In this fourth and final teaching in the “Resurrecting Hope” series, Leah talks about jigsaw puzzles, eschatology, apocalypse, and future hope in the midst of so much grief and disorder.
You can read Leah’s notes here, listen to the teaching, or watch the video below.
In this teaching, Leah continues our series on “Resurrecting Hope”, looking at the story of Peter and Cornelius, and considers how the Spirit comes into situations that may seem impossible with new possibilities. In the midst of pandemic life, that is something I think all of us can appreciate.
Review Leah’s notes, listen to the teaching, or watch the video below.
Francesco Trevisani / Public domain
PC: Michael Coughlin
In this teaching given by Haven Teaching Team member Katie Kay, Katie tackles the question of how hope functions, and what it means to have hope without certainty. She explores another kind of resurrection story found in the New Testament that engages these questions, and invites us to consider hope in a helpful new way, in the midst of all the coronavirus uncertainty.
View Katie’s notes here, listen to the teaching, or view the video below.
On Easter 2020, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Leah began a new teaching series “Resurrecting Hope”. In this teaching she looks at the resurrection, as recorded by John, for some clues about what resurrection really is, and what it might tell us in terms of how hope might be present with us in a season of crisis.
You can read Leah’s notes here or listen to the teaching through audio or video below.
Emil Nolde - Crucifixion (1909) Hope found here
On Palm Sunday 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Leah shares the final teaching in this series on the work of Girard. In this teaching she takes a look at how the scapegoating mechanism plays out in the final days of Jesus life, as well as shares insights from a personal scapegoating experience.
You can review Leah’s notes here or listen to the teaching or watch the video below.
In this teaching, Leah continues the conversation about Girard and his scapegoating theory, by turning to the life of Jesus and examining how he responded when he found himself in the middle of a scapegoating event playing out. How does Jesus respond at an attempt at stoning? This is the first teaching preached from home in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in it Leah considers how Jesus’ response to scapegoating might also inform our own responses to this crisis.
The audio and video also include a 5-minute practice at the end that might be helpful in connecting with yourself and God in this time.
Look at Leah’s notes here, or you can listen to the teaching or watch the video below.
Why do humans have such a violent streak, and why is it often targeted in such cruel ways at innocent people? In this second teaching in our Lenten series, Old Stories, New Lenses, Leah lays out the heart of René Girard’s theory on human behavior: the “scapegoat mechanism”. Here she explains his take on how violence is expressed in human societies and then uses that framework to look at the story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis. This teaching provides the heart of the ideas we’ll be exploring through the rest of Lent.
Review Leah’s notes or listen to the teaching below.
Photo credit: www.quotecatalog.com
What might the perspective of a 20th century Academic who studied literature, anthropology, philosophy, and more tell us about human behavior and Jesus-centered faith? This is the question we’ll be exploring over the next several weeks throughout the season of Lent, as we look at our ancient biblical narrative through the lens of Rene Girard. It’s a new teaching series called “Old Stories. New Lenses.” First up, this week Leah explored Girard’s foundational insight that pops up in the first chapters of the Bible, having to do with why humans want what they want. It also might give you a clue about why it’s so hard to stop scrolling through that instagram feed.
Read Leah’s notes here or listen to the teaching below.
In this third teaching in the “Habits for Health” series, Leah considers a habit that might help order our connection with the Divine. By looking at the teaching from Jesus to his followers about prayer, including a puzzling parable, we consider together Jesus’ philosophy of prayer, and how growing in the practice might impact our holistic health.
Review Leah’s notes here or listen to the teaching below.
As children we begin to express ourselves by holding tightly to things that we perceive belong to us. In this teaching Leah considers a parable of Jesus and what it might tell us about how we hold on to our things (or other resources) later in life.
Listen to Leah’s teaching below or review her notes here.
In this teaching, Leah kicks off a new year (and a new decade) considering some habits of health for our life of faith that could be good to revisit, or learn for the first time. Here she focuses on the tradition of Sabbath practice as a means of bringing order to our relationship with time.
Listen to the teaching below or review Leah’s notes here.
Image by Lauren Wright Pittman from Sanctified Art LLC
In the last teaching of 2019, Leah reflects on why Mary sings the joyful song she does when she encounters her cousin Elizabeth (depicted above), what her song tells us about her character, and how revolutionary and relevant her song rings today.
Listen to Leah’s teaching below or review her notes here.
“Simeon and Anna Recognize the Lord in Jesus” by Rembrandt
On the first teaching in our Advent series, Leah looks at a passage from the end of the Christmas narrative to give us inspiration on how we prepare and participate in the coming that Advent marks. How might two elders of faith give us insight on how to live into the crying out for breakthrough in our time?
Listen to Leah’s teaching below or read her notes here.
Yu-Shuan Tarango-Sho of Sacred Roots
Pastor Erin Edwards of Live On Purpose Church
This Sunday, in our last teaching in the “Home We’re Building Together” series, Pastor Leah introduces us to two speakers representing organizations that are in some way partners in the work Haven is engaged in. Yu-Shuan Tarango-Sho shares about the organization she leads, Sacred Roots, that provides sanctuary housing and other resources to low-income people of color in Oakland, and Pastor Erin Edwards of Live On Purpose Church in Vacaville (aka LOP) talks about the importance of partnership.
