Welcome to Brentwood Christian Church

Sunday Worship — 10:00 a.m.

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.

New Series: “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time — Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally”

In this six-week sermon series inspired by Marcus Borg’s book by the same name, we’ll explore what it means to take the Bible seriously, if not always literally. For those interested in digging deeper, an accompanying Wednesday evening study will be offered by Phil as well.*


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“Many Christians mistakenly believe that their only choice is either to reconcile themselves to a fundamentalist reading of scripture (a “literal-factual” approach) or to simply reject the Bible as something that could bring meaning and value into their lives. In Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg shows how instead we can freshly appreciate all the essential elements of the Old and New Testaments—from Genesis to Revelation—in a way that can open up a new world of intelligent faith.

In Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Borg reveals how it is possible to reconcile a scientific and critical way of thinking with our deepest spiritual needs, leading to an insightful experience of ancient text. This unique book invites every reader—whatever his or her religious background—to engage the Bible, to wrestle with its meaning, to explore its mysteries, and to understand its relevance. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time shows us how to encounter the Bible in a fresh, new way that rejects the limits of simple literalism and opens up the rich possibility of living a life of authentic faith.”

April 23What is the difference between a “Literal-Factual” way of reading the Bible and a “Historical-Metaphorical” way of reading it, and why does this matter?

April 30Reading the Creation Stories Again

May 7Reading the Hebrew Bible Again

May 14Reading the Gospels Again

May 21Reading Paul Again

May 28Reading Revelation Again

From the preface:

“Conflict about the Bible is the single most divisive issue among Christians in North America today. And because of the importance of Christianity in the culture of the United States, conflict about the Bible is also central to what have been called ‘the culture wars.’

The conflict is between two very different ways of reading the Bible. In language [used throughout] this book, it is a conflict between a ‘literal-factual’ way of reading the Bible and a ‘historical-metaphorical’ way of reading it. The former is central to Christian fundamentalists and many conservative Christians. The latter has been taught in seminaries of mainline denominations for the better part of a century. Most clergy have known about it for a long time…

[A central purpose of this series] is to address the present conflict about the Bible within the church and to provide Christians with a persuasive way of seeing and reading their sacred scriptures, a way that takes the Bible seriously without taking it literally.”

What others are saying:

“Borg’s analysis is profound, challenging and engrossing; it will enable readers to use scripture creatively once again and truly make it a bridge for the divine.” (Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God)

“This welcome book removes many of the barriers that separate thoughtful people from the wisdom of the Bible.” (Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People)

“[A]n accessible book, almost entirely devoid of scholarly jargon but filled with scholarly insight.” (Christian Century)

*Accompanying Wednesday evening sessions will be held from 6:30-7:30pm on April 19 and 26 and May 3, 10, and 17. The sermons preached are part of the 10:00am Sunday worship service at Brentwood.

Introducing our New Children’s Minister

After working closely with the joint search team from Brentwood Christian Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church, we are thrilled to introduce the Rev. Sarah Stephenson as the new Children’s Minister for Brentwood and Trinity. We will officially welcome her to our church’s ministry team on Sunday, April 23rd. There will be several opportunities for you and your family to get to know Sarah, so be on the lookout for more information.

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The Rev. Sarah Stephenson

About Sarah…
Sarah is currently a seventh grade English and Reading teacher at Pleasant View Middle School. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Elementary Education from MSU and her Master of Divinity degree is from Brite Divinity School, TCU. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

She enjoyed serving in a variety of ministry positions for over 20 years before entering teaching. She has worked extensively with children in as many years and loves the creativity and passion working with kids affords. She is eager for kids to meet Fire Dog, her large Dalmatian arm puppet with a tender heart.

She is married to Rick, who is an LCSW outpatient clinician at Burrell Behavioral Health. Sarah is a doting aunt to two nieces and four nephews and a loving dog mother to FiFi, a 50 pound spoiled standard poodle.

Sarah loves to make homemade cards and enjoys paper crafts, reading, writing, and a whole list of other activities too long to name.

She says she can’t wait to begin serving the children of Brentwood and Trinity. We are so pleased to welcome Sarah to the ministry teams of Brentwood Christian and Trinity Presbyterian, and we look forward to the wonderful future ahead for the children and families of our churches.

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Women: Preachers, Pastors, and Priests

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Hear the poignant and empowering stories of two women, Rev. Dr. Micki Pulleyking and Rev. Dr. Katie Hays, whose journeys took them from Missouri and Texas to studying religion at Harvard and Yale. They were called to preach and pastor; but the problem was they were not male. They made history in the Churches of Christ (as the first two women ministers) but they would have to leave the church they loved. Rev. Dr. Katie Hays will also be speaking on panels related to religion, women, and equality at the MSU Public Affairs Conference.

Wednesday, April 5, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
At the O’Reilly Catholic Student Center, 847 South Holland, across from Strong Hall.

Free parking is available at Bear Park South at Grand and Holland.

Sponsored by the MSU Religious Studies Club.

Brentwood is hiring!

Would you like to work for a progressive community of faith in the heart of the Ozarks? If so, we’d love for you to apply to work at Brentwood.

Current Job Openings (as part of our collaboration with Trinity Presbyterian Church):

Interested applicants should email their resume to bcctpcjobs@gmail.com. Please use the subject line to indicate the position for which you are applying. No phone inquiries please. Thank you.

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Lenten Sermon Series — On Suffering

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From Job to Jesus to you and me
From here to there to everywhere
Suffering can feel inescapable
Part of our shared humanity

But is there any sense to it?
Any rhyme or reason?
If God is all good and all powerful shouldn’t God stop it?
Does God cause suffering?
Is God to blame for suffering?
Are we?

March 5: C.S. Lewis (and God) in the Dock: “Is there a purpose to suffering?”

March 12:Rita Brock, Rebecca Parker, and Job’s Proverbs of Ashes: “How (not) to comfort those who are suffering”

March 19: Harold Kushner and the omnipotence of God: “Does God cause suffering?”

March 26: John Cobb and the desire of God: “Does God bring good out of suffering?

April 2: John Caputo and the weakness of God: “Where is God in the midst of suffering?”

April 9: Dorothee Soelle and the ubiquity of suffering: “Is there any meaning to be found?”

Wine Into Water — March 24

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Date: Friday Evening, March 24
Location: National Avenue Christian Church

Clean water for Flint
What if a fun evening out with friends could make a difference? What if you could help a community build wells and cisterns, create a clean water delivery or hygiene system? What if you could learn about the community you’re helping while sharing a glass of wine and conversation with friends?

In this our fourth year of Wine into Water, our focus is to raise money to help provide clean water to Flint, Michigan. To learn more about this initiative visit, http://www.weekofcompassion.org/wine-to-water/ and http://www.weekofcompassion.org/

Four local churches (Brentwood Christian Church, Central Christian Church, South Street Christian Church and National Avenue Christian Church) will be partnering together to host and run this event. This evening of wine tasting and food sampling will include a silent auction and tickets sold to help raise funds for clean water projects for refugees.
If you have any questions about our organization or this project, please contact the National Avenue office 417/8699176 or email pastorjenn@nationalavenuecc.com.

Donations for silent auction items are appreciated.