Message from Rev. Beth: Sermon Series for February

Happy new year!

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks says: “I used to think that the greatest command in the Bible was ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ I was wrong. Only in one place does the Bible ask us to love our neighbor. In more than thirty places it commands us to love the stranger…It isn’t hard to love our neighbors…What’s tough is to love the stranger, the person who isn’t like us.”1

Join us in the month of February as we dive deep into the idea of hospitality. Who are the strangers we don’t even notice or prefer not to love? What does it take to live into a deeper understanding of hospitality, rooted in Jesus’ love for the least and the lowest? Are we even called to welcome strangers with drastically different political views? How about strangers who profess hate and enact violence?

See the specifics of the sermon series, Hospitality: Loving the Stranger (right) and check out our Events calendar to learn about other ways to engage in reflection and practice of hospitality throughout the next month. Take particular note of our community potluck, A Midwinter Night’s Dinner (Feb 2), and our Valentine’s Gala Dinner & Dance (Feb 17), both in support of our ministry at First United, In From the Cold, as well as a film screening (Feb 3) and Fireside Chat (Feb 17) hosted by our Reconciliation Seekers.

See you soon,
Rev. Beth

1Letty M. Russell, Just Hospitality: God’s Welcome in a World of Difference, eds J. Shannon Clarkson and Kate M. Ott, (Louisville Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009) 101.