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 his last Sunday, Phil Porter explores the idea of "providence," especially as it has related to his many years at First Church Berkeley. If God has plans for us, we are passive characters in the story, but must listen and discern where we might be led.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 45.92MB - Duration: 19:47 m (320 kbps 48000 Hz)
The gospel writers had four different endings to the Easter story. Other gospels discovered later offered us even more! Perhaps they were not writing endings--but beginnings. Perhaps we are each a gospel, a resurrection-in-progress, and still becoming.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 35.38MB - Duration: 15:11 m (320 kbps 44100 Hz)
Phil Porter focuses on the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with an impromptu and humble parade. What is it that any of us might hope for if we were a witness to that important parade?
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 26.52MB - Duration: 11:18 m (320 kbps 44100 Hz)
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)