Author: Renée Antrosio

February showers

Rain in Champaign. Snow in Denver. Falling on us collectively, alone in our cars and on the crowded freeway. Watering the earth. Initiating a process of rebirth, making it conceive and yield plants and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater,   Isaiah 55:10 (CEB) Are we the hungry today? Needing the word of life,

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love by numbers

Music. Math. What entices you to fellowship? (Math??) Sometimes the singing. Where our joyful noise combines with musicians’ gifts to become a pleasing sound. I move into the Lord’s presence as my body participates, while my mind considers how I believe the words of my mouth. Singing Blessed be Your Name as we approach Lent, I found myself asking fervently

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Wash your hands

Please. It’s flu season. Wash your hands frequently. After you touch something unclean, before you eat. When you get home from work, back from the store, wash off those germs. And all those glasses and hand towels — wash them too. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash

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Need a Creed?

At New Covenant, we aren’t into creeds. This is important to our identity — choosing no defining formula for what we all believe. But it does complicate our ability to articulate who we are. What is the essence of our Fellowship? Is it possible to describe ourselves by what we embrace, rather than by what we do

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sola Scriptura

I read it. You read it. He reads it. We all read Scripture. In our own language, in the translation(s) of our choice. We quote it. We excerpt it. We print it and project it on screens in sanctuaries. Scripture is both beautiful and dangerous. A gem with 70 faces and a sword that cuts

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Expectation and revelation

What do I expect to happen when I sit down with scripture each morning? I come to the table with hope and with need. Looking for a word, a phrase—for strength, encouragement, direction, revelation. About who God is. About myself. For something to share. What do I (think I) know of God’s character? And how

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Devotion

I could not have imagined a better introduction to Acts than an all-fellowship retreat focused on community and the Holy Spirit. And, of course, I didn’t plan it. While I was working on our fall teaching series, a different group was finding an available date and location, planning communal meals, and praying about discussion topics. Like fellow devout Jews

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Thoughts about sheep and whiteness

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Renée’s July 2 teaching on Genesis 31. I was tempted to skip the verses where Jacob talks about the sheep. I figured it would help make the teaching shorter, and we already talked about the sheep last week during the children’s teaching. But as a white pastor,

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Baptism is Freedom

This past Sunday, we continued our celebration of the resurrection of Easter with a joyous service of baptisms. Three members of the NCF community—Anna, Patrick, and Theo—were baptized after they shared part of their personal testimonies and Renée shared a teaching about the meaning of baptism. An excerpt of that teaching follows. (You can listen

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Life-giving Blood

Holy Week. Palm Sunday. Blood Drive. They go together, right? Or does it seem that “one of these three is not like the others….”? Are we having a Blood Drive at church? During the service? Really? Our challenge this Lent has been to “double down” on community. Singing with other neighborhood churches. Studying a book

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