"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope."

Romans 15:4

Christmas | Light Came Down

In the midst of darkness, Mary sings a song. In the midst of chaos, Mary glorifies the Lord. In the midst of despair, Mary believes. Can we?

 

2017.12.17 | Light Came Down

This Is Our Story

Our new series introduces us to a new way of considering and thinking about faith, spirituality, and The Way of Jesus. Rather than through the lens of doctrinal statements, the Bible begins with what is essentially, "Once upon a time," a phrase that invites us into seeing ourselves in new ways, ultimately valuing meaning, purpose, and the next chapters that we are to write.

 

2018.04.29 | The Grand Narrative

2018.04.22 | Peter

2018.04.15 | Rebel Just For Kicks

2018.04.08 | Paul

2018.03.04 | Jonah

2018.02.25 | Purim; Q&A (Rabbi Ari Cartun)

2018.02.18 | Daniel: Living Amongst Fools

2018.02.11 | Job

2018.02.04 | Like The Nations

2018.01.28 | Place In This World; Q&A (Cyndi Parker)

2018.01.21 | What Is Wrong With The World (Judges)

2018.01.14 | Let Us Be Strengthened

2018.01.07 | What's In A Name

2017.12.31 | Born Again, Again

2017.12.10 | About Stories

2017.12.03 | Homo Covenantus

2017.11.26 | Food For Thought

2017.11.19 | Noah And The Ark; Q&A

2017.11.12 | After The Fall

2017.11.05 | In God's Image

2017.10.29 | This Is Our Story

On The Edge Of The Inside

“People on the edge of the inside are free from its central seductions, but also free to hear its core message in very new and creative ways. ... A person or church on the inside has “learned the rules well enough to know how to ‘break the rules properly,’ which is not really to break them at all, but to find their true purpose: ‘not to abolish the law but to complete it.’” - Richard Rohr

2017.10.22 | On The Edge Of The Inside

Lauren Chan

Sparker, Lauren Chan just graduated from high school and gives her inaugural "sermon" on her transition to college.

 

2017.08.06 | Lauren Chan Q&R

2017.08.06 | Special Message by Lauren Chan

#50StatesOfJoy

Spark participated in The Yale Center for Faith & Culture Preaching Series.

2017.05.14 | Part 4: A Joy That Lasts (Pastor Omair)

2017.05.07 | Part 3: Joy as a Justice Strategy (Pastor Kevin)

2017.04.30 | Part 2: Joy As Necessity (Pastor Mark)

2017.04.23 | Part 1: He Is Not Here, He Is Risen (Pastor Danielle)

SparkCast Installments

In addition to our Sunday messages, occasionally we have produced some additional content exclusive to our podcast feed. See below for a commentary on the political season and a special interview with a local church planter, and closer.

 

2017.07.24 | Interview with Omair Akhtar

2017.07.23 | Mars Hill Q&R with Pastor Omair Akhtar

2017.07.17 | An Interview with Marcus Randolph

2017.02.14 | How To Close a Church, Part II (with Gary Hale)

2017.02.14 | How To Close a Church, Part I (with Gary Hale)

2017.02.03 | Pixels & Politics

2017.01.15 | Welcome & Invitation

Christmas Greetings

2016.12.25 | Christmas Greetings

H5


Most of us at some point in our lives have experienced a disruption, whether that be a broken relationship, a bad church experience, tragic loss, or even a paradigm shift in your beliefs. In this series, we will look at 5 "H's," Healing, Healthy, Hyped, Habits, and Hope. We will also ask 5 questions that will address those aches. How we answer these questions will be critical to healing our sense of identity and purpose. In accordance with our vision as a church -- to see love realized in all of our relationships -- we hope this series will bring some much needed healing to the pain many of us carry around.

2016.12.18 | Hope: Where Are You Going?

2016.12.11 | Habits: What Commitments Do I Need To Make?

2016.12.04 | Hyped: Why Are You Here?

2016.11.27 | Healthy: What Do You Want?

2016.11.06 | Healing: Where Does It Hurt?

Special Post-Election Teachings

Following Tuesday, November 8, Spark took two Sundays to help our congregation process through this time that is full of conflict and anxiety. We hope to not only "double down" on our core values, but also to extend ourselves as a people who will be safe for all.

