how segregationist theology twisted over the years into private schools aimed at "protecting the family" and a dehumanizing colorblind theology that ignored systemic racism with alleged biblical support. ABOUT RUSTY Professor Rusty Hawkins is a professor of Humanities and History at Indiana Wesleyan University and has published on race and religion before with "Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith" drawn from papers commemorating the tenth anniversary of "Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America." Born and raised in Kansas, Professor Hawkins is a diehard Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan and is currently working on a manuscript about the conversion of George Wallace.
27 minutes | May 22, 2022
The Holy Spirit | What Is The Holy Spirit?
Here is Rev. Venida sharing the opening sermon in Forefront's new series, The Holy Spirit and You. She provides insight on who the Holy Spirit is and how her fruit manifests itself in our lives.
28 minutes | May 15, 2022
A GenderFULL God | Panel Discussion
We wrapped up our GenderFULL God series with a panel discussion with fellow Forefronters hosted by Rev. Josh Lee. The panel discussed how tradition, experience, reason, and Scripture have all informed how they each see God. Check out the full Sermon Series here: t.ly/GCxi Thank you to our panelists! Susanne Scheel Sami Main Angela Lockett Frank Espinal D. Eng
26 minutes | May 8, 2022
A GenderFULL God | God as She
Could it Be That God is She? For so long we have only considered a masculine God with male pronouns. What is the impact on women and nonbinary folx who don't identify with masculinity or male pronouns? If we were all created in the image of God, then how can we be more inclusive in our references to God? Watch Rev. Venida Rodman Jenkins address this question in this third sermon in our GenderFULL God series. Join us this Sunday for the final sermon in this series which will take the form of panel discussion. Very exciting!
25 minutes | May 1, 2022
A GenderFULL God | God as They
Gender is one of many categories that we deploy to organize society and create order. We demand, thus, that people who don't fit into categories neatly explain themselves, justify themselves. But as Christians we worship a God who doesn't fit into categories and refuses to justify Themselves. Listen to former Forefront Community Director, Kai (Sarah) Ngu (they/them), as they speak about "God as They" in our GenderFULL sermon series.
55 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
Forefront Conversations with Chelsea Horvath-Black
It's easy to be cynical about how to approach an increasing population of homeless and unhoused citizens when many political figures express concern and care, but approach the problem by ignoring the problem at worst or forcing people into unsafe and overtaxed shelters at best. Chelsea Horvath-Black and the workers at City Relief recognize that this demographic -- the "least of these" as Christ said -- have been perpetually overlooked and ignored by political administrations and seek to meet the homeless and unhoused as humans in recovery who are in need of food, healthcare, jobs, and places to live. In this conversation, Chelsea shares what led her to dedicating her life to caring for the homeless and unhoused, the challenges organizations like hers face when priorities for a revolving door of mayors is constantly shifting, and seeks to reframe the perception of homelessness not as perpetual, but as a stage that many can and have recovered from when needs are being properly addressed and cared for. For more information on City Relief and how to get involved, visit https://cityrelief.org/ ABOUT CHELSEA Chelsea is an LMSW and the current Senior Director of Program Services at City Relief. In addition, she is on staff at the All Angels' Church on the Upper West Side as the Director of Community Ministries. Before working for City Relief and All Angels' she lived and worked in Shanghai, China with a faith-based organization dedicated to the city’s arts and culture sector, its impact on local communities, and the discipleship of artists.
26 minutes | Apr 24, 2022
A GenderFULL God | God as He
In this opening week of the series we are invited to see God beyond cultural or biblical views of masculinity that change and differ over time; but instead to see God with a broader lens that draws from Scripture, tradition, reason and experiences. God is not and was not limited to Christ’s body. God manifests Gods self in both Christ's body while also doing so through the spirit, through creation, and through us humans who reflect the diversity and expansiveness of the imago dei... image of God!
25 minutes | Apr 17, 2022
Easter | The Birthplace of Joy
Watch Rev. Josh Lee preach on Easter Sunday 2022. Easter is a weird day because it’s filled with both grief and joy. Grief as a consequence of unnecessary government-sanctioned violence and joy, that death and violence won't have the last word. It’s because Mary stayed at the tomb with her grief… and wasn’t quick to rush home with the others that Mary is the first to see the risen Christ and experiences her sadness turned to joy.
25 minutes | Apr 10, 2022
Through The Wilderness | Peace Not Warfare
Jesus Christ has come and provided access to the Kingdom of God to all! Palm Sunday sermon with Rev. Venida Rodman Jenkins.
27 minutes | Apr 3, 2022
Through The Wilderness | In and Through Grief
Mental health has been at the center of conversation for the past two years. So many people have experienced loss and host of unexpected feelings and emotions over the past two years. It is important that we express ourselves, and not suppress our feelings which will help release the pain. Preacher: Rev. Vendida Rodman Jenkins
23 minutes | Mar 27, 2022
Through The Wilderness | Jesus, did you just spit on me?
Jesus encounters one man who’s born blind and gives him sight by spitting in the dirt and rubbing mud in his eyes. Jesus was operating at a time when being disabled meant being poor, unemployed, and excluded from mainstream society. What if Jesus didn’t pity this mans differently abled status, but he pitied the way society excluded and looked down upon him? Unfortunately, even after this man is given sight his neighbors, the religious leaders and even his parents don’t see what miracle God has done. Perhaps the moral of this story isn’t as much on the miracle that this man was given sight but on the rebuke that all those who had sight never really saw him or how God was loving those they had discarded.
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