For us, walking in the way of Jesus means to commit our lives to the practices of worship, studying the stories of scripture, prayer, generosity and living in Christian community. In particular, we engage in these practices within the framework of the radically inclusive welcome of Jesus who was always giving voice and value to those who were most overlooked and ignored.

Begin (Again) is more than a sermon series—its a way of life for our whole community to adopt as we commit our lives to the work of following Jesus. Some of us are beginning this work for the first time and some of us have been at it a long time. Regardless of where you are, we invite you to join us as we re-orient our lives around these sacred practices. Our prayer is that, in committing to this work, the practices will become habits and the habits will become a way of life.

We hope you’ll join us as we Begin (Again)—a journey of renewing our lives through worship, growing in our connection with God, standing in solidarity with others, giving generously, and sharing what God is up to with those around us. Here’s a look at what you can expect throughout the series.

Worship | October 27

In worship we open ourselves up to encounter God. Defining that encounter can be tricky as some weeks we experience God as closer than our breath, still and quiet, and other weeks we experience God as awe-inspiring and holy mystery. In worship we hold space for God to speak and we respond by recognizing God’s presence and saying thank you. The pattern of encountering God and responding with gratitude grounds the practice of worship.

In this sacred pattern, we are able to re-center our lives after the week that was and prepare our hearts for the week ahead. When we worship together as a community, common ground becomes sacred as we sing, pray, contemplate scripture, give back and gather for Communion in the presence of God.

Growth | November 3

Many of us engage in the regular work of caring for our minds and bodies. We eat, rest, exercise and form meaningful relationships. When any of these practices are missing or out of balance, our bodies and minds suffer. Our spiritual health develops in much the same way; the balanced practices of prayer, studying the scriptures, and participation in a faith community, grows our spiritual health.

When we spend more time in God’s presence, when we learn about God through sacred texts, and when we deepen our relationships with others in vulnerable and authentic ways, our experience of faith grows in
life-changing ways.

Solidarity | November 10

We connect with our greater community and world through acts of solidarity just as Jesus stood in solidarity with those who were the most overlooked and ignored. We believe we can do more together than we can do alone and that everyone brings something to the table. When we come alongside one another, our congregation is stronger and our community is transformed. 

We believe acts of solidarity within our community and out in the broader world strengthen our connection to God and build bonds and bridges among diverse and different groups. We engage one another and our community partners as equals, ready to offer what is requested of us. When we engage with others instead of doing for them, we see a glimpse of God’s kin-dom of justice and love.

Generosity | November 17

The Christian life contains a call to live generously and with open hands. Time and time again in scripture we find that when we share what we have, miracles happen. We also witness in the scriptures that God has created people and creation to live in an economy of abundance, not scarcity. With these scriptural themes in mind, those who follow Jesus practice giving their money, time, resources and skills to God.

Our practice of giving is not driven by guilt or demand but instead by the idea that we pay forward what we have into God’s work in the world. For Christians giving is a counter-cultural act where we lean into God’s abundance and away from the world’s fear of never having enough. In practicing generosity as a church we also celebrate that our collective gifts allow us to do more for our community together than we could on our own.

Community | November 24

This news of a radically inclusive community centered in God’s example of Jesus Christ is too good to keep to ourselves—we want others to experience the same welcome and belonging we do at Two Rivers. We want others to encounter God whose expansive love changes lives. We believe that growing and expanding our community means telling other people what we experience.

Sharing about our community is a radical act, especially in our social context that prizes sameness. We don’t want to be surrounded by people who are just like us! The more ways that we share and the more places that we simply tell the story of what God is up to in our lives, the more opportunities people will have to be
intrigued or captured by God’s message.

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