2016.11.20 | Living In A Foreign Land

2016.11.13 | Shaken and Doubling Down

Spark's 4th Anniversary Service

 

This Sunday, we reflect, celebrate, say a lot of "thank you's," and look forward to what is to come. And, to all of our distance listeners, please know how much we love and appreciate YOU also being a part of our family!

 

2016.10.30 | Spark's 4th Anniversary Service

Dr. Diana Butler Bass

In churches all across the nation and the world, there exists a dominant theology of God who sits in the clouds, who is "up there," above us, often at a distance, looking down. In Grounded, Dr. Bass shares her journey of rethinking this "elevator" conception of God, and discovering a God with us, here, and now.

2016.10.23 | Grounded

2016.10.23 | Q&A

Numbers | In The Wilderness

2016.10.16 | Comfort, Comfort, My People

2016.10.02 | What The...?!

2016.09.25 | Good Words

2016.09.18 | One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

2016.08.28 | 12

2016.08.21 | Form Follows Function

2016.08.14 | Awkward Silence

2016.08.07 | In The Wilderness (special guest: Rabbi Ari Cartun)

Practicing Our Preach

In preparation for our multi faith peace walk next week (September 11), Pastor Danielle shares the commission and challenge of being people of love, reconciliation, and rescue. Joining hands and efforts with people unlike us is hard work, and loving our enemy is not what any of us wants to do. But as followers of Jesus, it is what we are called to do.

2016.09.04 | Practicing Our Preach

Spark Learning Seminar: Dr. Peter Enns

Our special guest, Dr. Peter Enns shares his thoughts and reflections from his two most recent books, The Bible Tells Me So... and The Sin of Certainty. The talks also include audience Q&A.

 

2016.07.31 | The Sin of Certainty

2016.07.31 | The Bible & Divine Violence 

A Report From Greece

Sparkers Stacy and Lauren have just returned from a 5 week trip to Greece, working face-to-face and hand-in-hand with the refugees and aid workers on the front lines. In sharing with us, they give us up close information, dispel the myths that are still so widely promulgated in our media, and connect the core values of the Way of Jesus to the critical work that is being done. (The image to the left says "PHILOXENIA" [φιλοξενια] which is Greek for "Love of the Other.")

 

2016.07.24 | A Report From Greece

Politics and the Way of Jesus

Friends, we've been here before. We'll be here again. And we will always have to be wise in how we deal with politics as one context of living our our faith. So, let us not be afraid, let us not demonize, and let us never clamor for power, but rather lay down our lives in service to the Way of Jesus.

 

2016.07.17 | Politics and the Way of Jesus

Beatitudes

2016.07.10 | Like The Prophets

2016.07.03 | "Persecuted"

2016.06.26 | Peacemakers

2016.06.19 | Pure In Heart

2016.06.12 | Mercy, Mercy

2016.06.05 | What Makes you Hungry?

2016.05.29 | Happy Are The Meek

2016.05.22 | Cry, Baby, Cry

2016.05.15 | #blessed

The Bible, The Church, and Sexual Identity

2016.05.08 | Part 4, How Would Jesus Love?

2016.05.08 | Part 3, Storytime

2016.05.08 | Part 2, To Interpret Is To Be Human

2016.05.08 | Part 1, The Talk Before The Talk

Dr. Curt Rhodes

Curt Rhodes has spent over 30 years working with, and on behalf of, marginalized communities and young people across the Middle East, making him uniquely prepared to respond to the current Syrian war and the refugee crisis. In 1988, Questscope was founded with the goal of putting the last, first. From the beginning, Questscope worked closely with local communities, identifying their aspirations and together addressing their greatest needs. As the recipient of the 2014 Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Dr. Rhodes was recognized by Tufts University for his demonstrated compassion and tenacity in creating a highly effective and determined organization dedicated to the survival and nurturing of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised.

