The vision for Federated Church this year is "Behold how they love one another." In keeping with this theme, our worship planning team has decided to offer a sermon series on The Phoenix Affirmations – a set of twelve principles based on the greatest commandment: Love God, Love Self and Love Neighbor.
The Phoenix Affirmations were created by a group of pastors, theologians and biblical scholars from many denominations to articulate a vision for what the Christian faith is called to stand for. These twelve principles fall into groups of four under the headings of the Three Great Loves identified by Jesus (Matthew 22:37-40).
A brief summary of these affirmations is as follows: Christian Love of God includes walking fully in the path of Jesus without denying the legitimacy of other paths; listening for God’s Word, which comes in a variety of ways; celebrating the God whose glory is reflected in all of God’s creation; and expressing our love in sincere and artful worship. Christian Love of Neighbor includes treating all as creations made in God’s very image; standing with the outcast and oppressed; preserving religious freedom; and walking humbly with God. Christian Love of Self encompasses the belief that we, and all people, are loved beyond our wildest imaginations, for eternity; that our minds and our hearts are sacred and both serve in the pursuit of truth; that we are called to care for our bodies, taking time to enjoy the benefits of prayer, reflection, worship, and recreation in addition to work; that we are born with a meaning and purpose, a vocation and ministry that serve to strengthen and extend God’s realm of love. Click here for a full version of these affirmations.
We will be looking at these through the lectionary readings on the following Sundays:
September 9 – Overview of Phoenix Affirmations — James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17
September 16 – Love of God — James 3:1-12
September 23 – Love of Self — James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a
September 30 – Love of Neighbor— James 5:13-20
October 7 – Recap of Affirmations for World Communion Sunday — Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Please join us for this series as we delve deeper into how to live in Christian love for God, for ourselves, and for others. May we take these commandments so to heart that the world might say – “Behold, how they love one another.”