2017 National Gathering Sermon: Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts, president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, gives the final sermon of the 2017 NEXT Church National Gathering during closing worship.

Scripture: John 4:19-26

The liturgy from this service is also available:


Paul Roberts is is president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA, a position he has held since the spring of 2010. He is a native of Stamford, CT; however, he grew up in Bradenton, FL, which he considers his home. Paul graduated from Princeton University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and African American Studies. Prior to his career in ministry, Paul worked in advertising in New York City. He later received the Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in New Testament Studies from Johnson C. Smith Seminary. He also is an Academic Fellow of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey in Celigny, Switzerland. From 1997 through 2010, Paul was the pastor of Church of the Master (PCUSA), a church founded in 1965 in Atlanta, GA, as an intentionally interracial congregation. He serves on the boards of the Presbyterian Foundation (PCUSA) and the Macedonian Ministry Inc. of Atlanta. He is the recipient of the 2016 Devoted Service Award from Louisville Theological Seminary. Recreationally, Paul enjoys tennis and yard work. Paul and his wife, Nina, have three beautiful children—one adult daughter and two teenage sons.

2017 National Gathering Reflection: Tim Hart-Andersen

Rev. Tim Hart-Andersen, senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, MN, gives a reflection on interfaith dialogue during Tuesday morning worship at the 2017 NEXT Church National Gathering.

Tim has also made his manuscript available as a resource:

We are grateful to Tim for providing his thoughts; to Meghan Gage-Finn for coordinating the video and text components of the reflection; and to Eric Adams for editing providing the video to be used during this reflection.

2017 National Gathering Sermon: Marci Glass

Marci Glass, pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Boise, ID, preaches on John 4:15-18; 29 as part of the 2017 NEXT Church National Gathering.


Marci Auld Glass is the Pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Boise, Idaho and blogs at www.marciglass.com. She co-moderates the board of the Covenant Network, and serves on the boards of Ghost Ranch, Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy, and the Presbyterian Mission Agency.  She and her husband, Justin, have two sons, Alden and Elliott. Marci is a professional espresso drinker, bourbon snob, labyrinth walker, and lapsed cellist who voluntarily listens to opera.


Worship Liturgy

Call to Worship

In Jerico and in Samaria
In Syria and South Africa
In Argentina and Afghanistan
In Palestine and Israel
In Charlotte and Seattle
In Washington, DC and Kansas City
In ancient times and in this time
Around the font and around the table
For sinners and saints
For the broken and the beautiful —
For all of these and even more,
Christ opens wide the arms of love and shouts,
“Come! Come!
Rest and drink deeply!
Eat and be glad!
Your life is holy
and you belong here with me.”

 

Prayer of Confession

Merciful God, forgive us.
Unlike the psalmist,
we are afraid to lie down in green pastures
or rest beside still waters.
Unlike Matthew the evangelist,
we forget the words of Jesus
and insist on carrying heavy burdens.
Unlike Paul the apostle,
we are not always sure that nothing
can separate us from your love.
Forgive us when we are fragile enough to believe
that our brokenness is stronger than your grace.
Help us, O God.
Pour out your Spirit upon us once more,
so that the story we are so used to telling
becomes the story we really, truly, fully and completely,
trust.
(Silent prayer)

2017 National Gathering Opening Worship

Alonzo Johnson preaches the opening worship service of the 2017 National Gathering.

Scripture: John 4:1-42

Alonzo Johnson is coordinator for the Self-Development of People Program (SDOP). SDOP is a branch of the PCUSA’s Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry. He is also the convener of the Educate A Child, Transform the World initiative. Alonzo has 25 years of experience specializing in urban, youth, education, creative arts and social justice ministries. He served an urban congregation in Philadelphia, PA, and worked as a volunteer chaplain for 9 years at Luther Luckett Correctional Facility in LaGrange, KY. He has an MDiv from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and is currently a DMin student at the same institution.

 

2016 National Gathering Wednesday Morning Worship

The Wednesday morning worship service of the 2016 National Gathering was composed of three reflections on Exodus 14:10-31.

Liturgist: Betsy Lyles

Reflections: “Enslaved to the Past,” David Powers; “Delivering a Desperate Word,” Shelli Latham; “Standing in Awe,” Sarah Are

2016 National Gathering Opening Worship

Mark Douglas preaches at the first worship service of the 2016 National Gathering.

Liturgist: Billy Honor

Sermon: “Who’s Got Next?”

Mark Douglas is Professor of Christian Ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, where he teaches a wide variety of classes and directs the Masters of Divinity degree program.  His most recent book is  “Believing Aloud: Reflections on Being Religious in the Public Sphere” (Cascade, 2010).  He is currently working on a series of books exploring the impact of climate change on war and the roles that Christian traditions of pacifism, just war, and just peacemaking may play in addressing climate-shaped conflict.

2016 National Gathering Closing Worship: Denise Anderson

Denise Anderson preaches during Wednesday closing worship at the 2016 National Gathering.

Liturgists: Mehib Holmes and Janice James
Sermon: “Appointed and Unashamed”

Denise Anderson is the pastor of Unity Presbyterian Church in Temple Hills, Maryland. A nationally-recognized writer and blogger, Denise’s work has appeared in The Christian Century, The Huffington Post, These Days, and on her own blog, SOULa Scriptura: To Be Young, Gifted, and Reformed. Denise writes, preaches, and engages on issues of social justice, diversity, and reconciliation.

2016 National Gathering Tuesday Morning Sermon: Aisha Brooks-Lytle

Aisha Brooks-Lytle preaches during Tuesday morning worship at the 2016 National Gathering.

Liturgist: Katie Sundermeier
Sermon: “You’ve Got to Go Through It”

Aisha Brooks-Lytle (A.K.A “Pastor Eesh”) is Minister of Mission at Wayne Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. A native Philadelphian, she graduated from Central High School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Music from Temple University (’99). She obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary (’05) and has served in several churches in the tri-state area through her music ministry and in her ministry of preaching, teaching, and pastoral care.

2015 National Gathering Worship: Joy Douglas Strome

Joy Douglas Strome preaches at the 2015 NEXT Church National Gathering in Chicago.

2015 National Gathering Worship: Brian Ellison

Brian Ellison preaches on Tuesday morning of the 2015 National Gathering in Chicago.