Dreaming of America (And Weeping Too)

Dreaming of America (And Weeping Too): Music, poems & prayers in the spirit of justice, solidarity & love

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As our nation prepares to commemorate the Fourth of July, join us for a fundraising concert featuring local artists, musicians, and leaders as we dream of an America that truly lives up to the promise of liberty and justice for all.

June 30
6:30 p.m.
Brentwood Christian Church

All proceeds benefit Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri, a grassroots community of local activists and organizers committed to economic dignity and race equity.

Featured artists and presenters include:

  • Emily Bowen-Marler & the B Street Band, Brentwood Christian Church
  • Adrienne Denson Ewell, Campbell United Methodist Church
  • Mark Dixon, Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center
  • Micki Pulleyking, Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Mayra Ramirez, Hand in Hand Multicultural Center
  • Toni Robinson, Springfield NAACP President
  • The Bruce Butler Five
  • And many more…


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 (rev.emily.bowen@gmail.com).
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.


Advent & Christmas Schedule of Events

Dec. 24, 5:30-6:30pm: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Advent Sermon Series: “Recovering the True Meaning of Christmas: A Sermon Series on the Holy Family”

Dec. 2: “Of Gods & Tyrants” (Matthew 2:1-12)

Dec. 9: “Brown Skinned Refugees” (Matthew 2:13-23)

Dec. 23: “Casting the Mighty from Their Thrones” (Luke 1:46-56)

Week of Witness

This Sunday at Brentwood, we are joining thousands of people in a multifaith “week of witness” to increase awareness about children still separated from their parents after arriving at the southern border seeking refuge. You can learn more online here.


Brentwood 101

Are you new to Brentwood? Would you like to learn more about our beliefs and values, as well as our programs and justice initiatives? If so, we hope you’ll join us at Brentwood 101!

This series will be held from 9:00 – 9:45 a.m. on the Sundays of September 9, 16, 23, and 30. It’s led by Phil Snider and will meet in Room 10 (which is next to the nursery and close to the sanctuary). While there’s no need to RSVP, you can direct any questions you might have to brentwoodchristianchurch@gmail.com.