Lenten Sermon Series — On Suffering


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


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.

Standing with Our Neighbors: Pursuing Justice

Standing with Our Neighbors: Pursuing Justice

Members of Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri and the NAACP Springfield Branch will offer nonpartisan, interfaith prayers, faith reflections and song at the offices of our area federally elected officials.  Speakers will ask that our elected officials take a strong stand for our values of loving our neighbors and will urge our officials to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, to object to Steve Bannon’s position in the White House, and to speak out against the lies that divide and distract the American public and are used to legitimize unjust policy decisions

We are gathering at the Council of Churches  where we will carpool to the offices.

When:            Monday, January 30, 2:00 PM,Council of Churches 

Where:           2:30-3:00, Rep Billy Long’s Office:  3232 Ridgeview St., Springfield

                        3:15-3:45, Sen Roy Blunt’s Office:  2740-B East Sunshine, Springfield

                        4:15-4:45, Sen Claire McCaskill’s Office:  324 Park Central West, Springfield

                        Times are approximate

Contact:        Susan Schmalzbauer



Speakers include Dr. Rev. Cassandra Gould, State Director of Missouri Faith Voices,

Dr. Robert Perry, Baptist Minister, Faith Voices SW MO, former missionary,  Cheryl Clay, President of Springfield NAACP, Rev. Charles Caskey, Episcopal priest and refugee expert, Faith Voices SW MO, and more.These will be short prayers and reflections, with additional written materials to be submitted to the offices.

Compassionate Action

This is a reminder about our Compassionate Action event exploring the Sanctuary movement and options.  If you have not yet RSVP’d please do so:  

Monday, January 30th, 5:30-8:30 PM, dinner furnished.

Council of Churches of the Ozarks

627 N Glenstone Ave

Springfield, MO

RSVP names of those attending and any dietary restrictions.

Phone:  Council of Churches of the Ozarks  (417) 862-3586


Online: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VeqU8kcyFMEFDKm4cTOpxdo9ZxRkWPqGJ97ZSP7LE48/viewform?ts=5876a7e0&edit_requested=true

Pub Theology, Standing with Our Neighbors, Marching for Women’s Equality, and Showing Up for Racial Justice…


This week provides several opportunities to join with friends from Brentwood and in the community to reflect and work for dignity and equality in the spirit of Jesus…

  1. Pub Theology is Thursday at 7pm at the Coffee Ethic, where topics include comparing and contrasting liberation theology with the prosperity gospel.
  2. Standing with Our Neighbors: A Nonpartisan, Interfaith Community Service for Unity” is on Friday at 9am at the Drury University Diversity Center. It’s sponsored by Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri and the NAACP; speakers include Phil Snider and Wes Pratt, with music from Emily Bowen-Marler and members from Brentwood’s band.
  3. The Women’s March on Washington takes place this Saturday, with the corresponding Women’s March on Springfield from 9am-noon, with the purpose of standing for the rights of women and other marginalized groups.
  4. Show Up for Racial Justice with SURJ this Sunday at 3pm at Brentwood, as we reflect on ways to support a more racially just society in Springfield and beyond.

We’ll see you there!

Better Know a Theologian: An Introduction to the Life & Thought of Dorothy Day


“Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed that easily.”

The Academy for Faith & Life at Brentwood Christian Church presents “Better Know a Theologian: An Introduction to the Life & Thought of Dorothy Day”

The purpose of this series is to help participants become familiar with key theologians in the Christian tradition, particularly those whose work is of particular significance for the church and society.

In this introduction to the life and thought of Dorothy Day, we will follow the lead of scholars like Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty (author of Dorothy Day for Armchair Theologians) to engage how “Day’s tireless work on behalf of the marginalized arose from and articulates a deeply theological commitment to the Reign of God and the dignity of all God’s children.”

“If theology is about more than books and libraries, lecture halls and dusty debates; if theology is instead about lived experience, especially the experiences of those living at the margins of society’s care and concern; if, in short, theology is about the real needs of real people, then Dorothy Day was one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. In spite of having no formal training in theology, Day’s work and writing on behalf of the poor and oppressed bears eloquent testimony to the creativity and courage of her theological vision. Her journalism for the Catholic Worker and her advocacy for the poor, women, ethnic minorities, and others come together to form a consistent theology of the church and its ministry to the world.”

About the Academy for Faith & Life
The Academy for Faith and Life at Brentwood Christian Church provides an opportunity for participants from both the congregation and the wider community to engage theological and ethical topics in an in-depth manner not usually found in conventional church study groups. The Academy for Faith and Life explores topics related to religion and culture that is similar to what might be found at the university (and at times even the seminary) level. It provides tools for cultivating individual and societal transformation, all based on an approach to Christianity that values both the mind and the heart.

Pope Francis commenting on the legacy of Dorothy Day:

“Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.”

To sign up or learn more, please contact the church office.


Christmas Program & Party — rescheduled for Dec. 21st at 6pm

Our annual Christmas program and party has officially been rescheduled for this Wednesday, Dec. 21st, at 6:00 p.m. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Music, program, and party. The festivities will begin in the sanctuary with special music from Springfield symphony cellist Caleb Marshall, who will accompany Emily Hertzog and Emily Bowen-Marler on vocals. Then, our children and youth will present their adaptations of “The Grumpy Shepherd” as well as Maya Angelou’s “Amazing Peace,” after which we will head downstairs to share in food and fellowship (please bring a finger food to share).
  • Matching Funds Campaign. Thanks to a generous couple in our church, all contributions given in multiples of $20 (above and beyond regular giving) during the Christmas Program and at the Christmas Eve Worship Service (this Saturday at 6:00 p.m.) will be double-matched up to $4000. For example, if you give $100, that will become $300 once the donor’s additional $200 is added. In addition, any money that is given to paint the outside of the church (notate “painting” in the memo line) will be matched up to $6000 through the end of the year. We are so thankful for the generosity extended by these members who inspire us to give even more at this time of year! We encourage you to follow their example and give generously as you are able.
  • Parents. All children and youth need to meet in the chapel located in the west end of the church at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday in order to rehearse their parts before performing.
  • Taize Worship. Because we had to reschedule our Christmas program, the music originally planned for this week’s Taize service will instead be shared by Caleb and Emily at 6pm as the opening part of our Christmas program, as described above. Therefore, our next Taize service will be Jan. 18th (not this Wednesday).
  • Finger Foods. Please remember to bring a finger food to share; otherwise there won’t be enough to go around (unless Jesus shows up to multiply some cookies!).
  • Thank you. Our church would like to extend our sincere thanks to those volunteering their time to make this event possible. To Shirley Nelson, for decorating the fellowship hall and organizing the party; to Amanda Ashley and Nylah Rogers for helping lead the Christmas program; to Heather Ward for doing the sets for the Christmas program; and to Caleb Marshall and Emily Hertzog, for sharing their gifts of music with us. Thank you!