Redding Pilgrim
Congregational Church, UCC

Leading Causes of Life: Oct 2 to Nov 13

leading-causes-of-life

Choose Life • Oct 2 • John Crowe
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
– Luke 24:1-9, Luke 17:5-6

COMMUNION SUNDAY: The first Sunday introduces the theme and invites the congregation to adjust their lenses to recognize life rather than focus on death–what feels like it is destroying us. We pose the questions this Sunday, “What is the focus of our attention? What dominates our imaginations?”And it introduces the five leading causes of life through which we will journey: connection, coherence, agency, blessing and hope.

Healing Power: Connection • Oct 9 • Laura Ostman
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
– Colossians 3:12-15, Luke 17:11-19

Churches can be places of healing–places of connection. This Sunday focuses on this first “leading cause of life” which is the root of our word “religion,” meaning “to bind together.”Physical healing happens when two sides of a wound reach toward each other and bind. All kinds of healing happens for us when we connect to the Source of All Being, to the Teacher Jesus, who guides us toward the “other,” and when we know deeply that we are all connected to each other.

Purpose & Meaning: Coherence • Oct. 16 • Cajun James
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” –
Luke 9:1-6, Luke 18:1-8

When we know in our bones what we are here to be and do, we have coherence. Knowing where we belong and finding meaning in our lives gives us purpose that holds up even (and especially) in the storms of life. Jesus said he had “come to set the prisoners free.”Bottom line. So if the “prisoner” in front of him was someone he wasn’t “supposed to” associate with in the social norms of his day, it didn’t matter because setting this person free was the bottom line. To have a life-leaning bottom line invites adaptability and choice, it doesn’t restrict it. Where do we find our meaning and purpose?

We Do, We Live: Agency • Oct 23 • Rev. Ann Corrin
“…Do this in remembrance of me.”
– Luke 22:14-20, Luke 18:9-14

Agency is about doing, even if it is just doing only what we can do in this moment–which doesn’t feel like much sometimes. When our purpose joins with our doing, then we have found our “calling.” Before he dies, Jesus invites his followers to no longer be servants, but friends who understand they must carry on his actions in the world. They are to become agents of change and possibility. Instead of focusing on problems, we focus on the assets of our community, our friends in Christ, and what is possible.

Generations of Love: Blessing • Oct 30 • Rev. Ann Corrin
“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” – John 1:16, Luke 19:1-10

Blessing is not just a nice thing to say, it is “generative” of life. It is what we do that creates more and more life within ourselves and others and it has been going on for, well… “generations.” Blessing is about opening to the channels of love that have been flowing before we came into this world and will flow after we leave it. We are part of a long river of life-giving actions of generosity, kindness, hospitality and humor.

Not Just Wishful Thinking: Hope • Nov 6 • Rev. Ann Corrin
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”
– Psalm 31:21-24, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

COMMUNION SUNDAY: Humans have the capacity to imagine the future, drawing us together to take risks and face dangers because hope moves us forward. Hope held and spoken in community is not just wishful thinking, it is a bold announcement and celebration of a future in God.

Let Your Life Be about Life • Nov 13 • Rev. Ann Corrin
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” – Ephesians 1:18-19, Isaiah 65:17-25

STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY: From death to life, from fear to blessing, from despair to hope… this is what we have been about in this series. In this final worship experience we will hear testimony to the “Leading Causes of Life” that we have witnessed and small or big ways in which we have refocused in order to let our lives be about life. We will pray for these life-giving practices to “go viral”–infecting our communities so that there is more connection, more meaning, more action, more blessing and more hope.