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 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)
Guest preacher Michael Piazza notes that in the morning's scripture Jesus chooses to use the image of a mother hen as a symbol of protection, embracing and demonstrating his vulnerability.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 22.19MB - Duration: 23:33 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman leads the congregation in a reflection on Isaiah’s call to a “new heaven and a new earth,” a hopeful cry for justice and peace for all people.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 26.51MB - Duration: 28:16 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Public Theologian in Residence, Marvin K. White mines the rich topic of “love.” In his theopoetical style, he explores the generosity of God’s love, our own capability to name and claim it, and the direct connection between love and justice.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 23.57MB - Duration: 25:45 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)
In the wake of the 2016 election, guest speaker Steve Almond wrote “Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country.” He challenges the “bad stories” that have come to shape us as a people. Can we dream up new stories?
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.07MB - Duration: 19:03 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)
Reflecting on the themes of sleep, faith and safety in Psalm 4, Emerging Leader Kim Druziako shares her own stories of survival as she first moved to the Bay Area. After her community is evicted from a warehouse space she turns to sex work to survive.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 12.84MB - Duration: 13:20 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)
Thomas, the twin, missed out when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room. Young Adult Minister Kit Novotny notes that even though we don’t know exactly why he wasn’t there, he had his own FOMO moment—“fear of missing out.”
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.91MB - Duration: 19:58 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)
On this Easter Sunday, Senior Minister Molly Baskette talks about “eukatastrophe,” the “sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears.”
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 22.75MB - Duration: 24:09 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)
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)