The Way to the Cross, The Way of the Cross

Way of the Cross

This Sunday marks the beginning of a new sermon series for the season of Lent that explores the Way Jesus walked to the Cross and the how we as followers of Jesus are called to walk the Way of the Cross. Over the years, it has become easy for Christians to sentimentalize the Cross, to make it a symbol of transaction rather than the consequence of a life lived in dedication to the least of these and in resistance to the power of empire. When we follow Christ, we need to see the cross as more than simply what Christ has done for us individually and recognize it as a way that challenges us to resist empire and to seek the ones who have been harmed by the powers that be. Rev. Emily Bowen-Marler will explore some of the stories in the Gospels that illuminate the Way of the Cross walked by Jesus.

March 10 – Jesus in the Wilderness, “Simply Living So Others May Simply Live”
March 17 – The Parable of the Lost Sheep, “Abandoned and Welcomed”
March 24 – Zaccheus and Jesus, “Emptying of Prosperity”
March 31 – Abraham, Isaac, and Jesus, “What Kind of Sacrifice?”

Worship with us at 10 a.m.; Sunday Schools cancelled

Just wanted to let you all know that we will still be having worship at 10 a.m., but our Sunday Schools have been cancelled in order to give more time for the roads to clear before you all head out to church.

As always, please make the decision that is best for you and stay home if you feel unsafe traveling on these roads. Part of the worship service will be live-streamed here: and you can donate to help further the ministries of Brentwood Christian Church by donating here:

Worship at 10 a.m.

We are still having worship this morning, but the roads are a bit icy in places, so please use caution when heading to church. Of course, if you don’t feel safe driving in this weather, you can join us online for the sermon during the 10 o’clock hour at

And you can support the church financially by clicking the “Donate Online” button on the left side of our page or by texting your dollar amount to 417-283-8175.

Kids and Consent Class on Saturday, February 9

Kids and Consent Class on Saturday, February 9

It’s never too early to learn about consent! Though we often associate consent only with sexual assault, the truth is that it is an essential aspect of all relationships. People (even kids) have the right to set boundaries about their bodies, their possessions, and their actions, and we need to respect those boundaries. Me Too Springfield will be presenting this class in our fellowship hall on Saturday, February 9 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. In this class, parents (or grandparents, teachers, or anyone who loves kids) will learn how to teach their children about consent, body autonomy, communication, and self-worth. People of all ages (including children) are welcome!

New Sermon Series Begins This Sunday, January 20

abrahamJourney through the book of Genesis and learn about Abraham and his descendants as we take a look at some of these well known stories from a different perspective. The sermon series begins this Sunday and runs through February (with the exception of February 3 when our Youth Minister Reed Dressler will be preaching) and will invite you to wonder along with Emily as she explores the covenant God made with Abraham, the plight of Hagar, how Isaac felt when he realized the trip to the mountains of Moriah might be a one-way trip, whether Esau could forgive his brother Jacob for stealing his birthright, and the highly dysfunctional relationship between Joseph and his brothers.

  • January 20 God, Abraham and a Covenant (Genesis 15)
  • January 28 Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 16 and 21)
  • February 10 Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22)
  • February 17 Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25, 27, 32 and 33)
  • February 24 Joseph and his Brothers (Genesis 37)

Annual MLK Jr. March & Celebration


The NAACP is hosting the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration on January 21, 2019. The march begins at 9 a.m. where we will walk from the Mediacom Ice Park to the Gillioz Theatre to enjoy the program, “Reigniting the Dream.” The NAACP will be collecting socks for Rare Breed and coats and gloves for children within Springfield Public Schools. We hope you can join us as we march to honor and celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Honor MLK’s legacy with your leadership

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”  – Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2018, we came together to show up for our families: demanding criminal justice reform, raising wages, advancing democracy reforms, and calling out divide and conquer racism that keeps our families trapped in pain.

Right now, our state elected officials are counting on going back to business as usual–ignoring the needs of our families and profiting off their pain.

On January 15th, Martin Luther King’s birthday, we will gather in the state capitol to make our voice heard on the issues that matter for our families, launch our collective path of leadership through 2019, and prepare to lead in our communities.

RSVP now to join us.

Claiming our Light: Training and Action at the Capitol

Tuesday, January 15th

10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Jefferson City, MO

We will gather at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, MO

Disciples Uniting for Racial Justice


If you are interested in learning more about community organizing for racial justice, join us for this two day event!