 

In recognition of his work through Questscope with marginalized youth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and in the region, Dr. Rhodes was awarded the 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Middle East and North Africa by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

2016.05.01 | Part I, Part II

Leviticus

2016.04.24 | Conclusion

2016.04.17 | You Don't Owe God Anything

2016.04.10 | Save The Date

2016.04.03 | Justice = Holiness

2016.03.27 | The Atonement of Easter (not recorded)

2016.03.13 | The Opposite of Life

2016.03.06 | The Sacred & The Profane

2016.02.28 | Omnivore's Conundrum

2016.02.14 | High Voltage

2016.02.07 | Remorse

2016.01.31 | Unintended

2016.01.24 | It Is Well

2016.01.17 | All The Fat Is The Lord's

2016.01.10 | Close (We apologize for poor audio quality through 7:37)

The Boats Are Coming

 

Special guest, former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (www.sallylieber.org) shares her experiences in Lesvos, Greece working with incoming refugees, and exhorts us all to consider how we may respond when we see that the boats are coming.

2016.02.28 | The Boats Are Coming

Year One

2016.01.03 | Year One

In Response To Attacks

The following two talks were given after the news of the terrorist attack in Paris. As a church, we are seeking to be light and to shine light into the darkness.

2015.11.22 | Living Out Of Abundance

2015.11.15 | Some Thoughts On The Attacks (Omair Akhtar)

Incarnation

2015.11.01 | From I To Other

2015.10.25 | From Then To Now

2015.10.18 | From Out To In

2015.10.11 | From Up To Down

We Welcome Refugees

We interrupt our series to consider carefully the teachings of Jesus in light of current events.

2015.09.13 | We Welcome Refugees

Exodus

2015.10.04 | The Liberation Of Worship

2015.09.27 | The Shelter of His Love

2015.09.20 | Grace Upon Grace

2015.08.30 | The Golden Calf

2015.08.23 | God's House On Earth

2015.08.16 | All Together Now

2015.08.09 | Come Up To Me and Be There

2015.08.02 | What Are We To Do About The Canaanites (No audio. Download slides.)

2015.07.26 | Book of the Covenant

2015.07.19 | Rescue Continued

2015.07.12 | The Second Exodus

The Good Earth

The following messages were special messages over this season with guest speakes, and addressing current events:

 

2015.07.05 | The Good Earth (Pastor Danielle)

2015.06.28 | Special Message (Jason Primuth)

2015.06.21 | The Love of A Teacher (Pastor Mark Arevalo & Stacy Ishigaki)

2015.06.14 | God is to Israel, as... (Pastor Mark Arevalo)

Exodus

2015.06.07 | The Brilliant Biblical Development of Governance

2015.05.31 | Open Up My Eyes (Rabbi Ari Cartun)

2015.05.24 | Because God Is With Us

2015.05.17 | Bread & War, Gravity & Glory

2015.05.10 | Stand and See

2015.05.03 | The Miracle of the Sea

2015.04.26 | The Last Plague

2015.04.19 | Creation Unmade

2015.04.12 | To Believe The LORD (God Gave Pharaoh The Finger)

2015.03.22 | Free, Deliver, Redeem, Take

2015.03.15 | How Things Get Worse, Before They Get Better

2015.03.08 | Some Things We Should Know

2015.03.01 | I Object

2015.02.22 | The Name

2015.02.15 | This Strange Sight

2015.02.08 | God Hears

2015.02.01 | Who Do You Think You Are?

2015.01.25 | The Opposite of Tragedy

2015.01.18 | Major Significance of Minor Characters

2015.01.11 | Blessing or Target?

2015.01.04 | Introduction

Take Note

40% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions. 8% actually keep them. This common cultural activity is illustrative of something deeper about our humanity, a self-centeredness that is reflected, not just in popular psychology books, but also in the ancient work of Ecclesiastes. Through this talk, Pastor Kevin encourages us to not just make resolutions, but rather to also make remembrances, to "take note" of God throughout the entire past year. And as we do, we are exhorted to turn our inward focus upward and outward, toward God and others.

 

2014.12.28 | Take Note

'Twas the Night Before Christmas (Spark Edition)

Immamuel means that God is with us

Not necessarily that we are free from all fuss

It is simply that in darkness we long for a light

To show us some hope, through a long winter's night

So we tell you this story again through the years

To remind us that Christ shines through all our fears

As the Biblical authors thought important to write

So, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all this Great Light!"

2014.12.21 | 'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves | Mark Yaconelli

 

2014.11.09 | Sunday Morning, Session 5

2014.11.08 | Saturday Night, Session 4

2014.11.08 | Saturday Morning, Session 2

2014.11.07 | Friday Night, Session 1

(Unfortunately, Session 3 did not get recorded. We apologize for the inconvenience.)

