A Sermon Series: The Glory of God’s Creation

This blog entry consolidates all of the sermons from Northaven’s summer “Creation” series one place. If you’ve got some time to spend, click on the links below, and enjoy what we’ve been enjoying here at Northaven this summer.

The first two are audio-only. Many of the last ones are video.*
As the series concludes over the next few weeks, I’ll add the final installments here.

WEEK ONE The First Genesis Creation Story: “It Is Good”
We begin at the “beginning,” unpacking the first of the two creation stories in Genesis. (Genesis 1:1- 2:4). The main point of this story was never to posit a literal six-day creation of the world, but to celebrate the glory of creation itself, and how God calls it all “good.”

WEEK TWO The Second Genesis Creation Story: “There’s Always A Talking Snake”
The most interesting character in the story of “The Man” and “The Woman” in the Garden of Eden is the “Talking Snake.” Never intended to be read as “The Devil” or “Evil Incarnate,” the existence of “The Talking Snake” still teaches us a lot about God’s good creation.

WEEK THREE “Wonder in Creation, Nature, and Worship”
In week three, we take time to consider the idea of “wonder” and how it is both a powerful part of our appreciate creation/nature, and also a key component of worship. The “wonder” we have about creation is connected to the “wonder” we experience in worshiping God.

WEEK FOUR “Creativity and Process: An Introduction to Process Theology”
A powerful theology that has been helpful to many in the modern period is “Process Theology,” which gives us an incredible conceptual frame for understanding HOW God is creative in the world…and what the implications of that are for us. Far from being incompatible with Christian faith, Process Theology can help us to understand the fullness of “The Great Commandment,” or “The Golden Rule.”

WEEK FIVE “Creativity and Art: A Conversation About the Connection”
Instead of a “normal” sermon, we have a conversation between four artists, about the connection between art, God, and creativity. All four posit that spirituality and artistic creativity are vitally connected. A very interesting morning of conversation about spirituality and art.
NOTE: Technical difficulties have delayed the creation of a movie for this week. But it will eventually be produced. Please check back soon. In the meantime, please enjoy this video of quotes, from artists, about the spiritual life.

WEEK SIX “Faith and Science: Compatible and Complimentary”
This sermon celebrates the connection between science and faith. The thesis is that the same God-given creativity present in art is also what drives scientific discovery. However, before making this point, this sermon debunks the idea that one must choose either science or faith. This sermon suggests that this is a false forced-choice, put forth by fundamentalists in each side of the faith/science divide.

WEEK SEVEN “Our Sin and Creation”
No series on God’s creation would be complete without a discussion of how of the environment and God’s creation. Our capacity for sin, for pushing scientific discovery and profit motive beyond what is reasonable, causes to us cause great harm to the earth. Additionally, many scriptures are misinterpreted in a way that justifies reckless stewardship of God’s gift of creation. For this, we must confess our sin. But the sins against creation are not just against creation, but against God as well.

* Because of length, the video sermons were posted in two parts. Be patient at the end of each “Part 1,” and Part 2 should auto-load. If not, you can click on a link at the of part one to go to part two on each.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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