We will gather on Friday, January 25 from 5:30pm-8:30pm and will reconvene from 9:00am-3:00pm on Saturday. Snacks will be provided on Friday and Saturday, as well as lunch on Saturday.

Cost is $10 for laypersons, $50 for clergy seeking continuing education credit, and free for college students! Scholarships are available to help offset the cost as needed.

To register, please visit the registration page:

Rev. Snider to begin sabbatical in January

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination provides recommendations for congregations and ministers that are put into place in order to maintain healthy and dynamic practices of ministry. Disciples of Christ congregations are encouraged to grant full-time ministers three months of sabbatical every five years of ministry. Here are a few reasons why, according to the Disciples of Christ Guidelines for Sabbatical/Renewal Leave:

“Congregations expect much of their ministers and ministers expect much of themselves. In healthy relationships between congregations and their ministers, there is a sense of mutual care. The minister cares for the members of the congregation and they also care for the minister. Temperament and practice must find a balance for healthy ministry. Everyone needs time away periodically to reflect, renew and recover the work/rest rhythm necessary to complement effective ministry. A Sabbatical/Renewal Leave offers the minister time for reassessment of his or her ministry, which can be difficult to do while engaged in the day-to-day tasks for ministry. By changing the scene and the pace as well as engaging in different activities, ministers find themselves enriched spiritually, mentally and even physically.”

Phil’s sabbatical will be from January 2 to April 2. During this time, please refer all pastoral concerns to Rev. Bowen-Marler (
A note from Phil…
Serving as a minister at Brentwood is one of the true joys of my vocational life. I express my deepest gratitude to the board for extending this time of sabbatical study leave and renewal. I also express my appreciation to a number of volunteers helping cover some bases that will make sure all of the regular activities I’m part of will continue. I’m also immensely grateful to Emily for her most capable leadership in every respect, as well as that of the staff and lay leadership of Brentwood.

During this time, I will focus on three related projects, all related to my work as a minister at Brentwood:

First, and most central, I’m immersing myself in affect theory as related to preaching and worship. Broadly speaking, this studies the way people experience, process, and understand their world through feeling and emotion. I contend that progressive preaching frequently runs the risk of making listeners at times feel more fatigued than inspired, especially when emphasizing social justice-themed sermons on a regular basis. It’s not that such themes shouldn’t be addressed (quite the opposite), but care toward how they are addressed is paramount. As such, I’ll be trying to develop ways to faithfully address social justice themes from the pulpit that help listeners experience feelings of inspiration and encouragement, so that they leave the worship space feeling renewed and inspired. It’s no secret that evangelicalism connects with people’s deep emotions in powerful and significant ways; I’ll be exploring how and why progressivism might also connect with people’s emotions in powerful and significant (albeit different) ways as well. The idea is for worship to be a site of joy and celebration, even as it’s a space where we deeply engage the most pressing matters of our day.

Second, I’m researching the role and power of Christian rhetoric as related to “pro-life” conversations, as well as the urgency of developing constructive alternatives. The way Christians often speak about pro-life issues is hollow, duplicitous, and vacuous — yet at the same time deeply pervasive. Why is this the case? Why are there so many inconsistencies among those most likely to invoke pro-life rhetoric? And how can progressive communities of faith engage this great divide with integrity and justice? My wager is that there’s more commonality than we’re often led to believe, and if progressives were better at their messaging in this regard then we could better work together toward common sense and the common good by both reducing the number of abortions in this country and truly caring for all life.

Third, I’m interested in examining the most misused, misunderstood, and misguided passages of the Bible (e.g., “the poor will always be with you;” Jesus’s commandment to his disciples to buy swords; Paul’s admonition that those who don’t work shouldn’t eat, etc.). There are several of these that I might work into a sermon series for 2019 or possibly even a book. This is of great interest to me.

I view all three of these projects as exceedingly important for the life of the church, at Brentwood and beyond. While I might receive a cursory understanding of one or more of these dynamics at various points along the way, it’s only by taking sabbatical study leave that I will be able to engage them with the depth necessary for true growth and pastoral/spiritual formation. I thank you for the gift of sabbatical study leave and trust it is of mutual benefit to my spiritual journey and to Brentwood Christian Church.

I welcome your questions about any or all of these projects! I hope you find them to be of interest as well. 🙂

Deep, deep thanks.