Check out the recording of what each of them shared below.
Our time of interactive worship with adults, kids, and youth.
Jeanne Wong shares a vision for intergenerational community.
On this special Sunday, we continued our series on “The Home We’re Building Together” by considering what it means that the spiritual home Haven is building is for kids and youth, too. Jeanne Wong shared a brief message, sharing what this might look like as Haven grows, before we welcomed the kids back into the space for a gathering that brought us all together through a Godly Play story and other interactive activities.
Hear Jeanne’s teaching below or read her notes here.
As we continue our Fall Series, “The Home We’re Building Together”, Leah shares about what Peter had to say about building a spiritual home, and considers how that might apply to us. How might the ways each of us has been shaped in our life be a part of what God is doing in the building of Haven?
Check out Leah’s notes here or listen to the teaching below.
Those gathered at the Installation of Ordination Ceremony at our 2019 Haven Retreat.
The week after Haven’s retreat, which ended with the Haven community celebrating an Installation of Ordination service, Leah shares her reflections on what took place at the retreat, and where they as a community are at, five years from when the Martens arrived in Berkeley to begin the project that would become Haven. This “pastoral letter” is the second teaching in our series, “The Home We’re Building Together.”
Listen to Leah share her teaching below or read Leah’s notes and the text of the letter here.
Haven at Oakland Pride, September 8, 2019
QT Haven Member and Pride Sunday Panelist Melani Tiongson Sharing Announcements on Pride Sunday, September 15, 2019
A week after we marched through the streets of downtown Oakland for Oakland Pride, the Queer-Trans Haven Group (QT Haven) brought the spirit of Pride back to our worship space, kicking off our new fall series, “The Home We’re Building Together”. At this special service, QT Haven led a packed Haven house in our first Pride Service, vulnerably sharing stories from within our community of wounding and resilience, and inviting all of us into an open conversation around what finding and creating spiritual "home" really means. For those of you who missed it, we include here recordings of two of the featured elements of the morning: both the thoughtful and authentic panel discussion, as well as the original poem that was shared (written by Phoebe Au-Yeung and inspired by the QT Haven group). The poem begins near minute 30. You can also read the text for the poem below.To Haven
We bring our stories.
We were pushed away but we held on.
We know depth—
Because we were thrown down wells
And had to claw our way up
Into the sun.
We are warriors—
Who fought for our faith and won it
Because we didn’t get to walk away from ourselves,
We didn’t get to take a break from our lives, from the
When are you bringing home a boyfriend?
Are you a boy or a girl?
How do you know you’re not straight if you haven’t tried it?
Isn’t it just a phase?
I want you to know I’m praying for you,
How is your walk with God?
We love you but we don’t agree with your lifestyle,
It’s not a sin to be gay—just to act on it.
Love the sinner, hate the sin,
You made a choice,
Just don’t tell your grandparents,
You can’t bring your boyfriend,
We prayed about it and decided not to come to your wedding,
You don’t have to flaunt it in our face,
What’s your real name?
These pronouns are just too confusing,
What are you doing in this bathroom?
Are you saying God made a mistake?
Adam and Eve,
The Bible is clear,
Have you asked Jesus to change you?
You just haven’t prayed hard enough.
In the span of a life, it doesn’t take long
For a house to go from home to an empty shell.
Once you board it up and put chains on the doors,
It becomes a condemned building.
We stayed as long as we could,
Some longer than was good.
When they wrote us out of the story,
We created new narratives.
We had to—
There was living water inside of us
And water needs to flow,
needs someplace to go,
thirst to quench,
gardens to revive.
When the foundations of the church crashed down on us,
We grew roots and bloomed from the rubble and ash.
The light shining through the stained glass turned us into a rainbow,
making the colors of the Kindom visible.
We couldn’t deny God in our queer lives.
Christ was not lost in our freedom.
We present ourselves to you as part of your body
and not as tokens, symbols, or burdens.
Here are our hands.
They are your hands.
Look at our faces.
They are your faces in the mirror, asking,
Are we safe with you?
Will you celebrate us?
We are children of God
And Haven is our home. — by Phoebe Au-Yeung
King Josiah responding to the idolatry in his nation.
Over the last several weeks, we've been on a journey of exploring the way our culture idolizes certain points of view, or human constructs. In this final teaching in the series, Leah returns to the Hebrew Bible to consider how King Josiah responded when he recognized that his culture had grieved the heart of God through its idolatry. This teaching led into a time of creative response in which each participant was invited to creatively express one of the idols that they have participated in.
If you missed this Sunday and would still like to participate in this exercise, consider printing and artistically interacting with any of these images below that you find provocative, or draw your own, and write a sentence or two about how you have directly participated in that idol. Following that exercise, be thinking and praying about how you might embody something different to turn from the idol in the future. If you are coming to the Haven Retreat, bring your "idol" with you and we will symbolically destroy them together.
Review Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.
Is Jesus a capitalist? How well does his economic vision match the economic vision of capitalism? And if they don’t align, what might any of us do about it? These are some of the questions Leah explores with the final “idol” of this teaching series.
Listen to the teaching below or read Leah’s notes here.