Eastbrook at Home – February 5, 2023

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Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM. This weekend we continue our preaching series entitled “In the Beginning” by exploring the role of humanity as stewards over God’s creation.

Here is a prayer for this Sunday from The Book of Common Prayer:

O Lord, our heavenly Father, keep your household the Church continually in your true religion, that we who trust in the hope of your heavenly grace may always be defended by your mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

If you are able to do so, let me encourage you to join us for in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus.

If you are new to Eastbrook, we want to welcome you to worship and would ask you to text EBCnew to 94000 as a first step into community here at Eastbrook.

Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access the service directly via Vimeo, the Eastbrook app, or Facebook.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in your tithes and offerings to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

“The Creation of Humanity” (Genesis 1 and 2)

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our preaching series entitled “In the Beginning,” drawn from Genesis 1-3. This is the first part of a two-part series on Genesis 1-11 that will stretch from January through Lent up to Easter. This fourth week of the series, Pastor Ruth Carver preached about the creation of humanity from Genesis 1 and 2.

You can find the message outline and video below. You can access the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

The Creation of Humanity – Big Picture (Genesis 1:26-31)

  • God made mankind in His own image (Imago Dei).
    • God made them to rule over all other living things.
    • God made them male and female.
  • It was very good.

The Creation of Humanity – Zeroing in for a Closer Look (Genesis 2:5-24)

  • God formed the first man from the dust of the earth.
  • God gave him work to do.
  • God saw that something was lacking.
  • God formed the first woman.
  • God established marriage.

A Biblical View of Humanity

  • Human beings are not accidents.
  • People are more important than the environment.
  • God created the two sexes, male and female.
  • Our purpose as human beings is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”.

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Watch Noel Paul Stookey singing his Wedding Song inspired in part by Genesis chapter 2
  • Watch and listen to portions of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Creation (Die Schöpfung): Adam and Eve’s duet segment (in German with English supertitles starting at 1:19:21) and the wonderful chorus, “The Heavens Are Telling” (in English)
  • Listen to the imaginative meditation-sermon by James Weldon Johnson called “The Creation” from his 1927 sermon compilation, God’s Trombones

Eastbrook at Home – January 29, 2023

Eastbrook-At-Home-Series-GFX_16x9-Title

Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM. This weekend we continue our preaching series entitled “In the Beginning” by looking at the creation of humanity in Genesis 1 and 2.

Here is a prayer for this Sunday from The Book of Common Prayer:

O God, you know that we are set in the midst of many grave dangers, and because of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant that your strength and protection may support us in all dangers and carry us through every temptation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

If you are able to do so, let me encourage you to join us for in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus.

If you are new to Eastbrook, we want to welcome you to worship and would ask you to text EBCnew to 94000 as a first step into community here at Eastbrook.

Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access the service directly via Vimeo, the Eastbrook app, or Facebook.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in your tithes and offerings to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

The Weekend Wanderer: 22 October 2022

The Weekend Wanderer” is a weekly curated selection of news, stories, resources, and media on the intersection of faith and culture for you to explore through your weekend. Wander through these links however you like and in any order you like. Disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed within these articles but have found them thought-provoking.


Jonathan Lee Walton“Jonathan Lee Walton named next president of Princeton Seminary” – Adelle M. Banks at The Christian Century: “Jonathan Lee Walton, an academician, preacher, and administrator who has served on the faculties of Wake Forest and Harvard divinity schools, has been named the next president of Princeton Theological Seminary. He will be the first Black president of the seminary, which was founded in 1812, and is to officially begin his new role on January 1, 2023. Walton, 49, who has been dean of Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity in North Carolina and dean of its chapel since 2019, will succeed President M. Craig Barnes, who has led Princeton’s seminary since 2013. ‘Theological education is at an inflection point,’ Walton said in a statement in the seminary’s October 14 announcement. ‘The church is changing. Society is changing. So we need clear-minded, faith-informed professionals who can speak hope, equity, and healing in all fields of human endeavor.’ Walton, whose scholarship has included evangelical Christianity, political culture, and mass media, is the author of Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism and A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World.”


