Welcome to Brentwood Christian Church, an open and affirming community of faith in the heart of the Ozarks. We are committed to being a people of welcome to all of God’s children regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, physical or mental ability, political stance or theological perspective; and we affirm the faith, baptism, and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, for neither is grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church, for we celebrate that all are part of God’s good creation.
Phillips Theological Seminary, a Disciples of Christ graduate school in Tulsa that trains ministers and leaders of the church, including Phil (’02) and Emily (’07), offers the following prayer in response to the death of Terence Crutcher, the son of one of its graduates. You can read the full post from the seminary here.
Prayer of Longing
In a time when some are left to wonder whether black lives matter,
In a time when children are killed and left in streets and on sidewalks
well after their premature last breath,
You are present, O Spirit of God,
Groaning and sighing when words offer no solace.
God, you are present with everyone
Who hungers and thirsts for justice,
Who lives in fear,
Who buries loved ones,
Who cannot breathe.
So too, God, are you present
With everyone whose hunger is satiated, and thirst quenched,
Who prioritizes comfort over justice,
Who chooses silence or distraction,
Who forgets to speak out, or who drowns out others with their speech.
O God, help us to see ourselves and each other
In the light of your justice.
Deliver us from the fear of who we might encounter.
Enable us to recognize our prejudices,
And give us ears to hear each other –
And by hearing each other, hear you.
Embolden us to make possible the hope of human dignity
Without diminishing real experiences of despair and suffering.
Pour out your Spirit on us, making us partners in justice
For a human community
Where no one doubts they matter.
We are pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Mark Johnston, Executive Director of our denomination’s open and affirming ministry program (“GLAD Alliance” — Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples), as our guest preacher for worship on Sunday morning, Oct. 9th. Rev. Johnston will be in Springfield for our denomination’s Regional Assembly on Oct. 7-9, where he will be leading a workshop on the importance of welcoming and affirming LGBTQ people in the church, and we were able to work things out so he could speak at Brentwood while in town. We look forward to welcoming him at Brentwood! Here’s his bio, from the GLAD Alliance website:
Mark Johnston first encountered the Disciples of Christ when he enrolled at Texas Christian University. He has been an ordained Disciples minister since 1992, earned his Ph.D. in Pastoral Psychology from Boston University in 1993, and is a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts. He worked as a therapist with LGBT clients and their families for over 25 years before accepting the call as Executive Director of the Open & Affirming Ministry program in July of 2013. Mark now lives in San Francisco with his partner Shannon Halkyard and their stubborn and energetic Jack Russell Terrier Fannie Mae. He is an avid sailor, cyclist, and scuba diver, and wannabe linguist.
At 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 18, Dr. Robert Minor will speak on “Dealing with Religion When You Have Tried Everything and Nothing Seems to Work” (for LGBTQ folks and their Allies). A national resource for information on gender issues and gay/straight relationships for organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and media outlets such as NBC and USA today, Dr. Minor has been speaking, consulting and leading workshops for twenty years. He will be speaking later that afternoon at PFLAG on “Why Do Homophobia and Transphobia Keep Hanging On?” PFLAG meets at National Avenue Christian Church at 3 p.m.
Purchase Tickets Online (or by Contacting the Church Office)
Plan to attend a special half-day workshop on the critical issues of racism and systemic injustice, offered by the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Team (Christian Church of Mid-America) in partnership with Drury University.
Here’s what you need to know:
Where: Findlay Student Center Ballroom, Drury University
When: Thursday, October 6, 1:00-5:00pm
Who: All are welcome, especially congregational leaders, clergy, youth and children’s ministry leaders, community leaders
What: The afternoon will include speakers, video, interactive experiences and conversation. Attendees will learn to
- Name and understand key terms/concepts related to racism
- Describe contemporary and historic examples of institutional racism, white privilege, civil and human rights in the U.S.
- Articulate a biblical foundation for justice ministry
- Engage in informed dialogue about current issues of racism and reconciliation in the U.S. and in local communities
- Begin to develop personal and community-based “Next Steps” to address systemic racism in participants’ own communities.
Cost: $10/person (Drury University is providing space and support at no charge as our partner in this event, allowing us to keep the cost very low).
