Rev. Liz Goodman, Lenox & Monterey UCC

Where Christ is king, the rule is love.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Christ_the_King_2020.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EST

We're nearing the end of the church year, and we're heading into a dark season dominated by the pandemic. Maybe these are labor pains...?

Direct download: In_Between_Days.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06am EST

This one goes out to all you saints in thanks and praise.

Monterey Church, UCC

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Thanks to Alchemy for their music!

Direct download: For_All_the_Saints.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50am EST

Take your time with this one--shorter than usual, but longer than it needed to be if this were simply a matter of information and not inspiration.

Monterey Church, UCC

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Thanks to Alchemy for their music!

Direct download: Taking_Time.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45am EST

The children's library has hidden among its shelves a great theological text on the sovereignty of God.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Runaway.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:14am EST

These are days of longing. For this, we find ourselves in good company, if though from a social distance.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Short_Days_of_Longing.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am EST

If God is sustainer, and God is free, could it be that God would withdraw the sustaining spirit? And if that happens, then now what?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Now_What.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am EST

When all falls away,

this remnant of what’s real: Church.

Seek, hold its frayed hem.

 

Monterey Church (UCC)         Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: A_Remnant_of_Reality.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:08am EST

It isn't often that the Bible strikes a wrong tone because it's just too silly to go with our lived difficulties. But mood-matching has never been easy among otherwise devoted partners.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Not_in_a_Laughing_Mood.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:33am EST

Sundays haven't been the same since COVID imposed itself upon our lives. When is it time to settle on new traditions?

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Monterey Church (UCC)

Direct download: Keeping_It_Together.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36pm EST

We're awash in kitsch--from our politics to our art to our religion to our homes and self-styling. What's a living being to do?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Where_Kitsch_Cant_Find_US.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:26am EST

Congregations generally face lean times and times of plenty. Here's to the ones who withstand the lean times. Without them, those times of plenty would be lost.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Church_Going.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm EST

Jesus preaches against slander, and then slanders someone. What gives?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Rightful_Place.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EST

The mainline church has become sidelined. This is true in most of our congregations, true even in Lenox and Monterey. So what are doing here?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: What_Are_You_Doing_Here.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:08am EST

How do we understand what the gospel is worth in a place? What are we to make of tiny churches sitting on big endowments and gathering in expensive old buildings? Is this really the most efficient way to do things?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Where_Do_We_Get_Off.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:51pm EST

You might have come to believe the kingdom of heaven is reserved for only a blessed few. We're sorry to have too report its something for creepier than that.

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Monterey Church (UCC)

Direct download: Giving_Me_the_Creeps.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am EST

Clearly, something here is wrong. So, let's figure out what that is, and eradicate it once and for all.

But what if that's what about here is wrong?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Bad_Riddance.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59am EST

COVID continues to keep us at a distance from one another, and gathering outdoors or online. Cast out of our sanctuaries which have long sustained us, what we're left with might not adequately sustain us. What are we to do?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Home_Sick.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am EST

What are we to make of the slow (but sure) work of salvation and redemption in our midst? How about this: come as we are, receive as we need, serve as we can, and most of all rejoice in the Lord.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Thanks to Alchemy for music! Buy the album for yourself. 

Direct download: Inappropriate.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:07am EST

That God is still speaking shouldn't be a radical notion. It requires us still to listen. But maybe that's more than some people would want...?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: God_Is_Still_Speaking_2.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17am EST

It's often said fear is the opposite of faith. I suspect grievance is the opposite of faith. The aggrieved are resentful, not faithful. So, which is it for you?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Asking_for_It.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04am EST

This is a sermon for the start of ordinary time, this long season ahead about the only ordinary thing we can hope for in coming months.

Monterey Church, UCC

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Time_Out_of_Joint.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39am EST

A week of unrest gives us a chance at new creation. 

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Wade_in_the_Water.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20am EST

It's been a terrible week. The anxiety of the pandemic and spectacular acts of police violence against Black Americas, all under the watch of national leadership that is useless at best and cruel at worst, combined to make rage and fear the norm. Oh, and it's Pentecost, so maybe there's hope...?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: When_Once-Slaves_Prophesy.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10am EST

Ascension day remembers when Jesus left the world apparently the last time, a separation that feels especially severing in the age of COVID19.

Monterey Church, UCC

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Missing_You.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:48am EST

Staying at home during COVID19 might have us awash in time. That's more stressful than it might at first seem.

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Monterey Church, UCC

Direct download: What_Time_Is_It.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38am EST

Jesus felt God as abiding in him and him as abiding in God. How might sheltering in place feel different if we turned to the possibility that we might also abide in God and God might also abide in us?

Monterey Church, UCC

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Like_Newborn_Infants.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58pm EST

Good Shepherd Sunday shows up the time every year. Is there anything new to say about it? Actually, is there anything new at all?

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Good_Shepherd_Good_Sheep.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The Son of God became man so man might become God. So said Athanasius of Alexandria in the 4th century. Maybe this time fo suspended time might renew our so becoming. 

 

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Journey_from_an_Armchair.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am EST

Resurrection living suggests we're to be present in body as well as spirit with one another. The coronavirus insists upon something else. What to do then?

