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In-person services are canceled until further notice due to the coronavirus.

Join us at 10 AM Sunday for a virtual service online.

Lenten Challenge Series: Inside Out and Upside Down—Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
March 1 – April 5, 2020

Before Jesus ever chose a disciple or began to teach, he was baptized in the River Jordan. As he came up out of the water, a voice from heaven declared, “This is my Son, whom I love.” Immediately following this, Jesus went into the desert region alone and stayed there for 40 days. Freed from the noise of society, the demands of other people, and the distractions of food and drink, work and entertainment, Jesus reflected on his identity, his relationship with God, and the life he would lead and call others to. Following this time alone, Jesus began to teach—and this teaching is summarized in Matthew 5-7, which we now call the “Sermon on the Mount.”

Each year, we commemorate and seek to follow Jesus’ example of self-reflection for the 40-day period of Lent. In a culture addicted to noise and action, stillness can seem unnecessary and even uncomfortable. But we know that it is in quiet and rest that we hear the “still, small voice” of God in our inner selves. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus urges the stillness of complete trust, saying, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” By laying aside our past regrets and future anxieties, and living in the present moment, we become more aware of our connection to the source of all life. As our sense of connectedness grows, we understand that the Kingdom of Heaven is “at hand;” the “divine life” we might imagine only to exist in a place called heaven, is actually possible here and now in our everyday lives.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus dares to dream of heaven on earth, where love, justice, mercy and forgiveness prevail over hatred, fear and violence. This way of living requires us to think differently, to open our hearts and minds to new possibilities, and to take on a higher consciousness. Jesus offers a pathway into this life by simply becoming his apprentices and following him. As we learn and grow, we experience more of this heavenly life and are able to let it flow out of us to transform the world around us. As the writer Pico Iyer expressed it, “The point of gathering stillness is not to enrich the sanctuary or the mountaintop, but to bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world.”

This Lent, we will set out on a Lenten journey to practice stillness and quietness as a means to engage deeply with Jesus’ teaching, open our hearts honestly to its compassionate challenge, and seek the enlightenment and empowerment of God’s love in our everyday lives. We will explore the teaching through themed worship services and messages, and will dig deeper in a variety of “challenge groups” that will run for three consecutive weeks.

 

Date Message Speaker
March 1 Manifesto of the Kingdom of Heaven Matthew Dyer
March 8 An Upside Down Poem Ruth Campbell
March 15 Getting to the Roots of Our Problems Matthew Dyer
March 22 How Do You Pray? Matthew Dyer
March 29 Don’t Worry, Don’t Judge Ruth Campbell
April 5 Palm Sunday Various
April 12 Wake Up to Easter Various

Find out about Easter and Holy Week Service Details.

Lenten Challenge Groups

This Lent, we will set out on a Lenten journey to practice stillness and quietness as a means to engage deeply with Jesus’ teaching, open our hearts honestly to its compassionate challenge, and seek the enlightenment and empowerment of God’s love in our everyday lives. We will explore the teaching through themed worship services and messages, and will dig deeper in a variety of “challenge groups” that will run for three consecutive weeks.

 

Lenten Reflections

The Sermon on the Mount is shocking: Everything we’ve been told before is called into question; everything reversed. It is the marginalized and oppressed who are fortunate. We should love those who torment us. We should give to anyone who asks, and refuse to stand in judgment… This is the opposite of how the world works! More shocking yet, these upside down messages are dramatically enacted in the story of Easter, where love triumphs over violence, hope is born through surrender, and death is swallowed up in life.

 Some of us are at a place where these revolutionary messages and this incredible story inspire excitement and joy at an alternative way of living. For others of us, right now they make no sense at all. Some of us doubt what we read is true or feasible, or even desirable in our day and age. And yet others of us have heard these words so many times, they no longer elicit any reaction other than, “This again?”

 At Cedar Ridge we treasure everyone’s journey. The reflections acknowledge the rich variety of viewpoints within our community, and challenge each of us to explore new ways of thinking. We encourage you to listen to or read the reflections slowly and meditatively, opening yourself to God’s presence, and daring—if only for a moment— to dream of heaven on earth.

Sunday Services

We are located in central Montgomery county, just north of Silver Spring. We meet as a church community on Sundays at 10 AM. Our service lasts for about 75 minutes, and we have programs for all ages—including children and teenagers. Click the button below to learn more about our location, service, and programs for all ages.

Welcome!

Cedar Ridge Community Church is a diverse, open, and affirming community of followers of Jesus, sharing God’s love with everyone and working to make the world a better place for all. We invite you to join us on our journey of growing to be more loving people who recognize that change must begin with us.