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.
On this Palm Sunday, Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman reflects on freedom. After a period of ministry on the margins and with the marginalized, Jesus was headed into Jerusalem—into the middle of things bringing God’s promise of freedom.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 17.24MB - Duration: 18:08 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Young Adult Minister Kit Novotny invites us into a sense of vulnerability and trust as “fools for Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:18-21; 25) in the tradition of iconic saints and prophets who sometimes demonstrated their humility in public and theatrical acts.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.79MB - Duration: 19:50 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Given the challenges of the last few weeks, Senior Minister Molly Baskette share that, like the punchline in an old joke, felt like a “frayed knot.” And yet she could grasp onto the ropes of faith God has thrown to her, both mystically and practically.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 19.92MB - Duration: 21:04 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Beginning with a story of her own experiences giving birth, Senior Minister Molly Baskette emphasizes the importance of breathing into the moment. God does that for Joseph in a dream about the truth of Jesus’ birth.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 15.87MB - Duration: 16:39 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
On Advent Music Sunday, Minister of Art & Communication Phil Porter begins by imagining the first song that was ever sung. Then he explores how music moves us in so many different ways making it an important way to experience and express the holy.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 7.78MB - Duration: 7:48 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Young Adult Minister Kit Novotny notes that as human beings we will fall short of the glory of God. Like other sensitive bodies, John the Baptist. can see this reality and calls his people to a new thing, immersing them in the water of the Jordan River.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 13.19MB - Duration: 13:43 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Senior Minister Molly Baskette explores the apocalyptic nature of the Matthew text in which one is left and the other is taken. We are called to be even more “woke,” to put our privilege on the line and to understand that God is calling us to re-creation.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 17.22MB - Duration: 18:07 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
On Transgender Day of Remembrance & Visibility, First Church mourns the lives of transgender people murdered over the last year. Former Emerging Leader Sonny Graves draws on both the pain and the promise of the story of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 24.69MB - Duration: 26:17 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Zacchaeus was a tax collector who was intrigued enough by Jesus to climb up into a tree to get a glimpse of him. Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman notices that it was Zaccaeus’ joy at being truly seen by Jesus that led him to share his wealth.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 12.88MB - Duration: 13:22 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Senior Minister Molly Baskette preaches on the story of the Pharisee who stands in the middle of the temple and prays loudly about his virtue and the tax collector who prays humbly in a corner (Luke 18:9-14).
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 19.83MB - Duration: 20:58 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)