StoneBridge Community Church
Hearts and Minds #5: Beloved Community
Associate Pastor Jonathan Lusche
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:25 PM

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Introduction to Hearts and Minds Message Series

Written by the Apostle Paul, the first seventeen verses of Colossians chapter three is like a “how-to” guide for following Jesus. This nine week, Hearts and Minds message series will unpack and explore these practical "how-to's" and inspire us to live them out.
Introduction to Beloved Community message

Today in America, the police can be called on you for doing everyday things like barbecuing, swimming, sitting at Starbucks, golfing, eating at Subway, gardening, playing video games inside your own home, leaving a corner store or cashing a paycheck. Or maybe not. It depends on your race. Racism is a old as sin, itself. It corrupts and divides our world, our country, and our communities. People of faith cannot allow racism to corrode the Church and people of faith are called to uphold justice.

The Innocence Project

The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

Text In Context

This is an additional commentary on Colossians 3:11

Was Paul trained to be a legal Pharisee of Jewish law?

Acts 22:3 records Gamaliel as the Jewish law teacher of Paul.
1. All humans are an interwoven part of God's good creation.

Genesis 1, Psalm 104

Weezer, "Undone"

Weezer’s “Blue Album” went on to sell over three million copies because of Cuomo’s songs – thrilling bursts of singalong pop, unafraid of unleashing a gargantuan riff or two. Lyrically, they spoke of outsiderdom and social awkwardness, while the music was exciting and utterly triumphant. Each of the singles released from the album – ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)’, ‘Buddy Holly’ and ‘Say It Ain’t So’ – hit both the US Modern Rock Top 10 and the UK Top 40, a startling feat for a band who’d only been together since early 1992.
2. All humans are made in God's image.
3. All humans are diverse and human diversity delights God.

Job 38-41, Acts 10
4. All humans deserve justice.

Facing Racism: A Vision of the Beloved Community

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recognizes that the task of dismantling racism is a long-term struggle that requires discernment, prayer, and worship based action. As we move into the next millennium, congregations, presbyteries, and synods are engaging the problem of racism in unprecedented numbers. This is a significant development in the struggle for “racial” justice. In order to respond to this challenge, the 211th General Assembly (1999) approved this comprehensive policy document that will guide the church’s ministry of “racial” justice in the next century.

The Beloved Community

“The Beloved Community” is a term that was first coined in the early days of the 20th Century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who popularized the term and invested in it, a deeper meaning which captured the imagination of people of goodwill all over the world.
Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.
Reflection / Growth Group Discussion Questions
1. The Bible has often been misused to support racism. What are some ways you have seen or heard this happen?
2. Which of the four biblical foundations for anti-racism outlined in this message speaks most powerfully to you? Why?
3. How can you counter racist misinterpretations of the Bible? How can our community of faith counter racism?
4. Where in our culture and where in our community do you see racial divide? What are some healthy ways to bridge racial gaps? What are healthy ways to involve others to join you in bridging racial gaps?
Next Steps:
- Memorize Colossians 3:10b - 11
- Read books about race by people of color. The New Jim Crow by M. Alexander; Between the World and Me by T. Coates; Just Mercy by B. Stevenson
- Read books about race written by caucasian authors. America's Original Sin by J. Wallis; Dear White Christians by J. Harvey
- Be a bridge builder. See a racial divide? Figure out a healthy way to cross it and make ways for others to cross with you.

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Come share the love with our neighbors at Ashlee Manor by donating groceries, doing odd household jobs, preparing lunch, or just visiting with a lonely friend. For more information or to sign-up, visit the ministry table on the patio after service.

StoneBridge Christian Recovery is designed to help you on the road to recovery of any hurts, habits, or hang-ups that are keeping you from a joyful and productive life. If you feel like you resonate with this, then please join us on Wednesday nights.

Weekend Worship Playlist

Enjoy this Spotify playlist with the songs played in worship this weekend!

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