“Reading the Fine Print” — New Sermon Series


Verizon currently has a series of commercials featuring Ricky Gervais in which viewers are encouraged to read the disclaimers at the bottom of their competitors’ advertisements. Apple requires users to agree to a seemingly inexhaustible list of “terms and conditions” in order to track your every movement use their operating system. Lawyers make sure that clients understand the fine print before having them sign their names to a contract. All of which got us thinking…

  • What happens when you read the “fine print” in the Bible (i.e., the footnotes)?
  • Do the footnotes in the Bible affect the meaning of the text?
  • If modern translations of the Bible are based on different manuscripts that don’t always agree, how do we make sense of them in a faithful way? How do we interpret them responsibly?

Join us as we reflect on these questions and more.

April 17 – Shorter and Longer Endings of Mark (Mark 16:8)

April 24 – The Difference that Just One Letter Can Make (Romans 16:7)

May 1 – Faith in Christ or Faith of Christ? (Galatians 2:16)

May 8 – Favorite Texts, Then and Now (John 7:53-8:11)



“What Do Our Neighbors Believe? (part II)” — New Wednesday series begins April 6th


On April 6th, Rev. Snider is continuing the series “What Do Our Neighbors Believe?” with sessions being held on Wednesday evenings from 6:45-7:30 p.m. Last year we looked at Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, and this year we will be introduced to:

Ancient Traditions:

April 6 – Confucianism

April 13 – Taoism (Daoism)

April 20 – Shintoism

Newer Traditions:

April 27 – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

May 4 – Church of Scientology & Jehovah’s Witnesses

May 11 – Baha’i

*All sessions are free and open to the public.

Ukulele-led worship — April 10th

Ukulele led worship
Join us at 10:00 a.m. this Sunday, April 10th, for a special worship service featuring the uplifting sounds of the ukulele. Rick and Karen Maxson will lead us, along with a few members of Brentwood’s band, in uplifting and well-known songs of worship. You’ll be tapping your toes and clapping your hands as we sing, and you’ll leave worship feeling rejuvenated and joy-filled as you carry the light and love of Christ out into the world. We hope to see you here!


Phil’s new book is now available!

Justice Calls: Sermons of Welcome and Affirmation
You can 0rder on Amazon or reserve a signed copy from Phil for $20

This collection of sermons adds compelling clarity to the growing chorus of Christian voices that are passionate about LGBTQ justice and equality—not in spite of their faith but precisely because of it. With a combination of pastoral sensitivity, scholarly insight, and courageous vision, these sermons are a must read not only for LGBTQ people longing to know they don’t have to deny their religious convictions in order to embrace their sexuality and/or gender identity, but also for people of faith who wonder if they have to disregard the Bible in order to fully accept their LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family members. This volume is an ideal resource for small groups, Sunday school classes, preachers, church leaders, and all people everywhere who are interested in recognizing how the rich resources in the Bible can be cultivated in order to celebrate—rather than condemn—LGBTQ friends and allies.

“In Justice Calls: Sermons of Welcome and Affirmation, Rev. Snider has collected a treasure trove of sermons affirming the welcome of LGBT persons at the table of God’s love. Some are carefully exegetical, some deeply personal, all are carefully crafted and full of grace. Starting with the call for equality and ending with a call for the transformation of the church, this volume walks the journey of God’s affirming love for all with both care and courage.”

Rev. Mark C. Johnston, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Open & Affirming Ministry Program
Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples Alliance
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)


Contributors include:
Carol Howard Merritt
Monica A. Coleman
Rita Nakashima Brock
David Lose
Scott Haldeman
Barbara Lundblad
Alton Pollard III
Derek Penwell
Sandhya Jha
Tai Amri Spann-Wilson
Meredith Guest
Christian Piatt
Nancy Steeves
Stephanie Spellers
Deborah Appler
Mona West
Irene Monroe
Mary Foulke
Miguel De La Torre
Glen Miles
Eric Elnes
Tad DeLay
Holly Hearon
Danny Cortez
Richard Ward

Introducing “Megan’s Rainbow” — a free group for LGBTQ teens


Megan’s Rainbow: An LGBTQ Group for Teens
The mission of Megan’s Rainbow is to provide a safe space for LGBTQ teens to interact with peers, share coping skills, and enhance their understanding of self and others. Our goal is to foster resiliency and healthy choices within the individual while promoting unity within our community.

This is a free group that meets at Brentwood Christian Church for teens 14-17 years-old. Participants must have parent/guardian permission.

When: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month
Time: 7:30-9:00 p.m.

Through a variety of therapeutic and expressive arts activities, group participants are offered an opportunity to do the following:

  • develop healthy coping mechanisms
  • develop interpersonal and group process skills
  • develop effective communication skills
  • develop and express thoughts and feelings through writing and journaling
  • develop an awareness and gain insights into interactions between self and others
  • develop improved self-awareness and self-acceptance

Reasons for the overwhelming need for LGBTQ groups:

  • 42% of LGBTQ people in the U.S. report living in an unwelcoming environment
  • 80% of gay and lesbian youth report severe social isolation
  • 84% of LGBTQ youth report sexual harassment at school based on their gender identity and/or social location
  • LGBTQ teens are six times more likely to experience symptoms of depression
  • Six in 10 LGBTQ students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation
  • 25-40% of the youth who become homeless each year are LGBTQ
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in the LGBTQ community in the 10-24 age group
  • LGBTQ youth are four times more likely and questioning youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harm
  • Between 38 and 65% of transgender individuals experience suicidal ideation
  • The LGBTQ community reports a higher rate of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use

(Sources: NAMI, DoSomething.org, Project Q, U.S. Census Data 2015)

Leaders: Brian Vega (LPC) and Margaret Skidmore (LPC)
Brian Vega is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is certified in Civil and Family Mediation. He has been in instructor in the graduate counseling program at Missouri State University, a high school counselor, a middle school counselor, and has facilitated groups for transgender individuals, parents, the juvenile system, grief, and LGBT issues. He has worked for the Springfield Public Schools system for 17 years, and has practiced private practice therapy at Counseling Solutions for over 10 years. In that time, he has had extensive experience working with the LGBTQ community of the Ozarks.

Margaret Skidmore is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in adolescents and has had extensive experience working with the LGBTQ community. She is the counselor at Study High School (formerly Bailey Alternative High School), where she has worked with youth for 21 years. In addition to her work with individual students at Study, she also facilitates teen parenting groups, relationships groups, life groups, and was the Group Coordinator at Lost & Found for six years. Margaret has been in private practice at Counseling Solutions, LLC for 7 years, providing therapy for individuals, couples, and families.

Megan’s Story
Megan Jennifer Cramer (born 1966) was a poet, writer, attorney, and social activist. She graduated from Parkview High School and as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri at Kansas City helped found the existing chapter of the UMKC Lesbian and Gay Student Group over 20 years ago. She subsequently earned a Juris Doctor at the UMKC School of Law.

Megan died on February 19, 2013 in a natural gas explosion that destroyed J.J.’s, a landmark eatery just off the Plaza in Kansas City, MO. Megan’s family is sponsoring this free group at Brentwood Christian Church in loving memory of her in order to provide support and encouragement to LGBTQ teens in Megan’s hometown of Springfield.