Listen as Oakhurst member Melissa King Rogers preaches from Hawaii! Together, from around the globe and right here in Decatur, Georgia, we will worship God and seek God’s guidance in creating a more loving and just kin-dom of heaven here on earth!
July 25, 2021 – 9th Sunday after Pentecost
With less than two days of advanced warning, we began virtual worship services on March 15, 2020. Virtual worship truly surprised us with the ways it provided intimacy, connection, and true community across Atlanta and our world.
We were blessed by former members living all around the country and the globe, joining us for worship. We were blessed by grandparents getting to worship with their geographically-distant grandchildren for the first time! We were blessed by local members, long absent from the sanctuary because of sickness or lack of mobility, suddenly worshipping with us again. We were blessed with a wonderful class of new members who might not have ever found us, had we not been online.
After taking his newfound knowledge back home and being rejected, Jesus claims, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, or on the streets he played in as a child.” What does this brief story say to us about embracing transition and transformation? Are we so afraid of it in ourselves that we also scoff at others who dare to try? Listen as Pastor Lauren Colwell looks at this episode in the life of Jesus and questions what it means for us.
As we pass 600,000 Covid deaths in the United States, as we sit with those who mourn the loss of their beloveds, as the virus rages on in India, Cuba, the Philippines, and Brazil, how do we stop acting like everything is okay all the time? How do we be present to our individual, communal, and global grief, in a way that is authentic and has true integrity of emotion? And then, how do we not become so completely immobilized by it that we can continue to tend to those who are hurting?
Listen as Pastor Melanie Vaughn-West reflects on this passage, and how we move forward together as people who are called to share one another’s burdens, as well as the burdens of the world.
Listen as Rev. Brandon T. Maxwell reflects on Job 38:1-11 in a sermon entitled “You Can Dish It Out, But Can You Take It?” Brandon engages the text and God through a 21st century black lens asking God, “Where were you?”
“Why do you speak to the people in parables?” the disciples asked. We are asking. Our preacher, Bob Duvall is asking. “Jesus, why do you speak to the people in parables?” Emily Dickinson says, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” Listen as Oakhurst member Bob Duvall ponders, “Why parables?”
In Mark 3:20-35, the crowds decide Jesus has lost his mind and his family steps in for an intervention. But Jesus wants to know what makes them think they know what’s insane and what’s sane. Could we ask ourselves the same thing? What are the corporate delusions of ego and culture that we have all agreed to engage in? Can Jesus’ truth set us free? Maybe. But as Flannery O’Connor once said, one thing we know for sure is that it will make us odd. Listen as Pastor Melanie Vaughn-West reflects on this passage.
On this Trinity Sunday, the Rev. Rachel Frank joined us virtually from the UK and explored what it means to “live by the spirit.”
The Rev. Rachel Frank was born and raised in the Northeastern US before moving to Atlanta to attend Candler School of Theology, from which she graduated with her Master of Divinity in 2008. While a student at Candler, she was a pastoral intern at Oakhurst Baptist. After graduating, she worked as Assistant Minister at OBC for three years, primarily as the leader of the Youth Ministry Team, and she was ordained at Oakhurst in 2009.
We welcome Martha Perusek this morning. Martha currently serves as Director of Development at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Martha’s religious roots are in the Pentecostal tradition having been raised in Assemblies of God churches. She later converted to Catholicism and later became gradually and “accidentally” Baptist following her first visit to Oakhurst Baptist Church in 2008.