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.
Rachel Bauman suggests that the story of the raising of Lazarus and the words in Revelations spoke not only to the life-giving power of Jesus acts and God’s presence, but were also wider messages of hope to people in challenging situations.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 19.05MB - Duration: 20:07 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
“You are the light of the world." Senior Minister Molly Baskette suggests that this is both metaphorically and biologically true. We are each full of God’s light, and we can shine our light as we travel in the world, especially in places of darkness.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 12.24MB - Duration: 12:41 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Jesus heals the blind beggar Bartamaeus. Young Adult Minister Kit Novotny notices that it isn’t completely clear whether Bartamaeus was healed because he had faith or that his faith was the result of being healed. Is faith the chicken or the egg?
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 20.91MB - Duration: 22:09 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Guest preacher Rev. Sophia DeWitt weaves together Jeremiah’s stories of the Israelites who were overtaken by the Babylonians and the lepers who were cured by Jesus to explore the different ways one might be exiled both physically and psychologically.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 27.31MB - Duration: 29:08 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
On the first Sunday of this year’s stewardship campaign, Senior Minister Molly Baskette explores the story of Moses, Aaron and the golden calf, and asks the congregation to think about money, gratitude, generosity, and humility.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 23.64MB - Duration: 25:08 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
In the last of a series of sermons on “Choose Your Own Adventure,” Phil Porter that adventure can also involve periods of waiting or even challenge. He suggests that we might have active choices we can make during these times.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 14.42MB - Duration: 15:03 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
In the story of Jesus visiting the home of Mary and Martha, Molly Baskette finds empowerment in both women and the way that Jesus interacted with them. Jesus calls them and all of us to be deeply aligned with who we know ourselves to be.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.51MB - Duration: 19:31 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Rev. Jim Antal, UCC climate activist, shares stories of defiant hope in response to climate change. In our resistance to fossil fuels we are called to envision new possibilities as if they are inevitable.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 26.56MB - Duration: 28:19 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
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)