Christ Church, Presbyterian

Welcome to the CCP website!

Christ Church, Presbyterian, worships each Sunday at 4:00pm on the lower level of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington, VT. All are welcome. Click here for Sunday’s worship preview.

If you have questions, we can be reached in the following ways…
Phone: (802) 862-1898
General Email:
Rev. Michael Brown:

Mailing Address:
Christ Church, Presbyterian
PO Box 574
Burlington, VT 05402-0574

Somewhere beyond belief, our hearts know…

We’re a warm family of Christians who welcome you to our community of faith, no matter what your background. Some of us grew up in a church; some of us had never explored our spiritual life; most of us are somewhere in between. Together we seek to discern who Christ is and what He offers and asks of us. We’re people in mission, trying to make a difference through our inclusive, healing life together and our variety of work within the wider community and the world. We welcome everyone to our work and worship, celebrating the diversity of human beings God has created.

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October 19, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown

Show Me the Money

Matthew 22: 15-22

[first read Gospel of Thomas 100 and the Egerton Gospel 3: 1-6]
Okay, so do that thing that Jesus asks of his questioners. If you have access to a coin, take it out of your pocket or purse and take a good look at it. Or imagine looking at a coin. Beth Harrison of the Educational Center suggests we do this and ask questions about what we see:
What’s the shape and material?
What images are imprinted on it?
What words, what symbols are there? Are there any you hadn’t noticed before? Continue Reading →

October 14, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown

Mazel Tov

Philippians 4: 1-9
Matthew 22: 1-14

[Read Luke 14: 16-24 first, then the Matthew]

How many in this room have been to a wedding this year? How many have been to a wedding of a son or daughter? Yes, it’s that time in the lives of so many of us, isn’t it?

Most of you know of course that I did take part in the wedding of my daughter Amy in San Francisco, back in May. And I’ve probably told of the remarkable convergence of events: Amy’s and Joe’s efforts to open their restaurant and put on a wedding, all on the same day; about how it was getting down to the wire, with putting the last coat of finish on the tabletops two days before, putting my son Gabe’s sculpture up on the wall the day before, and getting everything in working order the day of the wedding.

So much going on about opening the place that there wasn’t a lot of leftover anxiety for the wedding itself—which actually was pretty nice, Continue Reading →

October 5, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown

Back to the Vineyard

Isaiah 5: 1-7
Matthew 21: 33-46

[read Gospel of Thomas 65: 1-7 and 66 before Matthew]
What differences did you hear in the two versions?
Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?
Who is right and who is wrong?
Does anything inform the “character of God”?
Who is Jesus speaking to? Who is Matthew speaking to?

Here we are again in the vineyard, that place of fractured serenity and symbol-laden strife. And if you’re weary of laboring in the vineyard as we make our way through Matthew, you might consider that the vineyard is one of the most frequently found images in the Bible—it is the setting of idealized peace and wholeness, brought to ruin so often by the vagaries of human sinfulness in the face of the perpetual divine hope that the vineyard of humankind will again flourish and become the habitation of a world made well and good. Continue Reading →

September 21, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown

Laboring in the Vineyard

Exodus 16: 2-30
Matthew 20: 1-16

What you heard in John’s reading was an amazing story about the wanderings of the people of Israel in the wilderness and the miraculous giving of manna—Hebrew for “what is this stuff?” And you heard that it is the setting for the institution of the Sabbath. But it also is a potent reminder to the people of Israel—and anyone else with ears to hear—that human beings are only stewards of the land, and are not ultimately the agents of production. The story also serves to ask a powerful question that echoes down the millennia: how much is enough, anyway? Continue Reading →

September 7, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown

Tough Love

Romans 13: 8-10
Matthew 18: 15-35

I imagine you’ve heard these verses before. But right now, what’s your first impression of what Matthew has strung together here? What’s your first take?

I think the passage, and the questions it raises, and the places it asks us to go, are all about Christian community and how it evolves. I think they are all about our answers to that most haunting of questions from John Dominic Crossan: What is the character of your God? I think they are all about fundamentally different ways to look at the world and the divine presence in it.

That said, it’s not easy. Continue Reading →