Genesis | The Saving of Many Lives

2014.12.14 | Trusting the Mystery

2014.12.07 | Peace, Be Still

2014.11.30 | Sleep

2014.11.23 | Beats, Rhymes, & Rest (Watch Pastor Mark's closing video, "Ain't No")

2014.11.16 | Good & Tired

2014.11.09 | Special Guest: Mark Yaconelli

2014.11.02 | In the Midst (Joshua Boucher)

2014.10.26 | Faith To Be Found (Melissa Look Braunworth)

2014.10.12 | God's Got This

2014.10.05 | My Yoke Is Easy

The Womb of God

 

On this Mother's Day, we reflect on the feminine side of God as described in the Bible. We are challenged to think of gender, not as two, as reflected in humanity, but as one, as in God. As we do, we are drawn into an understanding that a compassionate God carries each of us deep within God's womb. It is by believing in this that we hear God's heartbeat, become familiar with God's voice, conform our rhythms and patters of behavior to God's ways, and find our identity and security in God's loving compassion.

2014.05.11 | The Womb of God

Intergenerational Church

Pastor Mark Arevalo shares a wild and crazy teaching full of lots of interaction, making the case for Church as an intergenerational experience. We are reminded of how God has created each generation to serve the Church and how we need each other to experience the fullest expression of our faith.

2014.04.13 | Intergenerational Church

Shame, Blame, Game

 

Human dysfunction begins when a person feels unloved, and unworthy of love (shame). As a result, the ways in which we function in this world lead us to blame others and game systems in order to protect our hearts and souls. This is poignantly illustrated in the narrative of Genesis 3. But what is also there is God's redemption, speaking deep into our identity, grounding us once again in love and worth. In this message, we are reminded once again of the power of love to transform all human relationships, starting with our own identity.

2014.04.27 | Shame, Blame, Game

Palm Sunday | Humanity's Cry

The celebration of Palm Sunday was not a happy event, but rather one deeply imbued in the soul's cry for freedom. Just as Passover was being celebrated, commemorating freedom from Egypt, Jesus's entry during this festival evoked a similar cry for freedom, now from under the oppression of Rome. Through a variety of historical events, we see that this is actually a cry that is deeply embedded in soul of humanity. The question for us is simply, How shall we respond? How shall we explain to our children what we did to expand freedom in this world, God's freedom for humanity, and for each of us?

2014.04.13 | Humanity's Cry

Genesis | Understanding Our Story

2014.04.06 | Encountering God

2014.04.06 | After sermon Genesis Q&A

2014.03.30 | Don't Let Go

2014.03.23 | The Two Sides of Every Story

2014.03.16 | Lift Up Your Feet

2014.03.09 | Surely God Is In This Place

2014.03.02 | The Power of Blessing

2014.02.23 | Pregnant With Possibilities

2014.02.16 | Well, Well, Well...

2014.02.09 | Bound & Determined

2014.01.19 | The Three Visitors

2014.01.12 | Private Parts

2014.01.05 | Welcome, Stranger

2013.12.01 | Covenant vs. Contracts

2013.11.17 | My Father Abraham

2013.11.10 | Tower of Babel

2013.10.27 | Hang It Up

2013.10.06 | Naked Desire

2013.09.29 | Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad

2013.09.22 | Ezer K'negdo

2013.09.15 | Keeping and Bearing (Josh Boucher)

2013.09.08 | Stop. Watch.

2013.09.01 | In Our Image

2013.08.18 | Let's Get Our Hands Dirty

2013.08.11 | Over The Chaos

2013.08.04 | Let There Be

2013.07.28 | What Story Are You Living?

God and Sports | Kendra and Marcus Randolph

Drawing from their personal experience, Marcus and Kendra share stories from their coaching and their philosophy of sports. Through their teaching, we discover how sports is a beautiful illustration of God's commission to all of us to influence the world.

2014.02.02 | Kendra and Marcus Randolph, God and Sports

 

Spark Learning Seminar: Dr. Daniel B. Wallace

January 26, 2014

Dr. Wallace taught on the transmission and development of the New Testament, and addressed issues and concerns regarding its reliability in light of our manuscript evidence. He also shared some of the most up-to-date findings from CSNTM's (Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts) research.
 

