Compassion for the Poor

Nate Pracht
March 11, 2018

God is shaping us into a culture of compassion, a community that leans into empathy, a community that shares God’s compassion, kindness and love for the poor. In Scriptures we see God’s love for the poor burst out of the pages.  From Moses to Jesus we see that common thread of concern and care for the poor. In this message, Nate looks at some of the themes we see in the Scriptures regarding God's care and concern for the poor. We realize that for us to tap into compassion for the poor is to sync up with the heartbeat of God.

Pracht Mission Trip Update

Nate and Becky Pracht
January 8, 2018

In recent days Becky and Nate Pracht went to Uganda on a missions trip. In this message they share lessons learned on the trip and especially press home the call to love one another. This is a message not only for those interested in global missions but for those who desire to love the community of believers deeper.

Healed vs. Cured

Nia Campinha-Bacote
October 29, 2017

If you have ever experienced a physical injury, you know how frustrating it is to have limited mobility.  Yet immobility is not contained to merely the physical realm, and at times we can feel paralyzed by our own thoughts or life's circumstances. In this sermon, Yale University campus missionary and Divinity School student Nia Campinha-Bacote gives us a glimpse into how God might be calling us to respond in the moments when we feel stuck.  By looking at the Biblical account of a man who was paralyzed for thirty-eight years and then encounters Jesus, Nia challenges us to ask the question, "Do we desire to be cured or healed?"

Our Glory

Lorenna Ellis
August 27, 2017

How does God regard our need to find significance, to feel valuable and confident?  And what are we supposed to do with this need?  Our guest missionary, Lorenna, discusses a story in the life of King David to find answers to these questions.  Ultimately, it is Jesus’ death on the cross that unleashes the greatest confidence and the deepest humility we could ever experience.

Fostering Hope

Jonathan Reid
June 25, 2017

Jonathan Reid of Fostering Hope delivers a challenging sermon on the adoption of God's people and the responsibility that comes with it. What does this responsibility entail? The imitation of Christ through the selfless fostering and adoption of orphans into the family of God. 

The Importance of Forgiving

John Michaelson
May 5, 2017

No one can escape the need to forgive others. Everyone is hurt or wronged or betrayed at one time or another, and when these experiences happen, it's very easy to become bitter. Ren elder John Michaelson goes deep into the teaching of Christ from the sermon on the mount about the dangers of not forgiving. He discusses how it's not only important to forgive but to pursue reconciliation. John also provides some wonderful hope at the end on God's sufficient grace to enable us to forgive deeply from the heart.

Steadfast Love in the Darkness

Nathan Pracht
April 2, 2017

Lamentations 3 promises that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  But the background of Lamentations is not happiness and blessing, but suffering and destruction.  How does the steadfast love of the Lord come to us in times of pain and suffering?  Nate draws on Scripture and personal experience to unpack what it looks like to be loved by God through the hard times of life.  We learn that life hits hard, but the love of God comes stronger.  Those moments that were meant to tear us down, actually can build us up stronger than we were.  The sermon gives special encouragement and guidance for those in the midst of mental illness.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Nate Pracht + Sam Jean-Baptiste
January 17, 2017

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Nate and Sam bring a message about God’s kingdom and racism. Nate shares that condemning and eradicating racism is a reflection of God’s character. God’s people is not one race or one culture, but is made up of every tribe, language, and race. Sam describes ways that we as Christians can carry on MLK’s legacy in how we live, pray, and worship.

Advent 2016 - Love

Nia Campinha-Bacote
December 18, 2016

In this third week of Advent the theme of love is explored by young preacher Nia Campinha-Bacote who is a campus missionary at Yale University. Nia talks about God's great love for us demonstrated in the cross and that our love for God in response is a choice lived out in tangible ways. This is a message of hope for those who need to be reminded of how good God is.

Advent 2016 - Peace

David Rodriguez
December 11, 2016

This message was given by Pastor David Rodriguez of Church of the Community on the Advent theme of "Peace". Pastor David beautifully describes the peace we can have with God and the effects it has on our relationships with each other and even our enemies. The truth is that we live in a broken contentious world but God has called us and empowered us to be peacemakers. We are agents of peace in a world of strife.

Advent 2016 - Hope

Charles Berkley
December 4, 2016

Pastor Charles Berkley of Providence Assembly on Elmwood Avenue in the neighborhood was a special guest with us to open up the Advent season preaching a message on hope. Charles has pastored in the city for many years and is considered a mentor and spiritual father to many. Ren Church and Providence Assembly have partnered on many occasions with worship gatherings and city outreaches. This message by Charles is a great encouragement especially to those who are running low on hope. It's also a reminder that our hope is rooted in eternity.

Make Sure We're Not a Stumbling Block

Paul Moon
March 20, 2016

Paul Moon delivers a Passover sermon on Matthew 21:12-13, when Jesus enters the Court of the Gentiles in the temple, and defends them and removes the stumbling blocks holding them back from experiencing God in a deeper way. We avoid being a stumbling block by being filled to overflowing with the Spirit, glorifying God, and becoming a clear path to Him without restrictions. Paul then offers some practical steps to achieve this in deeper ways.

What's so great about The Great Commission?

John Michaelson
March 13, 2016

John Michaelson delivers a compelling and inspiring sermon about Matthew 28:18-20, and explores five reasons why it's great: 1. Jesus is great, 2. disciples of Jesus are great, 3. the news is great, 4. the Holy Spirit is great, and 5. being commissioned is great. 

The Cross and Communion

John Michaelson
January 10, 2016

John Michaelson opens up his sermon with a description of his experience with Easter Encounter, and the powerful culmination of beholding the cross. He then discusses the progression and culmination of Jesus's life on earth: to teach, to model holiness, to heal sickness and disease and infirmity, but the main reason Jesus was born, was to die. Jesus resolutely understood His calling and purpose. John reminds us about the significance of the cross, and what Jesus did for us, and exhorts us to never weary of keeping what Jesus really did (and continues to do) for us, forefront in our minds and hearts. 

The Royal Rumble at the River

Jacqui Strothoff
November 1, 2015

Using the life of Jacob and scripture references from Genesis 32, guest speaker Jacqui Strothoff preaches a sermon about wrestling with God. Jacqui exhorts us to learn about endurance and remaining steady under difficult circumstances in our prayer lives alone in the dark with God, because even though wrestling with God can hurt, the struggle is revealing and transformative. No one truly wrestles with God and stays the same. 

Fighting the Enemy

John Michaelson
August 23, 2015

In this message, Renaissance Elder John Michaelson preaches about the enemy that stands in opposition to us.  As the Bible says, our enemy is not flesh and blood but it is the spiritual forces of darkness, we are opposed by Satan.  We need to be awakened to this reality and be sober minded about this opposition.  John ends the sermon by chronicling what are defense against Satan is as we have been given spiritual weapons through our identity and empowerment by God.