Joseph

 The late Rene Girard.

The late Rene Girard.

In this teaching, Leah considers the story of Joseph from Genesis, and what it tells us about envy, rivalry, and how God might consider those things, with the help of the late anthropologist/philosopher/literary critic Rene Girard.

Look at Leah’s notes or download the teaching below. (Please forgive the first two minutes of sub-par audio quality. It does improve.)

Hagar

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In this teaching, Leah explores a story from the life of Abraham; one that centers Hagar, a woman caught up in the story of the Ancient Patriarch. In doing so, Leah considers what the inclusion of Hagar's story in Genesis might tell us about God's heart and the importance of our own stories in the community of faith we're building.

Listen to the teaching below or check out Leah's notes here.

The Tower of Babel

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Language_topic_image_Breugel%27s_Tower_of_Babel.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Language_topic_image_Breugel%27s_Tower_of_Babel.jpg

On this special week, guest speaker Rabbi Dorothy Richman opened up the story of the Tower of Babel, challenging the traditional Christian interpretation through a look at Jewish perspectives on the story.

Listen to the teaching below or review Dorothy's notes here.

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Creation Tales

 Michelangelo's Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo's Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

In this teaching, Leah begins a new series re-examining the stories at the beginning of the Bible and what kind of questions we should actually be asking of them. She begins the series by looking at the first two chapters of Genesis and the Creation Tales they tell.

Listen to the teaching below or look over Leah's notes here.

The Now, The Not Yet, and The Necessary

Why did Dr. King and Mother Teresa have such different experiences of hearing from God? Why are some people reportedly healed when prayed for, while others aren't? If God is still active in the world, why are thing so broken and unjust? These are some of the questions Leah wrestles with theologically in this week's teaching from the series, "It's Complicated".

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

It's Complicated: Life/Loss (Easter 2018)

There’s a phrase that’s become a go-to in media and social media, when recognizing that not all questions can be answered in a concise way. “It’s complicated”. In this new series, Leah will be exploring some of the complexities of the life and faith, and consider how leaning into the paradoxes and tensions can actually bring freedom and greater insight in the journey. In this first teaching, she explores the complexity at the heart of the Easter story: the complexity of resurrection.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.
 

Character Matters: High Fidelity

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What is fidelity? It’s kind of a word that’s fallen out of fashion these days, but the dictionary definition says it means something like “faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support”. Often to contemporary ears, that means talking about marriage or long-term partnered relationships, but in this teaching, Leah considers how fidelity can impact all of our significant relationships and what Jesus, who was never married, might have to say about it.

Listen to the teaching below or read Leah's notes here.
 

Character Matters: Your Interests or Mine?

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In this teaching, Leah continues the Character Matters teaching series exploring how we balance concerns for caring for our own needs, with caring for the needs of others. How should we think about generosity and altruism? When does it cross the line into foolishness? What might Jesus have to say about these questions?

Listen to Leah's teaching below or read her notes here.

Character Matters: Is Honesty the Best Policy?

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We’re living in a moment where misinformation is all around us; where it feels increasingly difficult to nail down what’s true, what’s false, what’s real, what’s not. Maybe we feel like giving up on trying to know the truth altogether. Believe it or not, the temptation to misrepresent information has been with us a long time, and Jesus had some things to say about it.

In this second teaching in our Lenten series, Character Matters, Leah considers the impact of dishonesty, and how Jesus' perspective on it might help us in our present moment.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

Character Matters: An Introduction

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Do broader public conversations leave you wondering if matters of personal character or integrity have any value any more? Over the next four Sunday services, taking us through the season of Lent, we'll explore the relevance of character development in our contemporary world, and how Jesus might helps us to navigate the cultural confusion in a way that brings life, freedom, and joy.

