First Church Congregational presents sermon series: Sacred Earth, Sacred Worth

PAINESVILLE, OH (July 20, 2020) – During the months of July and August First Church Congregational will be studying the origins of Creation and the Creator. Join First Church as we look forward to celebrating the summer season worship series: Sacred Earth, Sacred Worth.

What if we lived life truly connected to the origins of Creation and the Creator? In the beginning God created all things and called them originally “good.” In this series we will explore six essential ideas found in Creation Spirituality–a way of living within the community of earth that deepens our reverence for life, participates in the creativity of the cosmos, and develops our passion for justice and human transformation. It compels us to lead lives of spiritual inquiry, creativity, and prophetic action as our sacred work in the world,” said Rev. Tom Cofer, senior pastor.

Sunday, July 19: “Creation as a Blessing.” Focus Scripture: Genesis 1: 2-4. The Universe, and all life within it, is fundamentally a blessing, fundamentally good, and created to flourish–including us. This doesn’t prevent hardship and difficulties, but it does strengthen us as we go through tough times. It allows us to deepen in faith and spirituality without fear. Life in all its joys and struggles is a blessing–which means, it is something worth sharing. How might moving through our days with an eye for recognizing goodness and blessing transform our experience of life?

Sunday, July 26: “Spirit of Compassion.” Focus Scripture: Mark 12: 28-34. It is through the work of spiritual practice that we move beyond fear into compassion and discover our deep and true selves. Engaging in spiritual practices–whether that looks typically religious (like praying) or not (like walking) have intentionality in common. They draw us closer to the Creator and who we were created to be–free and compassionate beings. What practices in your life draw you closer to your true essence and closer to compassion for others?

Sunday, August 2: “The Paths of Life.” Focus Scripture: Psalm 30. The spiritual journey can be understood as a dance moving in and out of four mystical paths, each with their own gifts: awe and wonder; letting go; creativity; compassion and justice. These “cycles of life” are born out of the seasons of the planet and remind us that there is a time for everything and that fluctuations of the spirit are part of being human. Can we accept the Holy invitation to move fully into all the rhythms of life?

Sunday, August 9: “Sacred Creative Vocation” Focus Scripture: Isaiah 6: 1-8. Made in the image of the Creator, every one of us carries within us the capacity to be a mystic, to be creative, to be visionary, and to be an agent for positive change. It is our responsibility to say “here I am, send me” and to cultivate our capacity to benefit the earth and all its creatures. What are we creating in this world that will cause positive ripples into the future?

Sunday, August 16: “Glorious Diversity” Focus Scripture: Genesis 11 1-9. Creation Spirituality rejoices in and courageously honors the rich diversity within the Cosmos which is expressed in every individual and embodies multiple cultures, religions, and ancestral traditions. Creation is rife with theme and variation and yet fear has driven us to try to tame, label and homogenize it. What do we lose when we privilege dominant voices and limit perspectives?  Diversity is another name for God and should be celebrated!

Sunday, August 23: “Healing Relationships” Focus Scripture: 1 John 4: 7-21. We live in sacred relationship with every other living thing. Our food, our health, our homes, our vocations are all part of an interconnected community. Creation hangs in the balance when we forget this connection. We acknowledge that our species and the entire earth community depends upon the healing of harm already done, moving toward sustainability for the future, and harmony that offers live-giving coexistence for all. Can we embrace our responsibility to care? Now is the time, if we want a future.

First Church Congregational is located at 22 Liberty Street, on the Square in Downtown Painesville. Those who are interested may call 440-357-7518, email through office@firstchurchcongreational.org. Connect with First Church Congregational online via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.firstchurchcongregational.org.