fall2022“Who Do You Say that I Am?: Protecting personhood in a newly dehumanizing era.” – Anne Snyder in Comment: “Andy Crouch’s new book, The Life We’re Looking For, begins with a profound observation: ‘Recognition is the first human quest.’ We come out of the womb, each of us, searching for a gaze. If we don’t find it for some reason, or we do but then it wanders elsewhere, the foundational ingredient for developing a sense of self is compromised. Children who endure sporadic or negligent attention in their earliest days ‘may possibly survive, but they do not thrive.’ ‘You have searched me, Lord, and you know me . . .’ We clearly do not graduate out of this vulnerability. Adults, too, need to feel seen to feel human. The enduring heart of human longing is the desire to be known and loved. To be human is to be called by name, not a number. It is to be attached to another, usually multiple others, and to negotiate the evolving shape of these attachments over a lifetime. It is to be perceived as legitimate, as a full participant in a family, a community, a workplace, a country. It is to have freedom to choose between good and evil, and to be capable of hurting—or healing—another. It is to be fragile, embodied, limited, mortal. It is to seek and make meaning, to feel pain, to desire, to honour, to worship. It is to hope that we are each particular and unrepeatable, even as we are desperate to know that we are never actually alone. North Americans are undergoing a mass crisis of recognition that is chipping away at all this and numbing our natures. Fifty-four percent of Americans say that no one knows them well. The number of adults without a romantic partner has increased by a third. Sixty-one percent of young adults feel lonely almost all of the time, and over half of young mothers feel the same.”


webRNS-Youth-Mental-Health1-101922-1536x864“Study: Religion and spirituality can aid youth mental health crisis” – Kathryn Post at Religion News Service: “It’s no secret America’s youth are in crisis. Born into a tech-saturated world shaken by domestic terrorism, ecological devastation and economic instability, Gen-Zers are more likely to report mental health concerns like anxiety and depression than older generations. In many ways, the pandemic has forced mental health discourse into the limelight, prompting the U.S. surgeon general to issue an advisory last December on COVID-19’s “devastating” impact on youth mental health. A new study of 13–25-year-olds, from Springtide Research Institute, suggests spirituality could be part of the remedy — though for some young people, it also contributes to the problem. ‘I think religion … is a place to find belonging. It’s a place to connect with a higher purpose, which is a calling from God in my understanding,’ said Mark, 22, an interviewee cited in the report. ‘I think it’s also, for many people, a restriction of freedom and sort of obligation, which creates a lot of shame in people’s lives.’ In general, the report — which is based on qualitative interviews as well as fielded surveys — finds that having religious/spiritual beliefs, identities, practices and communities are all correlated with better mental wellness among youth.”


Webb“The Virtue of Noticing: Refusing numbness and recovering wonder.” – L. M. Sacasas in Comment: “Few questions, it seems, are more important for us to consider at present than this: What does it mean to be human? But it is a perennial question, asked by thoughtful people for ages and answered in diverse and conflicting ways. The stakes have always been high, and no single answer can be taken for granted. In our time the question has centred at least in part on the possibility of fundamentally transforming the human being by the application of human knowledge and power. Indeed, it is not uncommon to encounter explicit calls for a post-human future, one in which the human condition is radically altered or altogether transcended. At the same time, however, others warn of the possibility that we might descend from rather than transcend the human condition. The usual agent of change in each case, enabling either the utopian ascent or the infernal descent of humankind, is “technology.” Rather than adjudicating among these competing visions or proposing a full account of the meaning of the human, I want to focus on one seemingly neglected human capacity, which may not exclusively define the human but which certainly characterizes it: the capacity for wonder. Particularly, I want to focus on two questions: How has our technological milieu affected our capacity to experience wonder? And how, in turn, has this affected how we think about the human condition?”


