The New Normal

August 2- September 6, 2020

A Fruitful Faith

August 16, 2020 • Mandy Kasper

As a western democracy, one of the values we cherish the most is the value of freedom. Whether it is the freedom of conscience and religion, the freedom of thought and speech, or the freedom of assembly and association, people from all over the world leave their homes, sometimes making treacherous journeys, just to immigrate to our country, in search of the very freedoms we enjoy and even take for granted. But what is freedom, really? Especially as a follower of Jesus, what does it mean to be free from sin and religion, as Galatians has been insisting? What does it look like to live a life that, by grace through faith in Christ, is truly free?

Our New Normal

September 6, 2020 • Michael Krause

A lot has happened since we began our journey into the book of Galatians. We began this series in the fall of 2019, as a way to re-explore the biblical concept of grace. We wanted to ask ourselves what our church would look like if it was fundamentally shaped by the Gospel: the good news that our life with God is given by grace alone (as the free gift of God), through faith alone (not earned by human effort), in Christ alone (not the result of our religious rule-keeping). So, where has this book taken us? What have we learned, and how have we been transformed, along the way? And where is the message of this powerful book taking us in the future?

The Point of a Good Life

August 30, 2020 • Michael Krause

"No good deed goes unpunished," or so the saying goes. It is a sarcastic commentary on the frequency with which acts of kindness backfire on those who offer them. In other words, those who help others are often doomed to suffer as a result of their being helpful. And everyone likely has a story that validates the truth behind the cliché. It kind of makes you wonder, at the end of the day, what the point of it all really is, why anyone would ever bother to make an effort to do good at all. But what if there really is a point to doing good? What if the Bible presents a completely different perspective on the point of a good life?

In It Together

August 23, 2020 • Michael Krause

According to some recent studies among people who are disillusioned with the church, people who avoid the church do so because it is too political, judgmental, patriarchal, homophobic, arrogantly exclusivistic, and fundamentalist. Examining these reasons closely, it is striking to note that almost all of these reasons directly relate to how Christians treat each other and those outside the community (especially those who don't fit the Christian "norm"), precisely the kinds of attitudes that the letter to the Galatians denounces. So, what would the church look like if it were living in the freedom to love the way Paul describes it? How should the message of grace transform the way we treat people?

Breaking The Rules

August 9, 2020 • Michael Krause

From parents to teachers to bosses to politicians, people who are responsible for social groups of various sizes and shapes and characters all seem to share one fundamental question: what does it take to make people behave? In parenting, for example, the philosophies range from the flexibility and affection of Dr. Spock to the strict boundaries and strong discipline of Dr. Dobson. Societally, these days the debate is between the necessity of mask mandates or the need to trust people to do the right thing. When it comes to follow Christ, what is the best way to inspire Christ-like behaviour? What is the rule for becoming the people God created us to be?

Getting Choosey

August 2, 2020 • Michael Krause

We live in a world of options. There are a seeming infinite number of alternatives available to us, from the type toothpaste or deodorant you use, how you consume countless genres of music and media, to the endlessly increasing number of car models, clothing brands, restaurants and religions, airlines, workouts, paint colours and flavours of ice cream. All these options are intended to improve our lives, putting us in charge of all our choices. But some have suggested that all this choice has left us overwhelmed and paralyzed to know how to decide anything at all. What if we could boil it all down to one simple choice? Could the secret of life really be that simple? And how do we know if we're making the right choice?