New sermon series: “Help! My family & friends think I’m going to hell!”


“Help! My family and friends think I’m going to hell!”
(or, “How to Survive Get Togethers with Family and Friends — even if you don’t share the same religious beliefs”)

Rev. Dr. Phil Snider

Part 1 – July 5
Part 2 – July 12

Although the title of Phil’s new sermon series is a bit tongue-in-cheek, its content is not. One of the challenges we increasingly face — especially in the midst of so much religious and political polarization, which feels all the more prominent after the Supreme Court’s ruling last week on marriage equality — is the difficulty of navigating the close relationships we have with those who hold different religious beliefs than our own. After all, our religious beliefs often represent what we believe to be most ultimate, and we hold them very close to our hearts (this is true for both “conservatives” and “liberals”). At the same time, our relationships are incredibly important to us as well, and vital to our well-being. Yet when the beliefs we hold closest to our hearts feel under attack by those we hold dear (or, perhaps, we don’t affirm the beliefs that we’re told we’re supposed to affirm) — and we’re led to believe we’re lost or even eternally damned — it’s as if two worlds collide, and the end result can make us feel not only defensive and frustrated, but also angry and bitter. Which isn’t good for anybody.

Given these differences, this two-part sermon series explores some of the following questions:

  • How do we overcome these complexities in a healthy, constructive way for all parties involved? Is it possible?
  • How do people who hold very different beliefs share in meaningful, life-giving relationships with one another?
  • How can religion bring us together, as opposed to drive us apart?
  • Why are religion and politics, the two things we aren’t supposed to talk about in public, so divisive?
  • And perhaps most importantly, what resources might we find in the Christian tradition that can help us move forward in helpful ways?

We hope you can join us!

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