For question regarding registration contact the SW office of the Christian Church of Mid-America at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-865-0850; for questions regarding the workshop contact one of the following Pro-Reconciliation/ Anti-Racism Team:
- Phil Smith at email@example.com or 573-221-7376
- Rev. Margie Pride at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-776-1669
- Rev. Kathyrn Wilson at email@example.com or 417-624-2522
- Rev. Joe Jimerson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-808-3756
- Madeline Haraway at email@example.com or 314-771-0975
- Rev. Martha Jolly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-999-6356
Brentwood’s new sermon series and Bible Study — beginning Sept. 7th — is inspired by insights on the Lord’s Prayer from renown biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan, in his book The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord’s Prayer. In this book,
“Crossan takes key words from the prayer (Father, name, kingdom, will, bread, debt, and temptation), examines their meaning in a biblical context, and concludes that it is a revolutionary manifesto, proclaiming nonviolence and distributive justice.”
“Delving deeply into the story of the Jewish nation in Jesus’ time, Crossan shows how Jesus, couched in the words of this prayer, advises His followers to reject violent methods of resisting their Roman captors, and instead work for the coming of the Kingdom of God . . . The theme of nonviolence permeates this book and becomes the foundation for Crossan’s understanding [of the Jesus tradition].”
During this series, Sunday sermons (Sept. 11 through Oct. 23) will correlate with our Wednesday evening Bible Study sessions (Sept. 7 through Oct. 19), so that interested participants can delve deeper into the book study if they’d like. Phil and Emily will be preaching, and Rob Bradford will be facilitating the Wednesday evening study.
Week 1: “Our Father in Heaven”
Week 2: “Hallowed Be Your Name”
Week 3: “Your Kingdom Come”
Week 4: “Your Will Be Done”
Week 5: “Give Us Our Daily Bread”
Week 6: “Forgive Us Our Debts”
Week 7: “Lead Us Not into Temptation”
Here is a snapshot of upcoming activities and events in the life of Brentwood (in addition to our regular Sunday morning schedule), organized by type of activity (Kids Club, Choir, Bible Studies, etc.) and frequency of meeting (weekly, monthly, etc.)…
Weekly Activities on Wednesdays
- Dinner: 5:45-6:30 p.m.
- Kids Club: 6:30-7:30 p.m. (with Christmas program rehearsals beginning Nov. 2)
- Youth Group: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
- Bible Study: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
- Taizé Worship: Third Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m.
- Pub Theology: Third Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.
- Band Practice: First Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
- Book Club: Second Mondays at 10:00 a.m.
- Disciple Women’s Ministries: Fourth Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
- Ladies Night Out: Last Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
- Choir Practice: 4th Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.; 1st Sundays at 8:00 a.m. (with weekly Advent rehearsals beginning Nov. 9)
Special Events & Programs
- Parents Informational Meeting (related to children from preschool through elementary): Sept. 11 at 9:00 a.m.
- Concert Fundraiser for The Kitchen & the Center for Diversity and Reconciliation: Sept. 25, 7:00 p.m.
- Book Release Party with Dr. Teresa Hornsby, professor at Drury University and author of Transgender, Intersex & Biblical Interpretation — Time and Date to be announced
- Regional Assembly: Oct. 7-9
- Trunk or Treat: Oct. 30
- Brentwood 101 (sessions led by Phil, open to newcomers or anyone would would like to learn more about Brentwood): Wednesday Nov. 2 and Wednesday Nov. 9, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
- Christmas Party & Program: Dec. 14
Now you can support Brentwood by sending a text to 417-283-8175 with the amount you would like to contribute. Make sure to include the dollar sign before the amount. Example: $25. Within a few minutes, you’ll be sent a text with a link to register. Click on the link and enter your cardholder name and credit or debit card information. Once your registration is complete, you will receive a text verification and a receipt via email. For future giving, simply send a text with the amount you wish to give, and it will process automatically.
Thanks for supporting Brentwood! Together, we are able to make a profound difference locally and globally.
*This manner of giving is managed by Vanco Services, a Payment Card Industry (PCI) Level 1 Compliant Service Provider, which is the highest security ranking available.
If you have been longing to discuss issues of race in our country and our city, your opportunity has come.
Lyle Foster, owner of Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar and a member of the sociology faculty at Missouri State University, will lead a series of Community Conversations on Thursday evenings this fall.
“The United States is in a period of challenge and difficulty when it comes to issues of race and inclusion in our society,” Lyle says. “In our city, many wonder if this is the future or if there is anything that we can do to make a difference, at least in Springfield. The talks are intended to be an open forum to talk honestly about how we got here and maybe explore a few basic steps to understand and pursue some healing.”
The conversation series will begin at 7 pm, Thursday, Sept. 8, at Big Momma’s, 217 E. Commercial St., and, depending on interest, continue for six weeks. Families are welcome, but Lyle suggests that children be at least 12 years old because of the subject matter. For more information, call 417-865-9911.