Screen Shot 2022-10-20 at 3.23.53 PM“Why Bad Catholics Make Great Art” – Nick Ripatrazone in The Millions: “‘Now, you know, I’m a Catholic,’ Toni Morrison told Cornel West during a 2004 conversation at The Nation Institute. ‘We’re used to blood and gore. On the cross in the church, there’s the body, with the cuts and all the bruises.’ Though Morrison was a self-described ‘disaffected Catholic,’ she was a Catholic nonetheless: She converted when she was 12 and took Saint Anthony of Padua as her baptismal name. She found herself ‘fascinated by the rituals’ of the faith and was especially transfixed by the ornate, almost otherworldly experience of Latin Mass. But she had what she called ‘a moment of crisis’ on the occasion of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, which largely abolished the liturgical use of Latin, which she saw as “the unifying and universal language of the Church.’ Morrison, who had a wry sense of humor, would later call herself a ‘lapsed Catholic’—a bad Catholic. The Nobel laureate was in good company: bad Catholics often make great art. Smells, bells, blood, guts, spectacle, and of course, bodies, bodies, bodies. Catholicism is a deeply theatrical religion based in provocative stories. The faith has inspired many gifted artists, and certainly a number of them remained devoted to their beliefs. Yet some of the best Catholic storytellers achieve their power at a distance from traditional devotion. These bad Catholics are able to draw upon a rich array of imagery, symbolism, and story—and while they might not be conventionally doctrinaire, their work is undeniably Catholic. To be clear, I don’t mean ‘bad’ in the pejorative sense, as if I am claiming that these artists are to be judged for not being dogmatically solid Catholics. (As a cradle-to-now Catholic myself, I’d love it if we did a lot less judging.) Rather, I use “bad” to capture the significant number of Catholics who are lapsed, unsatisfied, tired, checked out; the people who don’t go to Mass often (or ever), but who still make the sign of the cross to calm their nerves, or holds a special place in their heart for the Virgin Mary. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic—a dictum that is true both theologically and emotionally.”


Music: Donny McClurkin with Richard Smallwood, “Total Praise,” from Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

The Weekend Wanderer: 19 February 2022

The Weekend Wanderer” is a weekly curated selection of news, stories, resources, and media on the intersection of faith and culture for you to explore through your weekend. Wander through these links however you like and in any order you like. Disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed within the articles


pastor trauma

“I’ve Reached My Breaking Point as a Pastor” – Peter Chin in CT Pastors: “A new Barna study discovered that 38 percent of pastors have given real, serious consideration to quitting the ministry in the past year. I am one of that 38 percent. Even in the best of times, pastoral ministry has always felt like a broad and heavy calling. But the events of the past few years have made it a crushing one. The presidential election. Unrest around racial injustice. A global pandemic that has taken the lives of over 800,000 Americans. Never before had I considered health protocols in the context of the church. But today, being too strict with health guidelines might damage the well-being of the church, while being too lax might take the life of a congregant. Pastors like me have to deal with the never-ending conversation about in-person versus online services—and how to serve churchgoers without leaving behind the immunocompromised or disabled. All of this has injected a paralyzing degree of complexity and controversy into every single situation I face, every decision I make. And to make things worse, it feels as if everyone is on a hair trigger, ready to walk away at the merest hint that the church does not line up with their political or personal perspectives. Normally, pastors might rely on their personal relationships to navigate such fraught dynamics. But COVID-19 has taken that away as well, forcing us to rely on phone calls and video screens—which are no substitutes for physical presence.”


Tim Keller“Scraps of Thoughts on Daily Prayer” – Tim Keller at his blog: “There are three kinds of prayer I try to find time for every day – meditation (or contemplation), petition, and repentance. I concentrate on the first two every morning and do the last one in the evening. Meditation is actually a middle ground or blend of Bible reading and prayer. I like to use Luther’s contemplative method that he outlines in his famous letter on prayer that he wrote to his barber. The basic method is this – to take a Scriptural truth and ask three questions of it. How does this show me something about God to praise? How does this show me something about myself to confess? How does this show me something I need to ask God for? Adoration, confession, and supplication. Luther proposes that we keep meditating like this until our hearts begin to warm and melt under a sense of the reality of God. Often that doesn’t happen. Fine. We aren’t ultimately praying in order to get good feelings or answers, but in order to honor God for who he is in himself.”