Spark in 2014 | Update

 

January 5, 2014, we gave Spark a brief update on the finances, staff, vision, hopes, dreams, and philosophy of Spark. Thank you to all of our Spark participants, here in Palo Alto, and around the world, for your support and partnership in this ministry. We hope this update not only strengthens our relationship, but inspires us all as we move into 2014.

2014.01.05 | Spark in 2014, Update

 

When God Came Down

December 29, 2013

From Genesis all the way through to Jesus, God has been telling a story of coming down here to earth, to enter into the chaos and dysfunction of life, in new times, new places, new cultures, and in new ways. In the convergence of the season of Christmas, the New Year, and Spark's second year, we ask again, what would happen if God came down, again?! The video of the message overlays the audio with the video background presentation.

 

Download the .mp3
 

What Child Is This?

On December 15, Kokua (Facebook page) shared a special Christmas concert sing-a-long. In the midst of the beautiful music, Pastor Kevin offered a short devotional on the birth of this child, and why the question, "What child is this?" is still so important.

2013.12.15 | What Child Is This?

Guest: Rabbi Ari Cartun

 

In pursuit of our value for Reconciliation, we continue to seek out various ways to practice what we preach, whether through racial reconciliation, interfaith reconciliation, or simply reconciliation between neighbors and family members. 

 

Many Sparkers have expressed a desire to understand modern Jewish practice and experience a Shabbat service, so Congregation Etz Chayim graciously invited us to their Friday evening, Shabbat Service on December 13. In preparation, Rabbi Ari visited Spark Church to teach us a few prayers and songs, allowing us not just to spectate but to participate during our visit. In addition, Pastor Danielle shares insights on how to have interfaith dialogue.

2013.12.08 | Rabbi Ari on Shabbat

A Sea/See Story

Through personal experiences in the Navy, our guest speaker and Spark member, Chris Lockett, shares stories that illuminate spiritual lessons that we all experience in life. There are perspectives that need to be challenged. There are questions that need to be asked. And in the end, there is a God that helps us to see with new eyes, hear and listen with new ears, and perceive with new hearts.

2013.10.13 | A Sea/See Story

Nicodemus

 

Our good friend and guest speaker, Pastor Dave Peterson shares a heartfelt message on Nicodemus. Peering into the interaction that Jesus had with this religious leader, we discover lessons for our own discipleship.

2013.08.25 | Nicodemus

You Keep Using That Word...I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around faith, religion, church, the Bible, and current events often involves a myriad of definitions which makes it difficult to understand one another. Some utilize these words in coarse rhetoric causing even further barriers to faith. This has left many people confused and hindered from further conversation. For those of us who believe in the goodness of life that comes from following Jesus, this makes spiritual conversations with friends, family, and co-workers difficult.

 

In this series we will explore the richness and significance of these words and their meanings, and discover fresh ways of talking about them in our world. It is our hope and prayer that over these next seven weeks, we will have a greater understanding of what we're talking about when we talk about these words, and as always, we are hoping this series sparks conversation. We also hope that these talks will spark greater understanding, and greater interest in the faith journey as we pursue meanings that resonate with the human spirit.

 

2013.07.14 | Christian & Church

2013.07.07 | Spirit

2013.06.30 | Saved

2013.06.23 | Gospel

2013.06.16 | Religion

2013.06.09 | Faith

2013.06.02 | Introduction & Bible

 

Faith & Technology

April 7, 2013

Faith & Technology_blur.jpg
Faith & Technology2.jpg

Part 1 address three main questions. Why this seminar? What is technology? What are the effects of technology? Presenter: Pastor Kevin Neuner

Part 2 addresses where technology comes from and offers a theological perspective. Presenter: Chris Lockett, SRI International

Jesus Series

In this series, we are encouraged to consider again the influences our current culture has on our conceptions of Jesus being careful to not worship a Jesus that we have "created in our own image." We will take a historical look at Jesus's life, and consider the cultural context of Jesus through the themes of purpose and meaning, symbolism such as water and "kingdom," events like the resurrection, and much more.

2013.05.26 | Who Do You Say He Is?