Monterey Church, UCC

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Text_and_Texture.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54pm EST

Crisis is opportunity because Christ is always one of our options.

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Monterey Church (UCC)

Direct download: Resurrection_Day_2020.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am EST

Palm Sunday is supposed to be a festival day. We're supposed to gather and to wave palm fronds and shout, "Hosanna" to the one who saves us from that from which actually--and pressingly--need to be saved.

Not so this year. This year, we shelter in place, prisoners of a virus, which casts into yet fuller relief our state also of being prisoners of hope.

Save us, Lord, as we bless the work also of those who would save us from this sickness that is on the loose.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Palm_Sunday_2020.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:28am EST

Our faith demands that we work in the world to ease suffering no matter at what cost to ourselves. It also invites to see that death comes to nothing in the life of God into which all are enveloped and embraced. As we face a world newly vulnerable to death with the coronavirus spreading so fast, we join in the struggle to limit the spread of suffering and death even when this puts us at risk. For those doing this most pressingly--those in healthcare and in other "essential services"--we pray and stand in astonishment at their labors.

Monterey Church (UCC)

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: Christ_Would_Make_Monsters_of_Us_All.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:08am EST

The is the second partial worship service we're posting on-line. This, because of Coronavirus having us stay at home. Social distancing is a particular challenge for the church, but internet-based worship might have us all the more aware of the blessing of one another. 

The first portion of this is the Call to Worship and the Prayer of Invocation. (To join in on this, click here.) At 4:45 the scripture readings begin. The sermon begins at 13:00. 

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: The_Ethereal_and_the_Earthy_Real.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm EST

Coronavirus is having us exercise caution about gathering in groups. For the small congregations of Lenox and Monterey, we do plan to hold worship though we know many of our members will stay home on Sunday. Here's a way to participate via podcast. To follow along with the Call to Worship and Prayer of Invocation, click here.

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Monterey Church 

Direct download: Going_Viral.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EST

What happens when there's no more frontier, no more unmapped territory to strike out into in search of the next thing, that "something new"? Is decadence our only option?

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Monterey Church (UCC)

Direct download: Radio_Free_World.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EST

Here's a Sunday for the 1st Sunday of Lent, an attempt to hear the stories of Adam & Eve, and Jesus and the devil, as if for the first time. Sometimes familiar stories are the hardest ones to hear.

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: The_Big_Why.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01am EST

On the irrepressibility of the human spirit--or is it the pervasive, penetrative Holy Spirit? Or some combination of the two?

And sorry about the cough at then end of this episode!! I thought to mic was off, and I'm too lazy to go back an correct it. (That and I have Ash Wednesday services tomorrow, a wedding this weekend, and Sunday is always coming!)

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Direct download: The_Wild_Divine.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38am EST

We're still with Jesus has he preaches his Sermon on the Mount, and what started out as promising abounding blessing now seems like quite a heavy lift.

Can you manage it?

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox UCC

Direct download: Anti-thesis.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm EST

Christianity has been thought as a dangerously lawless enterprise. After all, if everything comes of God's grace, then what does it matter how we live? 

Church on the Hill, Lenox (UCC)

Monterey Church

Direct download: Thanks_for_the_Side-Eye.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm EST

We could exhaust ourselves trying to grow the church or even to "save"the church. How much more delightful would it be, though, if we were simply to be the church. That would be its own appeal.

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox

Direct download: To_Believe_or_to_Enact.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18pm EST

Jesus gathered disciples who in turn were to gather other. What does that mean for us? Evangelism is no easy prospect, especially for those of us in the mainline church, and especially in a world where there's no shortage of people "selling" something. How then to do it, and why?

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox

Direct download: Would_You_Like_to_Come_to_Church_with_Me.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:44pm EST

Church on the Hill is one of the most photographed meetinghouses in New England. So goes the legend. But what does it mean that it's not necessarily conducive to the on-going life of the church?

Church on the Hill, Lenox

Direct download: Our_251st_Year.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm EST

Little churches might seem an ineffectual way to make a change in the world--to improve things or influence things for the better. Consider, though, the gentle servant of Isaiah's imagining, or the gentle Christ who comes though expected to be harsh and decisive. Maybe little churches are just the vessel God needs to plant the kingdom in our midst.

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox

Direct download: Tender_Shepherd.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm EST

Why would the transcendent choose to submit to immanence?

Church on the Hill, Lenox 

Direct download: Christmas_Present.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:51pm EST

Anti-Semitism is like a virus in the brain that humanity just can't kick. The Church bears some responsibility for its perennially infecting us. Here's a sermon that makes a case against it as a habit of mind and a violation of our faith and our humanity.

Monterey Church

Direct download: Anti-Semitism_and_the_Church.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Christmas Eve comes with a lot of expectations. People bring to the service of lessons and carols a desire to feel a certain way, to be made to believe in magic and unadulterated happiness. This sermon won't necessarily enchant you into the Christmas spirit you might have felt as a child. You won't mistake your life as a existing within a snow globe. But you might learn how to live out Christmas hope even when all hope seems lost. The world isn't an easy place these days. Of course, the world Jesus was born into wasn't easy either. 

Monterey Church

Church on the Hill, Lenox

Direct download: Christmas_Eve_2019.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53am EST

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