Get a fresh take on God, spirit, faith, life, love, justice, and community. First Church Berkeley is an open and affirming, progressive Christian church in Berkeley, California, part of the United Church of Christ. We are committed to Jesus’ countercultural and life-giving path. We understand the life of spirit to be a journey, not a destination. Our podcast features the powerful preaching of several of the ministers on staff and special guests. More about the church at firstchurchberkeley.org.
Senior Minister Molly Baskette explores the issue of loneliness. Our circumstances may vary, but we all have an understanding of what loneliness is like. The body of Christ—celebrates connection. How do we make sure to extend that to all who may need it?
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 20.26MB - Duration: 21:26 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
We can sink into cynicism and despair in the face of the world’s peril or we can choose to act with hope and even joy, each of us playing a part in healing the world. Rachel Bauman suggests that we will need spiritual practices to take on this adventure.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 13.2MB - Duration: 13:44 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Senior Minister Molly Baskette notices that each of the characters in the story of Moses' birth was only doing what one would expect in the situation. It was God’s weaving together of these individual actions that created the extraordinary event.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 23.04MB - Duration: 24:29 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Minister of Art & Communication Phil Porter suggests that some of the characteristics of progressive Christians have may prepare them for the difficult challenge of dealing with climate change,
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 21.82MB - Duration: 23:09 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Guest preacher Ken Iha suggests that if we are made in God’s image, then surely the wildness of God is in us as well. That wildness includes imagination, creativity, problem-solving, wonder, awe, and delight.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.39MB - Duration: 19:24 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
How big is God? God is so big that Ze cannot be described by any single word (even a gender-neutral pronoun). Director of Youth Ministries Trust Hilton notes that every word we use for God is a metaphor, helping us to touch God’s power in different ways.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 13.48MB - Duration: 14:02 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman explores suffering, faith, and fairness through the story of Job, a righteous man who is tested by God. By the end, we understand that the world consists of both good and evil, order and chaos, suffering and joy.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 26.17MB - Duration: 27:53 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Minister of Art & Communication Phil Porter weaves together the story of Jesus temptation in the wilderness, personal tales and lessons from Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” to talk about challenge, danger, transformation, and resourcefulness.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 20.73MB - Duration: 21:57 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Senior Minister Molly Baskette cites recent scientific work on the effects of controlled doses of psychedelics to treat some mental illness, to explore the power of awe. Awe allows us to enter into a larger awareness that expands beyond ourselves.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.92MB - Duration: 19:58 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
In the first of a sermon series called “The Wildness of God,” Senior Minister Molly Baskette explores the fragility of life and the power of God. Things get broken—we are broken. Yet God can do much with that brokenness.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 17.88MB - Duration: 18:50 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)