Summer Sermons.jpg

Fighting for Unity

Derek Bass  |  pastor of Christ the King
May 5, 2013

Guest preacher Derek Bass lays on our hearts an important word about what real unity looks like. The Body of Christ cannot thrive on token gestures, but it takes an intentional struggle to stamp out judgmentalism, to analyze ourselves where bitterness might hide, and to painfully seek reconciliation. A unity like this is the only one that will be make the church an authentic witness in our world.

scriptures cited:

Ephesians 4:1-16
Ephesians 3:17-19
Ephesians 1:3-5
John 13:34-35
John 17:20-21
Mark 3:27

His Call / Our Choice

Jacqui Strothoff  |  director of Teen Challenge New England
May 19, 2013

Do you desire what God desires? Guest speaker Jacqui Strothoff from Teen Challenge beseeches us to live out the missional calling that is meant for every follower of Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to reconcile people back to God, and it is an awesome privilege from which we must not to run. “You’ve got to live for a cause greater than yourself.”

scriptures cited:

Ezekiel 37:27
Philippians 4:4-7
Hebrews 13:5
Matthew 12:40
Jonah 1:1-3
2 Kings 14:25
Jonah 4:1-4
2 Corinthians 5:16

Deceptions of the Enemy

John Michaelson  |  elder of Renaissance Church
May 26, 2013

John Michaelson is a campus minister as well as elder at REN, and this Sunday he gives us insights on how to deal with the difficult reality of spiritual warfare. How do we battle against the spirits of this age? By knowing that our true enemy is not man, we are free to love those who are radically different from us–just like Jesus did.

scriptures cited:

Ephesians 6:10-18
2 Corinthians 11:14
2 Corinthians 4:4
Revelation 12:1-9
Luke 10:18-19
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
Matthew 4:1-11
2 Corinthians 2:10-12
1 John 4:1

What Good Is the Bible?

Nate Pracht
June 2, 2013

Interim Lead Pastor Nate Pracht shares with us what it means to wholly dedicate your life to God’s Written Word. Too often we think education in the church is about mastering Scripture… when it’s really about letting Scripture master us. If we think we already know everything there is to know about the Bible, then it’s hard to let it take over your heart and your mind. Nate gives us practical advice to how to dig deeper into the riches of God.

scriptures cited:

2 Timothy 3:16
Psalm 119:9-16, 140
Romans 8:28
Acts 7:39-8:10
Psalm 119:130, 148
Psalm 119:72

Rooted in Love

Keith McNamar  |  pastor of New Life Fellowship
June 9, 2013

Guest pastor Keith McNamar gives us a timely message about being in community—being there for one another. There are depths of God’s love which we will never be able to access as long as we keep to ourselves in our walk with God. Especially in an individualistic culture, we want to do things our way and be lords over our own time. We need the Body of Christ to teach us the meaning of sacrifice.

scriptures cited: 

Ephesians 3:14-21

Everything I Have Is Yours

Paul Conway  |  professor at North Point Bible College
June 16, 2013

Guest preacher Paul Conway of North Point Bible College talks about what it really looks like to sacrifice oneself, as seen through the story of the Prodigal Son. How far will we go to be like the giving father? Paul tells us that there are ultimately two kinds of people in life: those who value possessions & use people, and those who value people & use possessions. Only Jesus enables us to die to ourselves so that we may love like He loved.

scriptures cited:

Luke 15:11-32
1 John 3:17

Church in the City

Easton Dickson  |  elder of Renaissance Church
June 23, 2013

Easton Dickson, one of our elders at REN, discusses what it means to be a truly urban church. REN is uniquely placed to impact a tremendous variety of people: from lifelong Rhode Islanders to newly arrived refugees, from college students to college professors, from missionaries to friends in recovery. With the Corinthian church as our template, Easton shares some wisdom on how to maintain our Gospel-centered core while encouraging our natures to shift into a beautiful palette of multiculturalism that celebrates community.

scriptures cited:

2 Corinthians 5:19
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
1 Corinthians 1:10-13
1 Corinthians 12
Psalm 16:11
1 Corinthians 8

Great Confidence in the Good Shepherd

Derek Bass  |  pastor of Christ the King
June 30, 2013

Derek Bass returns to REN to give us a meditation on the meaning of Psalm 23. To increase in faith means to develop a “sheep’s eye view”—we can only let God become our true Shepherd if we accept our role as His needy sheep. Fortunately, it’s not the strength of our own faith that matters, but the object of that faith.

scriptures cited:

Psalm 23
Isaiah 53:10
John 10:11-18
John 10:27-30
Revelation 7:13-17

The Secret Place

Pat Manzo  |  director of Run for Freedom
July 7, 2013

Pat Manzo was pastor of North Providence Assembly of God for 25 years. In that time many of his assistant pastors established church plants in New England, one of them being Renaissance Church! This past Sunday, Pastor Manzo shares with us what it means to be in a relationship with the Savior: we can be more than observers from the crowd, more than disciples, more than even the inner circle—we can become like the Apostle John, “the ONE whom Jesus loved.” That sort of intimacy with God is possible when we make for ourselves a secret place where the only thing that remains is Him.

scriptures cited:

Mark 6:34-43
John 9:1-7
John 11:1-44
Zechariah 9:9
Acts 1:6-10
Matthew 4:18-22
Mark 9:2-8
Mark 5:1-20
John 20:2-10
John 13:23
John 19:25-27
John 21:7, 20
1 John 4:8
Matthew 6:6

Wholehearted Surrender

Nate Pracht
July 14, 2013

What was it about the apostles that enabled them to accomplish great things? Pastor Nate points out that they were all average people: the key to their faith was a heart of surrender. Nate helps us to see that surrender doesn’t mean going out there with big expressions of faith, but really it’s knowing that God wants to be alive in you in every moment of life. It’s surrender that opens us up to God’s reservoirs of grace.

scriptures cited:

Galatians 2:20
Malachi 1:6-14
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Ephesians 2:3-10

Loving God With All Your Heart

John Michaelson  |  elder of Renaissance Church
July 21, 2013

Some say that we shouldn’t base our faith in emotions, but REN elder John Michaelson is quick to point out how much Scripture grounds our belief in experiences of the Spirit and extravagant love for the Savior. As our relationship is likened to a bride and groom, it’s our responsibility to make sure that Jesus remains the passion of our lives. We keep the flames of devotion stoked with all our heart.

scriptures cited:

Matthew 22:36-38
Revelation 2:2-5
Psalm 84:2
Song of Solomon 4:11
Numbers 25:6-13
Revelation 3:15-16
Mark 14:3-9
1 John 4:19

Vulnerable Surrender

Nate Pracht
July 28, 2013

Pastor Nate shows us that unless we’re willing to be completely vulnerable before our holy God, we won’t let Him change us. We should strive for an attitude of repentance, in which we implore God to sanctify us, while refusing to ever give in to shame—which makes us run away from the gracious God that wants to be there. He invites us to that intimate space with His loving command: “Fear not.”

scriptures cited:

Luke 5:1-11
2 Corinthians 7:9
Acts 5:1-11

Songs of Surrender

Nate Pracht
August 4, 2013

The greatest scene of worship in the Bible is found in Revelation 5, as people and elders and angels are gathered around the Throne of God in a moment of cosmic celebration. With our guest praise band featured for this Sunday, Pastor Nate invites us into a larger vision of worship, one where all nations and all musical genres and all ages are welcome to come adore Jesus—the Lion who is the Lamb.

scriptures cited: 

Revelation 5

A Wrestling Match of Biblical Proportions

Scott Yi
August 11, 2013

The story of Jacob wrestling the Angel of God is one of the most mysterious passages in the Bible. To make sense of it, Assistant Pastor Scott Yi takes us through the life of Jacob, a selfish man who is changed by God to become the hero of faith Israel. We’re called the people of Israel today because God’s redemption is transformative for us as well. He does not merely give us guidelines on how to live more morally, but He makes us a new people imbued with His love as He gives us a new life and a new name.

scriptures cited:

Matthew 9:12-13
Romans 11
Revelation 21:2
1 Peter 2:9
Galatians 6:16
Genesis 25:24-34
Genesis 27
Genesis 29
Genesis 30:1-24
Genesis 32:22-31
Hosea 12:4
Judges 13
John 10:18
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Isaiah 56:5
Revelation 2:17
Genesis 17:5
Luke 22:44

Rejoicing in Christ's Power to Save

Derek Bass  |  pastor of Christ the King
August 18, 2013

As Derek Bass prepares to launch Christ the King on the East Side, he offers us a glimpse of the God who fights on our behalf, based on Psalm 21. The confidence of salvation comes with the promise of a judge who will right all wrongs and tear down the principalities of injustice in this world. It’s only natural that we should respond with rejoicing!

scriptures cited: 


1 Peter 4:1
Psalm 21
2 Samuel 7
Hebrews 4:16
Luke 22:39-46
Revelation 19:11-21
Ephesians 6:12