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Blog Archives: January 2017 — December 2017

01
December
2017

The Jesse Tree

Introduction When one of my children is waiting for a long-planned event, like a birthday party or a visit from family, they will ask every morning: “Is today the day?” And when the blessed day nally arrives, I can count on hearing, at least hourly, “Is it time yet?” “When will Memaw and Grandpa get here?” “Why isn’t it two o’clock yet?” As crazy-making as this can be, it’s not that far from how the prophets, Scripture, and Christians of years past encourage us to inhabit Advent: with hungry anticipation for what God will do in our world, ...
21
September
2017

Reflections On A Night For City Hope

Paul Trudeau
see more by clicking through images above Dear City Church family, Last Friday evening, a sold-out crowd gathered at the Great American Music Hall as photographers, illustrators, documentarians, poets, and artists shared nine different stories about the work and lives of our City Hope community. The stories illuminated the profound beauty and struggle of the Tenderloin and gave voice to people who are often unheard, misunderstood, and all too often, demonized. The audience in attendance was a beautiful combination of City Church ...
21
September
2017

Reflections On A Night For City Hope

Paul Trudeau
see more by clicking through images above Last Friday evening, a sold-out crowd gathered at the Great American Music Hall as photographers, illustrators, documentarians, poets, and artists shared nine different stories about the work and lives of our City Hope community. The stories illuminated the profound beauty and struggle of the Tenderloin and gave voice to people who are often unheard, misunderstood, and all too often, demonized. The audience in attendance was a beautiful combination of volunteers, donors, the friends and family of ...
15
September
2017

ROOTED: An Upcoming Sermon Series

As we reflect on all the changes our church has gone through over the last few years, we find it important to stop and take stock of what our core values as a church really are. In our twentieth year as City Church, we are more aware than ever of the deep needs of our city, the work that is ahead of us, and the DNA that keeps us going as we follow Christ to renew the city. We are also aware of our weaknesses and the areas where we as a body need to grow. Because of that, we are pressing “pause” on the lectionary and taking two months this ...
07
September
2017

Why, then, do we pray? A school of prayer

Prayer is one of those things that we as Christians know we’re supposed to do, but few of us have learned to pray in a way that produces joy, contentment, and a sense of ongoing dialogue with God. Prayer has no immediate payoff, in the words of Richard Rohr. Our success in prayer cannot be measured on a rubric, and, if we get answers at all, they are rarely the ones we are after. So why, then, do we pray? And, perhaps more importantly how do we pray? “If prayer is spiritual formation and not God-management,” Brian Zahnd writes, “then we ...
24
August
2017

Get Involved - Fall 2017

Kids Hope Participants There’s something about September that feels more like the start of a new year than January. It might be the ferocity with which the school year is drilled into us, or the school supplies that seem to pop up earlier every year, or the sense that summer is finally coming to San Francisco. Whatever the reason, as we transition back into a schedule of rhythm and routine, this is a great time of year to learn more about how God is working in San Francisco and how you might be involved. There are a few areas where we ...
06
July
2017

it's okay not to be okay

Anxiety is the most common affliction in America. Millions of people every year struggle with how to respond to feelings of overwhelming worry, fear, and isolation, all while trying to achieve and accomplish more and more to prove their worth. Listen to writer and City Church member Laura Turner preach about how God might use our anxiety to draw us closer as we acknowledge that it's okay not to be okay. Listen Here >
28
April
2017

Spiritual Practices beyond Lent

During Lent, City Church spent time cultivating resurrection - paying attention to our inner life and posture so that we could more fully participate in the resurrection life Jesus offers, particularly through the prayer of examen. In Eastertide, our sermons will focus on practicing resurrection - a more outward expression of new life. It might be easy to think of this as formulaic. First you cultivate, then you practice, as if you complete step one then move to step two. Instead, cultivating and practicing occur like an infinity loop, ...
20
April
2017

Embodying Resurrection

Easter is the culmination of our hope; the joy of resurrection and new life handed to us by the God who conquered death. This good news can be hard to hear, and harder still to make use of in our daily lives—which is why we are entering into the season of Eastertide with a sermon series called Embodying Resurrection. In light of something as momentous as the resurrection, what do we do with our lives? Join us as we look at how the Scriptures talk about life after the resurrection and think about how we can live in the freedom, light, and ...
09
April
2017

AN EXAMEN FOR PALM SUNDAY

GATHER This week, we are going to pray the examen together, but this time we’re going to reflect on the entire season of Lent. As you gather, to prime your memories, spend a few moments remembering back to Ash Wednesday and what has passed since.  Clear the space of distractions, grab the candle and matches, and dim the lights. Allow everyone to settle in before beginning.   ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE LEADER: We invite Jesus, the light of the world, to shine on our lives and help us see God. (Light the candle) RESPONSE: God lives in a high ...
02
April
2017

