Sermon: Exodus, law and conquest

By Joanna Lawrence Shenk

This is the fourth sermon in a series called “The Story of the Bible: A Hot Mess and a Healing Journey.”

Scripture excerpts from Exodus – Joshua (see below)

We have a lot of ground to cover today so we’ll be reading excerpts from scripture throughout the sermon. The scope of the sermon is Exodus through Joshua… Suffice it to say this sermon wins the hot mess award for our series this fall.

Last week Sheri talked about the promise God made to Abraham and Sarah and their descendants. “Being chosen doesn’t mean that you’re God’s pampered favorite child and you can throw tantrums and steals toys and treat everyone around you like crap. It means you’ve been chosen for a divine purpose and that God has blessed you for that purpose.”

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FMCers March in Sept. 20 Global Climate Strike!

Members of First Mennonite Church of San Francisco joined thousands who marched in the Global Climate Strike and March in San Francisco on Friday, September 20, 2019. It was a great day of Global Solidarity as marchers and protesters joined an estimated 4 million protesters or more, worldwide, to demand solutions to the Worldwide Climate Crisis.

Here are some of the First Mennonites at the Strike and March who marched and carried First Mennonite Church’s “Solidarity” banner:

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And the following picture shows the First Mennonite Church banner amidst the tumult of thousands of marchers and protesters heading down Market Street in San Francisco:

FMCSF at Climate Strike, SF, Sept 20 2019

-Submitted by Jim Musselman, for the Green Team and Climate Justice Group of FMCSF.

Sermon: Re-creation – Community and Covenant

This is the third sermon in a series called “The Story of the Bible: A Hot Mess and a Healing Journey.”

Genesis 11:27-12:9

Before we continue telling the story of the Bible, I want to say about how I think of story. Stories do not have to be literally true to be profoundly true. Stories do not have to be factual to tell us the truth about the human condition and our relationship to the Sacred. When I approach Bible stories, I often think of a saying that has been attributed to a Native American storyteller: “Now I don’t know if it happened this way or not, but I know this story is true.” We  listen to these stories again and again to try to find the truth in them and to orient our lives by that truth.

And so… We started our series on the story of the Bible two Sundays ago with — creation! It was good, very good. A beautiful garden abundantly filled with life! Humans created in the image of God!   And then, last Sunday: the fall. Humans — desiring to be like God — go beyond God-given limits and broken relationships result, with God, ourselves, each other and creation. 

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Earth Moment

By Karen Kreider Yoder

FMCSF’s Green Team gave this “Earth Moment” on June 2, 2019.

If we cannot acknowledge the problem and mourn, we cannot change our actions and heal the Earth. 

When I was a young girl in the 1960s, humans began producing plastic. Since then, our plastic use has grown steadily. 

From 2000 to 2010, humans produced more plastic than ALL the plastic produced until then. 

Plastics are so durable that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports, “Every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” 

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Earth Moment

By Jim Musselman

FMCSF’s “Green Team” gave this “Earth Moment” on Sunday, May 19.

Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old high school student who lives in Sweden. She is a climate activist who has organized an international school strike to fight climate change. Greta gave a speech about climate in London on April 23rd. Here are a few things she said:

*****

We had everything we could ever wish for and yet now we may have nothing. Now we probably don’t even have a future any more… You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to… Around the year 2030   … we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilization as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%.  

And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.

*****

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Earth Moment

By Kinari Webb

FMCSF’s “Green Team” gave this “Earth Moment” on Sunday, May 5, 2019.

If we cannot mourn, we cannot heal.

Since a human walked on the moon only 50 years ago, earth has lost 60% of the animals it had then. For a moment think about your favorite animal.

Now mourn with me so many fewer elephants, praying mantises, warblers, butterflies, orangutans, sharks, and fish.

[silence]

Here are some small things you can do:

1) Help rebuild the food chain and be healthier yourself by eating organic.

2) Help reduce climate change and promote more sensible use of land by eating less meat.

3) Support a carbon tax.

4) Partner with rainforest communities so that they have their needs met and can protect massive biodiversity and the lungs of the earth.

5) Fight for justice because we will need everyone’s wisdom and strength to bring about the great turning towards living more sustainably with our earth.

May it be so….

Greening our Fellowship Time

By Karen Kreider Yoder

Dear Congregation,

We are trying to eliminate single-use plastic in our lives, and to that end, a snack team recently prepared the fellowship hour snack as free from single-use plastic as possible.  It was quite a challenge, as most of our food is packaged and delivered to us from a distance in single-use plastic, rather than local and seasonal.   

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Sermon: These Stones Will Fall

Mark 13:1-8

By Sheri Hostetler

About a month ago, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC) released another landmark report saying that, yes, climate change is really happening and we’re already seeing the effects of just one degree Celsius of warming and those effects are bigger than we even thought they were going to be. Droughts are more devastating, hurricanes are more damaging, wildfires are more intense and frequent. We know what this is doing to people and other living things from Yemen to Puerto Rico to Paradise, California. 

Because these effects are bigger and happening more quickly than scientists thought they would, the report said we need to keep warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, not the 2 degrees originally agreed upon by world leaders in 2015. This half degree of difference could make a world of difference. It could leave our children with a planet that sort of looks like our own. There will be big environmental challenges and changes with 1.5 degree Celsius warming — there are already with 1 degree. But with 2 degree Celsius, we’re talking more about the end of the world as we know it, especially for the poor and vulnerable. Says Debra Roberts, the co-chair of an IPCC working group: “(1.5 degrees Celsius) is a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now.”  

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