2013.05.19 | How Much More?

2013.05.12 | Where Is The Kingdom? (Guest: Betty Ann Boeving)

2013.05.05 | Who's In Charge Here?

2013.04.21 | Who Do You Follow?

2013.04.14 | What Is Your Greatest Temptation?
2013.03.31 | Why Do You Look For The Living Among The Dead?
2013.03.24 | How's The Water?
2013.03.17 | Who's Your Daddy?
2013.03.10 | Who Do You Say I Am?
 

 

The Stories of Values

March 3, 2013

Since our opening 19 weeks ago, we have striven to communicate the importance of our core values. In concluding this teaching series, Pastor Kevin shares the stories that encapsulate these values, and illustrate the importance of values alongside beliefs. Through "4 acts" (similar to "This American Life"), we are inspired and challenged by these stories to put the way of Jesus into action.

Download the .mp3

Resurrection: History & Faith

February 24, 2013

Faith is deeply emotional and spiritual. But faith is also intellectual, and historical. The claim that Jesus was raised from the dead brings the two together in which the richness of our faith meets the historical work of evidence and verification. In this teaching, Pastor Kevin shares the central claim of the Christian faith, and then provides four main evidences that support the historical, physical, real resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Download the .mp3

 

Resurrection in Second Temple Judaism

February 17, 2013

The concept and idea around resurrection did not have its beginning in Christianity. Through a historical survey, Pastor Danielle shares insights into the Jewish concept and expectation of resurrection and how it impacts the understanding of Jesus' resurrection in the first-century. This context helps us understand both how the resurrection of Jesus could have been understood, and why it was so radical and unexpected at the same time.

Download the .mp3

Resurrection Says

February 10, 2013

Sharing a bit of the recent adoption story in the Parish-Neuner household, Pastor Kevin begins the core value of Resurrection by talking about the temptations that emerge in each of us when deception, evil, disappointment, etc., happen as a result of "living between the trees." Yet, resurrection says that we are saved and forgiven as we forgive. Resurrection says we do not have to acquiesce to the "slices of hell" we sometimes experience. Resurrection says that there is hope, love, redemption, and restoration, and it can transform any death into new life. Resurrection says we have the power, opportunity, and commission to reverse the pain and suffering in this world.

Download the .mp3

 

Instruments of Rescue

February 3, 2013

Guest speaker, Pastor Sarai Crain shares on how we are all privileged to be used of God to bring rescue to the world. However, we must be guarded from misusing or abusing that privilege. Sarai shares practical ways to help us become fully the instruments of rescue God desires.

Download the .mp3

Let God Rescue You

January 27, 2013

Guest speaker, Pastor Dave Peterson continues our series on Spark's core value of "Rescue." Sharing from his heart and experience, Dave exhorts us all to receive God's personal, physical, spiritual, and emotional rescue.

Download the .mp3

 

Share Your Rope

January 20, 2013

Pastor Mark Arevalo, speaks on God's work of rescue through the Biblical stories, and in our lives. In this teaching we discover that God has begun the work of rescue in our lives, and that work is an ongoing process, and it's progressive. That hope is a privilege and to share with the world around us as we are both agents and recipients of this rescue in the world. So, let's all "share our rope," giving to others hope that God has given to us.

Download the .mp3

Reaching For The Trees

January 13, 2013

All of us recognize that life is not the way it is suppose to be. That's why we work for justice and compassion; that's why we strive for patience, and kindness; that's why we yearn for freedom and peace; and in many ways, that's why we follow a calling and vocation. The challenge is that we live between Genesis and Revelation. Put other way, we live "between the trees." And as we reach out to grab hold of the life that God has for us, there is a third tree -- the cross -- that life and death of Jesus that empowers us to live life to its fullest. It is our prayer that we would not only reach out for that tree, but that we would embrace it, and allow the tree of the life of Jesus to transform us.

Download the .mp3

 

Spark Vision Night

January 6, 2013

Pastors Danielle & Kevin share a bit on the vision for Spark. Our core values are ultimately centered around living as Jesus lived, and walking as he walked. In concordance with slowing down and avoiding the seductions of "bigness," Spark is about caring for the people of the church more than about the size of the church. We also want to recognize our place in Silicon Valley as a "land between" cultures, and to dream about physical space in downtown Palo Alto that leverages our resources 6 days a week. We will continue to be a place that welcomes all people and all questions, and pursues education, learning, and discussion. Spark will also be shaped by the gifts, talents, and passions of those who join with us on this journey. We will continue to seek God, his guidance and wisdom, and pray that more people will come and be a part of this vision.

