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First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo
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First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo

Author: First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo

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Join us as each week as we explore and practice what it means to express God's love for the world. First Presbyterian is an inclusive congregation located in the heart of Marin County, California. We are a church that feels called to love one another, express gratitude, ease suffering, and work for justice.
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First John 4 offers us a topography of where love abides – how we locate ourselves and move around in love, as we abide in God, and God abides and us.
Stories about bread take us deep into the heart of the most basic human need.  And we find God there. In the bread we break, the Risen Christ makes us bread for the world.
We are Easter people, called and empowered by God through the Spirit of the Risen Christ to be bold, live out our faith, and challenge the powers that oppress.
In stories of sharing broiled fish and cinnamon toast, we see this: Resurrection is an everyday, embodied experience of the Risen Christ – embodied in us. Witnesses are those who see and go out and live what they have learned and loved, for the blessing of the whole world.  
Resurrection opens up the power of life to overturn death and its forces, and the choice to center ourselves in that reality. To live lives of resurrection hope that pour compassion and love and justice and forgiveness and healing into all the world’s wounds. 
In Resurrection, the Risen Christ blesses us with life, and invites us to go and tell the story with the lives we live. When the Gospel of Mark tells the story of Resurrection – in language spare and startling – “He is risen!  He’s gone ahead to meet you.  Just like he said.  Go and tell the others” – it invites us to write ourselves into the narrative.
In Palm Sunday, the cross, and the empty tomb, Jesus blesses the world by declaring a new reality with his body. This is what Jesus is doing on Palm Sunday, inviting us with his body, gathered with our bodies, to proclaim the Good News he has come to make real.
As we listen to the lament of Psalm 22, of Jesus from the cross, of the prayers of Celtic spirituality, and of our own world, we find our way to this blessing: God blesses us with tears to shed with each other, the presence of God in the midst of our suffering.
In the blessing of a name, God claims us as God's own; and in our names for God, we use metaphor to offer glimpses of what we see of God.
In the blessing of anger, Jesus takes a stance against everything that does us harm, and invites us into Resurrection life.
Rev. Allie Utley leads us in a reflection on the troubling image of the cross and invites us to consider this:  In the suffering of the cross, God knows us, intimately, the whole of our human experience, including our sorrow and pain.
In our Lenten journey, God blesses us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that we might live deeply and from the heart.
On Ash Wednesday, we remember that we are dust and that God’s steadfast love endures forever.  With God, what will we make of the dust of our lives?
Transfiguration brings us to the place where the words run out, and invites us into the holy experience of silence – the place where we meet God in ways that words simply cannot express.
In communion, we embody the real presence of Christ. The real presence of Christ is not complete without you.
Psalm 139 invites us to see ourselves and each other as seen and known by God.
The Word becomes flesh as Jesus calls us into community – and we call each other – “Together We Serve.” The Word becomes flesh not at the centers of power – but in the vibrant pulse of life at the margins – in everyday folk and our everyday lives – in this Jesus of Nazareth, in this community of mutuality.
Grace is God’s unconditional love for the whole world.  Grace insists that we say true things about systems of oppression and our complicity in those systems, and then calls us to change.  Grace then allows those who have participated in the harm to participate in the healing.
Claimed as God’s beloved in baptism, Jesus calls us to the work of making manifest in our humanity the life-giving, life-honoring reign of God.
On the first Sunday of a new year, we turn to the beginning of the Gospel of John, affirming that God's Word becomes flesh in the midst of us. Always, as we begin again, Christ manifests God’s Word in us.
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