In this first teaching in the series, Leah tackles the question of how conversations around  personal character might be relevant, and why character seemed to matter to Jesus. Oh, and we talk about Mr. Rogers.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

Sacred Community: Belonging to One Another

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On the first Sunday of the year, Leah shared the invitation she is sensing form God to consider this a year of "re-form"ing, both in terms of our own identities as human beings, citizens, and people of faith, as well as a "re-form"ing of our community at Haven. She shared a picture of the Haven community as a grove of trees, some of which look mismatched, but which are being carefully chosen and tended to by God, as they grow into an organized system, whose roots are intertwined, and which nourish one another as they grow.

In this two week series, Leah will be considering how even in an age where many suffer spiritual PTSD, and fear the abuses of religious institutions, there is still a profound power in gathering regularly with fellow spiritual sojourners. Please join us as we consider the importance of belonging in Sacred Community, and how we can experience more of it at Haven.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

Epiphany 2: Jesus' Baptism

 Aert de Gelder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Aert de Gelder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Leah begins 2018 by reflecting on the Traditional Celebration of Epiphany, a celebration that many Jesus-followers in the United States have long forgotten. What might be gained by considering the "appearance" or "manifestation" of Divinity in Jesus afresh, through the stories many Christians in the past around the world have found fruitful to reflect on this time of year? In this second of two teaching on Epiphany, she focuses on the Epiphany story reflected on in the Eastern church, the Baptism of Jesus.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

Epiphany 1: The Arrival of the Magi

 James Tissot:  The Magi Journeying  (c. 1890), Brooklyn Museum, New York City

James Tissot: The Magi Journeying (c. 1890), Brooklyn Museum, New York City

Leah begins 2018 by reflecting on the Traditional Celebration of Epiphany, a celebration that many Jesus-followers in the United States have long forgotten. What might be gained by considering the "appearance" or "manifestation" of Divinity in Jesus afresh, through the stories many Christians in the past around the world have found fruitful to reflect on this time of year? In this first of two teaching on Epiphany, she focuses on the Epiphany story reflected on in the Western church, the Arrival of the Magi.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

Advent 3: Joy Coming to Loneliness

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Advent is Latin for "coming" and has traditionally been understood by the church as a time to prepare our hearts, spirits, and minds for the remembrance of Jesus' first coming at Christmas, as well as the coming we look ahead to. This year, Leah will be asking what it means in this present moment, the Bay Area in late 2017, to experience God's "coming" in practical terms, along with the gifts that coming brings.

This third Sunday of Advent, Leah considers the traditional gift reflected in the first Sunday of Advent: the gift of Joy. What did "joy" mean to the writers of the Bible? What was it connected to? How was it expressed? And how might Jesus' coming connect with this concept and joy and give us an invitation to connection, particularly in a world marked by loneliness.

Review Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.

Advent 2: Peace Coming to Fear

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Advent is Latin for "coming" and has traditionally been understood by the church as a time to prepare our hearts, spirits, and minds for the remembrance of Jesus' first coming at Christmas, as well as the coming we look ahead to. This year, Leah will be asking what it means in this present moment, the Bay Area in late 2017, to experience God's "coming" in practical terms, along with the gifts that coming brings.

This second Sunday of Advent, Leah considers the traditional gift reflected in the first Sunday of Advent: the gift of Peace. What does the coming of peace actually look like in our present time? What might it mean for the climate of fear and division we're witnessing today? These are the questions Leah considers, with more help from the Prophet Isaiah.

Review Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.

Advent 1: Hope Coming to Discouragement

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Advent is Latin for "coming" and has traditionally been understood by the church as a time to prepare our hearts, spirits, and minds for the remembrance of Jesus' first coming at Christmas, as well as the coming we look ahead to. This year, Leah will be asking what it means in this present moment, the Bay Area in late 2017, to experience God's "coming" in practical terms, along with the gifts that coming brings.

This first Sunday of Advent, Leah considers the traditional gift reflected in the first Sunday of Advent: the gift of Hope. Is hope just a hallmark sentiment? Wishful thinking? Naiveté? Or is it something essential to moving forward in faith and community, particularly in trying times? These are the questions Leah considers, with inspiration from the Prophet Isaiah.

Review Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.