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The Reason For the Season

December 16, 2012

Pastor Kevin teaches that while it is popularly said that "Jesus is the reason for the season," there is a deeper truth to this statement than we perhaps realize. Matthew clearly states, "for he will save his people from their sins." Embracing this reality helps us accept the complexities of this season, the joy and the sorrow, the celebrations and the sadness. And, living the way of Jesus empowers us to respond redemptively to those dark and dysfunctional areas of our lives. May this Christmas season be celebrated truly in the way of Jesus, in ways that save us, and the world around us, from our sins.

Download the .mp3

 

Why Etz Chayim Rents to a Church

December 9, 2012

Special guest Rabbi Ari Cartun of Etz Chayim synagogue shares a few personal and theological reflections on why Etz Chayim rents its facility to Spark Church. This message is our first installment for our "Reconciliation" value as we learn how to love, respect, and be reconciled to each other in the midst of history, differences, and distinctions we may have.

(00:00 - 08:15 of the audio is an introduction by Pastor Danielle and a presentation of a thank you gift Spark presented to Etz Chayim. We had technical difficulties and apologize for the poor audio quality from 00:00-8:47.)

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Healing The Image

December 2, 2012

Pastor Kevin teaches that you have been created in the image and likeness of God, one of the greatest truths taught in the Bible. That you have been marred, scarred, and broken is also true. What we don't always realize is that we all live out of the view we have of God, the perspective we have of this "image." In this talk, we will journey through the implications of this truth, and be inspired to heal the image and reputation that we have of God, of ourselves, and of others.

Download the .mp3

 

The Reputation of God

November 25, 2012

Pastor Danielle teaches that how we understand and speak about God greatly matters. Our views about God influence how we live, and it impacts the world around us. In this message we discover anew a God who is consistently loving and just; that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We will also be challenged to not let ignorance prevail in understanding the God of the Bible.

Download the .mp3

 

Science, Scripture, and the Soul

November 11, 2012

In this talk, Kenny shares with us his thoughts and musings on how to think about science and the Scriptures. Here is one possible way to engage in this discussion with a high reverence for both.

 

Prone To Wonder

November 11, 2012

In this talk, Pastor Kevin briefly briefly shares about a few key figures in the debate, and offers a framework and ethic for engaging in discussion. The first step is learning how to listen to each other. Second, be captivated by the wonder and awe of this universe that is revealed through scientific investigation and Scriptural reverence.

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The Other Is My Brother

November 4, 2012

Pastor Danielle teaches on the Parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. While often understood as a parable that helps us perform "acts of kindness," we discover through history, culture, and context that the teaching is far deeper, richer, and more radical than only "good deeds." People who we often consider "the other," are actually "our brothers," and we are called, as disciples of Jesus, to love even them.

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Love Changes Everything

October 28, 2012

Pastor Kevin teaches on the "greatest" commandment found in Matthew 22 (also in Mark 12). This "mega" commandment, when practiced, radically changes how we see everything. To love God and to love our neighbor is not just one of the commandments, or even just the first. It is the very lens through which we view all the other commandments. And as we adhere to this radical commandment, it can change us, heal us, transform us.

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God's Love For Us

October 21, 2012

Pastor Danielle teaches on the "Parable of Lost Things" from Luke 15. In this teaching, we discover that God lavishes unqualified acceptance on everyone, even those who have experienced unqualified rejection. For many, this kind of grace is not just amazing, it is unbelievable. Yet, it is the prodigal love of God taught by Jesus in this parable.

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What Jews & Christians Can Learn From One Another's Texts

 

Having taught Christian students for the past 20 years at Jerusalem University College, Rabbi Moshe is uniquely equipped to present on the development of Jewish thought in the first-century and how it informs Jesus's teachings. In this seminar, Rabbi Moshe covers a few rabbinic teachings as examples, and concludes with a study on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

(This seminar was given at Spark Church, September 23, 2012)