A collection of media, reflections, and resources from our weekend gatherings. For additional information on Ecclesia Houston visit us online at http://ecclesiahouston.org
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Pastor Mike shares that benediction is reminder that we are a beloved people whom God gathers, that then become a chosen people whom God sends.
Welcome to The Ecclesia Podcast, a place where we share stories and conversations about what it means to live in a holistic, Christian, missional community. In this episode, Pastor Chris sits down with Pastor Mike to discuss his time at Ecclesia as he prepares to move on to a new season planting his own church in SW Houston. At Ecclesia, our mission is to be a community that seeks to follow Jesus in all areas of life, and that includes our worship. We believe that there are many ways to worship God beyond just music and Sunday gatherings. If you're interested in learning more about our church community in Houston, Texas, please visit our website at www.ecclesiahouston.org. There you can learn more about ways to connect in small groups where you can share stories and remember together. Thank you for listening to The Ecclesia Podcast. Don't forget to subscribe to our channel for more thought-provoking conversations about what it means to live in holistic, Christian community.
The miracle of Pentecost remind us of who we are as a church. This story invites is to imagine a new world, requires community, and celebrates differences while uniting under a shared vision and spirit.
How do you spend your time? As we consider our relationship to time, we have to reflect on how we spend time. This week Pastor Sean guides us through a way to think about time & faith. Live Teaching Podcast Scriptures & References Psalm 901 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.2 Before the mountains were brought forth or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.——3 You turn us[b] back to dust and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”---4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past or like a watch in the night.—5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning;6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.---10 The days of our life are seventy years or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;even then their span[d] is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.---11 Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.—12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.
In this episode, our teaching pastors Chris Seay and Sean Palmer sit down to wrap up the series we just finished about remembering. Remembering is an important part of worship. We remember when we read scripture, share stories, sing, gather, and more. And in this practice we remind each other and ourselves of the ways we have experienced God in our lives which serves as a reminder of the ways God will continue to show up as we go about our lives.
Guest speaker, Rochelle Palmer, shares three stories from Scripture that shaped her story as she navigates grief, joy & friendship.
In this episode of the podcast Wayne sits down with Eric to have a conversation around the topic of worship through the act of moving your body. They covered things such as body positivity, what it means to embrace discomfort, and Wayne also shares about his own journey with exploring his own relationship with his body over the course of his life.
Welcome to The Ecclesia Podcast, a space where we share stories and conversations about what it means to live in a holistic, Christian, missional community. In this episode, our guests Alexandra and Misty join us to explore the topic of contemplative spiritual practices as a form of worship.
One of the reasons we listen and engage with teaching and preaching each week is to re-engage with the stories & messages of the Scriptures. Pastor Sean invites us to consider why we need this continual act of engagement with the Scriptures through teaching and preaching.
We all walk through challenges, but we are better equipped for them when facing them together with friends and family. This week Pastor Chris continues our series on remembering by talking about the value of living life in community.
We live in a world that dis-members us from who we are. Worship re-members us, so that we can re-member the world. So, when we worship, we are reminding ourselves what God has done and not only that, but what God is doing and going to do.
Pastor Chris and our story team visited Turkey during Holy Week where they met with our friend Diego who is there working alongside local churches doing earthquake relief. This week Pastor Chris brings us a message from Turkey about what it looks like to join together as a global church and lean in when disaster strikes. You will also hear some of Diego's story as well as some of the story of Pastor Chenc, a pastor from Istanbul who is now running a tent city in Turkey.
Pastor Chris leads us in an Easter message from Turkey offering us message of hope and resurrection.
When we live into what is rather than what used to be, we engage in the act of surrender. This Palm Sunday, Pastor Sean Palmer shares how Jesus showed up and reminded us what it means to surrender well.
Change is almost always a beginning and an ending if we have the courage to see it that way. Through the story of Jesus & Lazarus, Ericka Graham guides us into a new way of thinking about change.
