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.
Emerging Leader Bree Elle Gardner explores doubt and certainty in the story of Job. Certainty has hardened Job’s heart and it takes God’s “tough love” for Job to realize he has only uttered small talk about wonders way over his head.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 38.11MB - Duration: 16:22 m (320 kbps 44100 Hz)
Guest Preacher Rev. Elena Larssen explores the story of Zacchaeus, who has a special encounter with Jesus, and commits to rearranging his life to make room for new things.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53.22MB - Duration: 22:59 m (320 kbps 44100 Hz)
On the first Sunday of Lent, Molly Baskette reflects on the story of a surprisingly large catch of fish as Jesus calls his first disciples. Simon responds by declaring himself a sinner. He may sense that Jesus is about to ask everything of him.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49.69MB - Duration: 21:26 m (320 kbps 44100 Hz)
Emerging Leader Trust Hilton reflects on the story of Jesus breaking bread with his disciples, noticing that Jesus is excited about sharing a meal with his friends. As he blesses bread and wine, he invites them to remember him.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 52.68MB - Duration: 22:44 m (320 kbps 44100 Hz)
Jesus invites his followers to a kind of love that is not attached to results or outcomes. If we are willing to release our expectations, perhaps we will have more time for genuine curiosity about reality. We might expect nothing but hope for everything.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 48.77MB - Duration: 21:02 m (320 kbps 44100 Hz)
In the Luke version of the Beatitudes, Jesus comes to the level plain to heal the people and speak to them. Molly Baskette suggests that dealing directly with the challenges of life is the path toward blessing and joy—the way to juicy life.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 20.15MB - Duration: 22:00 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Minister of Art & Communication Phil Porter discusses Richard Rothstein’s book The Color of Law, which demonstrates comprehensively that housing segregation in the United States was systematically supported by federal, state and local laws and ordinances.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 23.47MB - Duration: 24:57 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Senior Minister Molly Baskette explores the ways that walls can either protect us or keep us apart and declares God’s desire to tear down walls of separation.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 21.58MB - Duration: 22:53 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Emerging Leader Trust Hilton invites the congregation to view the scripture with the lens of “a preferential option for the poor,” and acknowledges a central reality of the Gospel that Jesus was homeless.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 13.77MB - Duration: 14:21 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Young Adult Minister Kit Novotny uses the story of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana to explore the importance of timing. As we listen for God’s call, it may be more important to look for the “ripe” moment rather than the right one.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 21.32MB - Duration: 22:36 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)