126914“Learning to Love Your Limits” – An interview with Kelly M. Kapic by Erin Straza for Christianity Today: “Being human can be very frustrating. We’re always long on demands but short on time and energy. And so we redouble our efforts, searching for the magical time-management hack that will allow us to cram more life into our waking hours so that we can live the most efficient and productive life possible. Yet even as we strain against our natural limits, ultimately they cannot (and should not) be overcome, because God designed them for our good. That’s the premise underlying Covenant College theologian Kelly M. Kapic’s latest book, You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News. Persuasion podcast cohost Erin Straza spoke with Kapic about the beauty of our human limits and the freedom that comes when we learn to embrace God’s design for a meaningful life.”


roots“Can You Go Home Again?” – Bill Kauffman reviews Grace Olmstead’s Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We’ve Left Behind in Modern Age: “Uprooted is the young, Idaho-bred, D.C.-area journalist Grace Olmstead’s book-length grappling with the question ‘Will I move back?’ It’s a good and thoughtful and searching book, comprising equal parts family memoir, meditation on the cause and cost and consequences of uprooting, and reportage on her native ground’s besiegement by ‘economic consolidation, suburban development, and brain drain.’ The only member of her clan who departed the Mountain Time Zone, Olmstead is acutely aware of the place she left behind, in that self-conscious way of the expatriate. Lord Acton said that exile is the nursery of nationalism, but in Uprooted Olmstead is a clear-eyed and analytical guide to her home state, oozing neither treacle nor bile.”


post-traumatic“When Jesus Doubted God: Perspectives from Calvin on Post-Traumatic Faith” – Preston Hill in The Other Journal: “The willingness to witness trauma is often autobiographical. This is true of me in my role as a professor of theology who is active in our university’s Institute of Trauma and Recovery. During my postgraduate education, I tried to stay in one lane and focus solely on Reformation theology and history. That would have been clean and tidy—theology in the academy, and trauma in the real world. But trauma and recovery has pursued me and refused to let go. No one starts from nowhere. We all carry stories that frame our daily professions and relationships. So how did I end up teaching integration of theology and psychology to trauma therapists after completing postgraduate research in John Calvin? I am still not sure. But I do know that these thought worlds, separate as they might seem, are deeply integrated in me, the person; that we cannot help but be who we are; and that there is a clear reward to integrating our professional lives with our lived experiences. A person-centered, holistic approach to life may just be what the world, divided as it is today by endless abstract classifications, is hungry for. What we may need is to encounter reality fresh and face-to-face, whether that reality is violent or beautiful.  As a professor of theology and pastoral counselor, I have had the privilege of witnessing countless students and friends share stories of surviving violence. I have also had the privilege of sharing my story with them. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I live daily with the symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) that affect every aspect of my life. Recovery has been slow and steady. The journey is long, but the friends on the road are more numerous than I had assumed, even in the academy. Indeed, it has been a privilege to research trauma with fellow survivors and witnesses who are keen to explore how theology can be reimagined in our ‘east of Eden’ world.”


The Russell Moore Show 0 David Brooks“David Brooks Wants to Save Evangelicalism” – Russell Moore interviews New York Times columnist David Brooks on The Russell Moore Show: “‘Are the times we’re living in really as crazy as they seem?’ This is the first question that Russell Moore has for David Brooks, a New York Times op-ed columnist, author, and commentator. Brooks’s recent column “The Dissenters Trying to Save Evangelicalism From Itself” details some of the unsettling, disheartening events within evangelicalism over the past few years and highlights several individuals who are trying to forge a different path. On this episode of The Russell Moore Show, Brooks and Moore discuss many types of people that ‘evangelical’ can describe. They talk about the difficulties of resisting the climate of the times. And they talk about what politics are meant to do and be.”


Music: Jon Foreman, “The House of God Forever,” from Spring and Summer