In American culture we wear busyness and productivity as a badge of honor. Laptops and cell phones mean we are connected and available 24/7. But this is not how we are designed to function; in fact, God calls us to regular rest and reflection. On this 4th Sunday of Lent, in a season focused on caring for our souls to prepare ourselves for celebration of the resurrection and the coming of Jesus, join us as Sean and Rochelle Palmer share with us about how to engage with the celebration of Sabbath, a holy day of rest.
We live an era of abundance and can forget how to celebrate what God has given us. Pastor Chris continues in the third week of lent by inviting us to slow down in gratitude. He reminds us that as we feast on Sundays, to do so with a posture of intention, presence and thankfulness.
Pastor Sean leads us through the Exodus story and explains how God's power is not displayed by delivering us to comfort, but delivering us through challenge. Live Teaching Podcast Scriptures & References Exodus: 5: 1-3Exodus 13:1 7-18Exodus 14: 4-14Exodus 15: 1-5, 19-20“The passage can be read two ways. The first is that what happened was a suspension of the laws of nature. It was a supernatural event. The waters stood, literally, like a wall. The second is that what happened was miraculous not because the laws of nature were suspended. To the contrary, as the computer simulation shows, the exposure of dry land at a particular point in the Red Sea was a natural outcome of the strong east wind. What made it miraculous is that it happened just there, just then, when the Israelites seemed trapped, unable to go forward because of the sea, unable to turn back because of the Egyptian army pursuing them. There is a significant difference between these two interpretations. The first appeals to our sense of wonder. How extraordinary that the laws of nature should be suspended to allow an escaping people to go free. It is a story to appeal to the imagination of a child. But the naturalistic explanation is wondrous at another level entirely. Here the Torah is using the device of irony. What made the Egyptians of the time of Ramses so formidable was the fact that they possessed the latest and most powerful form of military technology, the horse drawn chariot. It made them unbeatable in battle, and fearsome.What happens at the sea is poetic justice of the most exquisite kind. There is only one circumstance in which a group of people traveling by foot can escape a highly trained army of charioteers, namely when the route passes through a muddy sea bed. The people can walk across, but the chariot wheels get stuck in the mud. The Egyptian army can neither advance nor retreat. The wind drops. The water returns. The powerful are now powerless, while the powerless have made their way to freedom.” — Jonathan Sacks, Covenant and ConversationReflection“God is going to lead you, he's not going to force you,” suggests Pastor Sean. Is there a particular place in your life and story where this hits closely for you? Whether facing a critical decision or crossroads, do you trust that God is waiting for you on the other side of it? Practice bringing your tambourine along with you in the coming days, with an attentiveness to name and give thanks for God's blessing and presence as you witness and experience it.
Join us for an special episode of The Ecclesia Podcast as we share stories and insights from our recent trip to Colombia where we met with our friends at Iglesia Cristiana Para la Frontera. Pastor Chris and Pastor Ramon sit down with HR Director Cassie O'Haver to discuss the transformative work that God is doing on the Colombia/Venezuela border through our partnership with this incredible ministry. Over a decade ago, the people of Venezuela were thrown into chaos, and the mass migration of Venezuelans created a new set of challenges for the already struggling country. But in the midst of this chaos and devastation, God was at work, providing a glimmer of hope embodied by our friends at Iglesia Cristiana Para la Frontera. Our team shares their experiences of traveling to the border, meeting the pastors and team at Iglesia, and witnessing firsthand their tireless efforts to provide food, shelter, medical care, education, and most importantly, hope for those most vulnerable at the Colombia/Venezuela border. Through this episode, you'll hear stories of resilience, faith, and community as we explore the transformative power of community and the ways this partnership makes an impact both internationally and at our home in Houston. Join us as we step boldly into God's purpose for our lives and learn how you can get involved in supporting this incredible ministry. Don't miss this opportunity to be inspired and encouraged to make a difference in the world around you. If you haven't already, please watch our video from this past Sunday that highlights some of the stories we heard during our time with our friends at Iglesia para la Frontera. You can find that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOawmv6INuM
Pastor Chris guides us on a tour of Cucuta, Colombia and shares stories from our team's recent trip to visit our friends serving at Iglesia para la Frontera. Live Teaching Podcast Scripture & References Galatians 6:7-9
Pastor Sean prepares us as we approach the season of Lent. Sean reminds us that this season is about more than just intentional fasting, but intentional feasting. As people of faith, we are challenged to hold both in balance and to not slide more fully into one or the other.
