Science Fiction & Faith, Exploring Ray Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man” ; 3/28/21

Kevin is producing the service this Sunday which will consider the subject of desire. Using a chapter entitled The Man, from Ray Bradbury’s book The Illustrated Man, along with thoughts from Irish poet John O’Donohue, the opportunity will be offered to explore desire’s divergent paths.  

What is your response to science fiction? One angle is considering the genre to be purely fantasy and entertainment without any substance. Another angle is learning that we are using today what was considered fiction or fantasy only several years ago. So is it fantasy or prophecy? How does science fiction continue to provide formation for our lives? How does this genre engage our imaginations to focus and re-focus our energies to enter life experiences to adopt and adapt new ways to encourage better human co-existence? In what ways do we find theological perspective (God; the Divine) in science fiction? These and other questions will be explored during our worship services in March. As this journey unfolds over the next several weeks, be encouraged to find theology imprinted within the science fiction genre. May we all be inspired by the nuggets of wisdom we’ll mine together.

Continue reading “Science Fiction & Faith, Exploring Ray Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man” ; 3/28/21″

Dreaming, 2/21/21

This month, the Canton Church of the Brethren will be recognizing the contributions of African Americans and their central role in U.S. History. Please enjoy the following audio recording from our service from Sunday, 2/21/21.

THEME: Dreaming

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: What dreams do you have for humanity to exist peaceably and justly? If these dreams are realized, what do you envision this reality looking like? What can we do to ensure a more just and equitable co-existence?

Continue reading “Dreaming, 2/21/21”

Sunday Morning Meditation at the CCOB, 5/17/2020

THE CCOB MORNING OF COLLECTIVE MEDITATION

Sunday, May 17, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

ANGELS AMONG US

READING 1:

In the New Testament we learn that at each significant moment of Christ’s life on Earth, angels showed up. Whether they were in the air or on the land, these guardians relayed prophecy, celebrated moments of joy, provided protection, and delivered messages of hope.

The angel Gabriel not only told Mary she would bear a son, but what the boy would be called, who he was to become, and how his future was already established (Luke 1:30-33).

Angels rejoiced and sang Glorias from the heavens when the baby was born (Luke 2:13-14).

An angel told Joseph he could finally take his son home because Herod and those who wanted to kill the baby were dead (Matthew 2:19-20).

After Jesus endured the Devil’s temptations in the wilderness, the angels came and ministered to him (Matthew 4:11).

An angel sat with Jesus as he prayed in the Garden at Gethsemane (Luke 22:43).

When Jesus was betrayed, he exclaimed that he could have twelve legions of angels to sustain him if he only asked God for help (Matthew 26:53).

An angel rolled back the stone of the tomb of Jesus and another announced his resurrection (Matthew 28: 2, 5-6).

Jesus ascended into Heaven with angels watching nearby (Acts 1:10).

And someday Jesus will send out angels with trumpets to gather his elect from the four winds – from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:31).

Whether we believe in the actual physical embodiment of angels or not, the significance of angels in our lives can be very real.

In his inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln, with a Civil War brewing all around him, spoke of angels. He stated,

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again

touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

As we now face a pandemic which has disrupted our lives in every way imaginable, we must continue to believe in angels…we must BE angels… deliverers of joy, of protection, of hope.

For as we learn in Hebrews: Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (1:14).

And as we are reminded, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (13:2)

Continue reading “Sunday Morning Meditation at the CCOB, 5/17/2020”

CCOB to Offer Services Online: Message from Pastor Kevin Kessler

I continue to hope and pray that you are safe and well. If at any time you need to visit or you have thoughts and concerns you need to share, please contact me by phone (cell: 309-224-4828), text (same number), or email (cantoncob@gmail.com).

Because we are social beings, having the ability to continue meeting together on Sunday is important The online platform Zoom provides us with a means of connecting electronically. It isn’t the same as being present with each other in the same location, but it is a platform that allows us to be present with each other by video/audio or audio from the safety of our own homes.

Therefore, for the next 2 Sundays, March 22 and 29, we have the opportunity to connect with each other using Zoom at our regular meeting time of 9:30am. If you have access to a computer, microphone, and camera (fairly standard laptop) you can easily access the Zoom connection. Even if you do not have this equipment, you can still join in by phone. Using the phone does not provide video but at least offers connection by voice (you can share and you can hear others who are sharing). A few directions will follow.

Continue reading “CCOB to Offer Services Online: Message from Pastor Kevin Kessler”

How Dare You, 3/1/20

Sermon Title: How Dare You

Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler

Scripture: Romans 8:22-23, Isaiah 57:16-21, Genesis 2:15

Date: Sunday, March 1, 2020

Continue reading “How Dare You, 3/1/20”

In Suffering, Comfort, 10/27/19

Sermon Title: In Suffering, Comfort

Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Date: Sunday, October 27, 2019

Continue reading “In Suffering, Comfort, 10/27/19”

The Fellowship of Place, 9/15/19

Sermon Title: The Fellowship of Place

Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler

Scripture: Psalm 108

Date: Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sermon Resources –

  1. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson (Eerdmans, 2005)
  2. As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson (Waterbrook, 2017)
  3. Iona Abbey Worship Book, (Wildgoose Publications, 2001

Continue reading “The Fellowship of Place, 9/15/19”