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.
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)
Director of Youth Programs Trust Hilton and members of the senior high youth group, Winthrop, share their reflections on their recent work camp in Stockton, CA, and where they saw God in their experience.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 22.47MB - Duration: 23:51 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
On Pride Sunday, Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman reflects on the gifts of queer folk can “shine” when they are included in faith communities and can fully claim God’s love.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.93MB - Duration: 19:59 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Senior Minister Molly Baskette wonders aloud whether it is as easy and exclusive as it sounds to claim Jesus as one’s personal Lord and Savior or whether salvation is for the whole world—a “package deal” in which everyone is saved.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 21.39MB - Duration: 22:40 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Loi Almeron shares that our internal structure is changing day by day whether it is seen or unseen. These unseen experiences are where can put our focus, rather than on temporary externalities. In the face of the struggle, we must not lose heart.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 15.22MB - Duration: 15:56 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
For this all-ages service about "upstanding," Phil Porter talks about how we can stand up to those who might be threatening or challenging even in our own community, as well as the ways that we can directly address issues of racism and discrimination.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 23.39MB - Duration: 24:52 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
On Mental Health Sunday, Rachel Bauman shares her own story about the way mental health issues in her family affected her as she was growing up. She invokes the healing stories from scripture that show how Jesus was saw and named illness and challenge.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 23.09MB - Duration: 24:32 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
On this Sunday of Pentecost and the confirmation of eight youth, Senior Minister Molly Baskette reflects on how we are hearing each other and the Spirit. She imagines what claiming one’s faith as a young person in the UCC in this day and age might mean.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 22.12MB - Duration: 23:28 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)