AN EXAMEN FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT

GATHER Get comfortable in a quiet space alone or with others. Ready the space with matches, a candle, and dimmed lights. Turn off and put away your phones. Make sure children have used the bathroom! Say: “We are taking away all of the things that will distract us, to make space to come close to God.” Allow a moment to settle in before beginning.   ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE LEADER: We invite Jesus, the light of the world, to shine on our lives and help us see God. (Light the candle) RESPONSE: Open the eyes of our hearts, so we can see the ...
26
March
2017

AN EXAMEN : 4TH SUNDAY IN LENT

GATHER By yourself or with others, enter into a quiet space. Select a leader if necessary, and give that person the candle and matches. Dim the lights, and as a group clear the space of the things that compete for our attention: iPads, phones, snacks or toys. We are going to look back over our entire week with God, and we don’t want to get distracted from seeing the times when Jesus has been with us. (*Note*: families with very young children may wish to invite the children to simply reflect on one day, to keep it simpler.)   ENTER ...
19
March
2017

AN EXAMEN FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT

GATHER Alone or with your family, community group, or friends, get comfortable in a quiet space. Grab a candle and matches. Dim the lights, and clear the space of the things that compete for our attention: iPads, phones, snacks or toys. We are going to look back over our entire week with God, and we don’t want to get distracted from seeing the times when Jesus has been with us. (*Note*: families with very young children may wish to invite the children to simply reflect on one day, to keep it simpler.)   ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE LEADER: We ...
12
March
2017

AN EXAMEN FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT

GATHER By yourself or with your family, community group, or friends, get comfortable in a quiet space. Give someone the candle and matches. Dim the lights, and clear the space of anything that will distract you: phones, toys, screens. Remind one another that when we take things away, we are making more space for God. Allow a moment to settle in before beginning.   ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE LEADER: We invite Jesus, the light of the world, to shine on our lives and help us see God. (Light the candle) RESPONSE: For with you is the fountain of ...
05
March
2017

AN EXAMEN FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT

GATHER By yourself or with your family, community group, or friends, get comfortable in a quiet space. Make sure someone has the candle and matches. If possible, dim the lights. Turn off and put away your phones. Make sure children have used the bathroom! Say: “We are taking away all of the things that will distract us, to make space to come close to God.” Allow everyone to settle in before beginning.   ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE LEADER: We invite Jesus, the light of the world, to shine on our lives and help us see God. (Light the candle) ...
01
March
2017

AN EXAMEN FOR ASH WEDNESDAY

GATHER With your family, community group, friends, or alone, get comfortable in a quiet space. If possible, dim the lights. Turn off and put away your phones. Make sure children have used the bathroom! Say: “We are taking away all of the things that will distract us, to make space to come close to God.” After settling, light a candle and pause for silence before you begin. ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE LEADER: (blows out the candle) Today is the day we remember that we are like ashes.  Without Jesus, we are like fires that have gone out. ...
24
February
2017

Cultivating Resurrection

What does it mean to travel the road to Jerusalem knowing there is a resurrection waiting?  What characterized Jesus journey?  How was he living resurrection before the actual resurrection? How do we best pay attention to our interior lives in Lent? LENT SERMON SERIES Cultivating Resurrection Resolve: Setting Our Face to Jerusalem with Jesus 3/1 – Ash Wednesday – Luke 9:51-62 Listen: The One Thing Needed 3/5 – Lent 1 – Luke 10: 38-42  Dependence: Praying to a God Who is For Us 3/12 – Lent 2 – Luke 11: 1-13  Trust: Jesus Tells a Story ...
16
February
2017

Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years ago today—February 16th, 1997—City Church San Francisco officially worshipped for the first time. Work had been going on behind the scenes for years, starting with Fred and Terely making the cross-country move and the help of a handful of new contacts who were excited about the idea of a new church in San Francisco. But it was on the 16th of February that City Church really began in earnest. Now, twenty years later and reflecting on all that God has done, we have a lot to celebrate. City Church has been a constant presence in ...
02
February
2017

Spiritual Health

No matter your political persuasion, these are anxious times. You might notice yourself constantly checking your phone for the latest news, scrolling through Twitter or Facebook to see what’s happening. You might have a hard time sleeping, or wonder what you can actually do in this time when so many suggestions seem to vie for your responses. Or, for you, life might be going on as usual. As your church, we want to nurture your spiritual health, helping you connect with God as the source of your identity, your hope, and your action. We also ...
05
January
2017

When God Becomes Human...

What happened when God actually became human? It’s a question that has haunted humanity ever since the life of Jesus, when debates erupted about how he could possibly be both fully God and fully human. It was the topic of a hit song from Joan Osbourne—maybe you remember her asking, “If God had a face, what would it look like/and would you want to see it?” God’s humanity is the topic of the best-known Bible verse of all time: “For God so loved the world,” we read, “that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish ...

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