Pastor Chris continues in our series called Sacred Frames by looking again at the show The Sopranos. Pastor Chris explores the themes of belonging and community as the show highlight's Tony Sopranos loneliness. Pastor Chris invites us to engage with each other and suggests that the Church continues to hold a place of belonging for each other.
This week Ericka Graham brings us a message about grace and showing up as our authentic selves through the lens of a couple of Disney short films.
In this week's installment of Sacred Frames, our dear friend Greg Garrett, who is a gifted author, professor, and speaker, brings us a message about the forgiveness of God through the lens of the movie Magnolia. Garrett describes Magnolia as a beautiful, hard, and true film that in its second act leaves you feeling like you are at the bottom of the ocean and will never know light or warmth again. But then God moves, and grace flows and we see as God sees, with a sympathy for the brokenness which enters into every human life. We see God makes the showers to fall upon the just and the unjust, and we discover how God is right there with us as we try to live into the toughest parts of being human.
Pastor Chris Seay shares about the life lessons from the TV show The Sopranos and what the themes of the show have to teach us about who we are and who God is.
Pastor Mike continues our series Sacred Frames exploring the intersection of faith and film; the redemptive themes coursing through a diversity of cinematic stories. Pastor Mike takes us through the story of the movie Arrival. The themes of relationships and pain throughout the film give us insight on how we relate to each other in relationships. How even in pain we trust that when we walk together, united even in all of our messy difference, the Holy Spirit will show us what we're meant to see, what we're meant to receive, what we're meant to give.
What do we mean when we say "Love"? Pastor Sean Palmer begins a new series called "Sacred Frames". For the next few weeks, we will look at redemptive themes in cinema. This week Pastor Sean takes a look at the story of To Kill A Mockingbird to examine what it means to love your neighbor.
As we enter 2023, Pastor Mike invites us to reorder our lives in this new year. He encourages us to continue showing up; to the discomfort of a new habit, to the inconvenience of messy relationship, to the often frustrating silence of prayer, eventually we will encounter God, perhaps in ways we could never have anticipated.
Pastor Chris finishes the last Sunday of Advent by inviting us to examine what it means to love all people. Pastor Chris invites us to reconsider the way we view God's love, and in turn how that affects the way we love others in our life.
This week, Pastor Chris invites us to give more in this season of Advent, giving meaningful gifts to others and to being generous with our finances as we raise money for clean water. He suggests that we offer the gift of ourselves to others as a way of inviting deeper relationships.
Pastor Sean continues into the second week of advent and invites us to spend less on things this season and instead spend more of ourselves for the people in our lives.
In a world that primarily values commerce, the invitation to worship fully this advent season is an invitation to embrace a set of values that honor God above the market. Pastor Sean, through the book of Exodus and the story of Moses, invites us to embrace a season and life that worships God more fully.
Ericka Graham closes out our series on the Theology of the Body by discussing what it means to be the Body of Christ. Ericka explains that we all have a connective call to the body of Christ that invites us to participate as our authentic selves.
There is nothing more human than the experience of living in a body. That comes with joy, pain, trauma, and everything in between, but those experiences are what tie us together as humanity. This week we are joined by Pastor Chris and Ericka to discuss and wrap up the current sermon series about the body and take a deeper look at what it means to be human.
Our minds shape the reality we live in. How we view, care for, and develop our mind is essential to how we view ourselves, God, and our community around us. Pastor Sean Palmer continues in our series on the Theology of the Body talking about our mind and is importance to our faith.
This week on the podcast Mitzi Mak & Manuel Sanchez discuss our beloved Nostoi Community. Our mission with the Nostoi Community is to empower our friends who are unhoused and in housing transition through loving relationships that support transformation, provide resources, restore dignity and bring hope to their lives.
Pastor Chris Seay continues our series around the Theology of the Body and explores the topic of sexuality. For many of us, our experience with this topic is connected to shame. Pastor Chris aims to offer new insight and perspective for how we view our own sexuality and how we view other people.
