Advent 1: Hope vs Despair

“What Does it Mean to Be a People of Hope? Hope vs. Despair,” Susan Ryder

Jeremiah 33:14-16
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety.

Luke 21:25-28
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. [Read more…]

Being Jesus

“What Does it Mean to Be A People of Courage: Being Jesus,” Susan Ryder

Nelson Mandela
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

St. Catherine of Siena Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire! [Read more…]

Courage in the Face of Our Mortality

“Courage in the Face of Mortality,” Bob Ryder

Continuing our series on courage, on this last Sunday of October we turn our attention to courage in the face of mortality. It seemed appropriate to think about death in these days before our observances of the Day of the Dead, All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain, All Souls, and All Saints Days. Let’s begin with a few readings: [Read more…]

Courage in the Face of Turmoil

“Courage in the Face of Turmoil,” Susan Ryder

Matthew 6:25-29

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. [Read more…]

LGBT Courage

“The Courage to Be Yourself,” Bob Ryder

This morning as we continue our series on “What does it mean to be a people of courage?” we’ll consider the courage of LGBT people as part of the observance for LGBT history month, and National Coming Out Day this past Thursday.


CNN AC360:  (CNN Published on Jun 26, 2015) [Read more…]


“What Does it Mean to be a People of Courage?” Susan Ryder

Luke 18:1-5
Then Jesustold them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’”

Galatians 6:9So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. [Read more…]

Keep Democracy Alive

“Keep Democracy Alive,” Bob Ryder


The (purpose) of the state… is to lead men to live by free reason; that they may not waste their strength in hatred, anger and guile, nor act unfairly toward one another. — Benedict Spinoza [Read more…]

Known in the Breaking of the Bread

“Known in the Breaking of Bread,” Richard Watts

I begin with a story from the early years of New Covenant Community.  [Read more…]

Days of Awe

“The Days of Awe,” Susan Ryder

Leviticus 23:26-28 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Now, the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you: you shall deny yourselvesand present the Lord’s offering by fire; and you shall do no work during that entire day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God.

Matthew 5:23-24 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sisterhas something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister,and then come and offer your gift. [Read more…]

That New Car Smell

“That New Car Smell,” Bob Ryder


“The journey is the destination.” Anonymous proverb

“If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb [Read more…]