Tag Archives: inclusive baptist church dc

Genocide, Rwanda and the End of the Superstition Called Progress

God_Sleeps_RwandaSunday, June 26th, The Riverside Book Club hosts Dr. Joseph Sebarenzi as he talks with us about his acclaimed memoir God Sleeps in Rwanda. Dr. Sebarenzi experienced the tragedy of the Rwandan genocide and then rose to become the third most powerful man his country while pushing for greater democracy. Joseph will read excerpts from his book as well as take questions.  Join us in the Foster Room next Sunday after worship, approximately 11:15 a.m.

I will be preaching a sermon entitled, A Wreck of A World, in which I attempt to speak critically and theologically about evil and what this says not only about God but also about the last great superstition, as Christopher Lasch, referred to it, progress.  At Riverside, we are accustomed to using both our minds and our hearts in our struggle to understand God and ourselves.  We pose deep questions knowing that shallow questions only lead to shallow answers.

Please be sure to check out the Sermons tab where you can catch up on sermons you have missed or send a link to a friend or shut in or someone whom you think might like listening to a sermon online.  ~See you Sunday

Riverside Church Cherry Blossoms

Why I Don’t Go to Church … and why I do

I don’t attend church in order to find God. I attend church because God found me.

I do not enter the church to be entertained. Instead, my hope is that in telling the truth about my life, our world and measuring these beside the great Truth of God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ, I will be challenged to live an authentic life.

I don’t attend church to have my political ideas confirmed or the platform of the Republican, Democratic or Libertarian parties stapled into my bible.  I attend in order to hear about God’s rule, sometimes translated as “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven.”

I don’t attend church to “sow a seed” in order that I might become “prosperous.”  I worship God who has blessed me already, gifted me with life and is worthy of my praise and thanksgiving.

I do not enter a church to hear a preacher denounce and berate people, spew hatred or pick on persons who are already at risk in our culture at large. I enter the church to hear about faith, hope and love since, as the Apostle Paul wrote, these three endure when everything else passes away.

I do not enter a church to gossip, text, Facebook or check email.  I turn off those devices and turn my back on gossip in order to fellowship, deepen the bonds of love and friendship between myself and God’s people.

I step out of a mad world in love with violence, stoking revenge, fixated on guns and enter the church for peace, peacemaking and justice.

There is a place of peace. Go there. Be found.  Embrace truth. Be filled with joy.  Be girded in faith.  Hold your head up in hope.  The love of Christ sustain you.  ~See you Sunday

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The Church As Table

Sunday was a fabulous day with wonderful music, singers and musicians; prayers and scripture; and a sermon about “Table Stories.”  In that sermon the following definition of Church was offered:  ”The church is that group of persons who by gratitude and thanksgiving, offer a banquet in honor of the Christ and invites others to join them there so they can meet him.”  And from there I asserted:

“How preposterous then that the church is divided along lines of race and class, gender and orientation.  We follow Jesus, who invited everyone to share at table with him and in turn, was willing to enter anyone’s home who invited him.  The church ought to be offering a table of welcome and hospitality to all.  That is our mission. That is our identity. ”

Aren’t you tired of worshipping in a church that works on cutting people out, kicking folks off the island, putting out torches instead of lighting them?  Why would you remain in a church that hates you or, for that matter, hates anyone? Aren’t you tired of not worshipping, of sitting out and avoiding holy spaces because you’re afraid of unholy and mean people?  I know a place that practices a radical table fellowship. Christ shows up there.  We would love to hear your table story and have you join with us because life is too short not to pray, praise, connect, commune, celebrate, weep together, laugh together, journey together in this sacred journey.  ~See you Sunday.