welcome to harvard-epworth Church

Sundays at Harvard-Epworth

Communion Service at 9:00 AM

Christian Education at 10:00 AM

Worship Service AT 11:00 AM IN-PERSON AND on Youtube

What is Harvard-Epworth all about?

We are a welcoming and inclusive church inviting people to explore the journey of faith. Our focus is on joyful worship, building community, encouraging faith exploration, passionate social justice and committed outreach.

Harvard-Epworth is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network and welcomes all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, ability, marital status or financial condition.

A Message from Rev. Barbara Lemmel

Last Sunday we began a five-week exploration of the Sermon on the Mount, which is chapters five through seven in the Gospel of Matthew. It’s a pithy and dense collection of Jesus’ wisdom sayings, starting with the most condensed of all, the Beatitudes. Here is the version most of us know well:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, 

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

How do the Beatitudes resonate in your own life? Certainly they are a comfort to us when we are grieving, when we feel depleted, when it seems that power and might have the final say and it’s all uphill to make progress toward justice. Certainly they place before us calling to live in ways that are merciful and kind, that make peace and seek understand, that place God’s love and God’s Kin-dom first in our priorities. They say, again and again, that in God’s realm the last shall be first; long injustices and inequities shall one day be made right. 

Here is an interpretation from Steve Garnaas Holmes, entitled “Beatitudes: for when church is hard.”

God says:

I give my love to you who aren’t sure what you believe;

      I believe in you. 

I give you my love when religion breaks your heart,

      for I, not religion, will be your comfort.

I give my love to you who are timid 

in the face of a domineering church,

      for you belong in my arms.

I give my love to you who are hungry for more;

      I will feed your soul.

I give my love to you who seek to be loving, not right;

      for that is all I ever wanted. 

I give my love to you who don’t pretend just to fit in;

      you see clearly, don’t you?

I give my love to you who work for peace:

      yes, that’s my child. 

I give my love to you when people judge you

      and kick you out,

for that’s pretty much what it looks like sometimes 

      to follow Jesus.

I believe the Beatitudes call us, as individuals and as the church, to live our best selves in a complicated world. Sometimes we rise to the occasion; sometimes there is more work to be done to truly embody the Good News. Surrounded by the promise of blessing, we can keep seeking, keep trying, keep loving. What a blessing to have this church community with which to continue the journey, to share the trials and the blessing of following Jesus.