This week on the podcast Josue Trevino, Wayne Brown, & Alexandra Rieke discuss Ecclesia's multi-campus approach to ministry across Houston. Much like the chairs in our downtown venue, each of our campuses downtown, at Westside in Piney Point, and near Northside in Lindale are incredibly unique and diverse. This diversity is necessary to accommodate the different cultures and demographics of each of these areas, but more importantly is a beautiful celebration of the diversity found in the Kingdom of God. We hope to come alongside the work God is already doing in these communities and across Houston as we pursue Jesus in holistic missional community.
Over the past several years, many of us have endured the trauma of the pandemic and are beginning to experience those affects in our body. Pastor Chris continues our series on the Theology of the Body by examining the ways that trauma affects our bodies and looks at how the Scriptures point us to healing.
This week on the podcast Alexandra Rieke & Mike Yager discuss and breakdown the Rhythms of Ecclesia. We believe God is present in ordinary days and invites us into rhythms which bring about joy and peace. Together, as we live in pursuit of Jesus, we have found these rhythms guide us on a path to experience the divine in the midst of the ordinary and live in awe and wonder.
Pastor Sean Palmer begins our new series around "The Body" by asking the question "What is a Body for?" Pastor Sean explains that the body is the mechanism to express our soul and that we would enact in our bodies what God is doing in our souls.
This week on the podcast Pastor Chris & Pastor Sean sit down to talk about the early days of Ecclesia.
Pastor Chris concludes our sermon series around "Who is Ecclesia" by inviting us into how our community approaches the Bible. He urges us to consider how we play a part in engaging with the story God has been telling since the beginning, and how living out that story may change our lives. Live Teaching Podcast Scripture & Reference 2 Timothy 3:16-1716 All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right 17 so that God's people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work.Galatians 5:22-2622 The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. You won't find any law opposed to fruit like this. 24 Those of us who belong to the Anointed One have crucified our old lives and put to death the flesh and all the lusts and desires that plague us. 25 Now since we have chosen to walk with the Spirit, let's keep each step in perfect sync with God's Spirit. 26 This will happen when we set aside our self-interests and work together to create true community instead of a culture consumed by provocation, pride, and envy.
Pastor Chris Seay continues our conversation on the distinct nature of Ecclesia as a church community. Through the prayers of Jesus and the unique teachings of Jeremiah Burroughs, Chris suggests some of the ways we find unity and cooperation within our great diversity, that certain doctrinal differences need not divide us, and that our differences in fact enrich our family.
What does it mean to be a local church in Houston, TX? Pastor Mike Yager poses this question to us as we can become quickly default to the comforts of homogeneity over the messiness of inhabiting and navigating that diversity, clinging instead to those that look like us, live like us, worship like us, vote like us. Pastor Mike invites us to consider how we are seeking the welfare of our neighborhood, community & city.
Pastor Chris Seay continues our series "Who is Ecclesia?" by inviting us to have a posture towards life that allows us to be missional. Pastor Chris suggests that a life lived missionally would radically alter the way we view and interact with the world around us.
Pastor Sean Palmer introduces us to a new series we are calling "Who is Ecclesia?" Sean invites us to consider that our church has historical roots in a larger story beyond ourselves and our local community.
Pastor Chris preaches from Argentina and shares about Ruth & Rene Padilla. Rene's work and concepts of “misión integral” are formative to the formation of Ecclesia.
Pastor Mitzi Mak explores the life and ministry of Mother Teresa. She reminds us that if we desire to love and serve Jesus, that he can be found in the overlooked and lonely, for they are image-bearers of God.
Pastor Chris introduces us to Houstonian Brene Brown as we continue our series focusing on the voices of women. Through her teaching of vulnerability, we gain insight into the life of Jesus and the action He calls us to take. Pastor Chris encourages us to not give up when faced with pain, but to continue serving and loving others with courage.
How do we pray with hope and honesty? Pastor Sean Palmer introduces us to beloved author Anne Lamott and her book Help, Thanks, Wow. Anne's words on three simple prayers guide us into simple and universal types of prayers.