Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 16, 2017 - the 6th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for the Day (Track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

About 10 years ago the United Church of Christ (UCC) started a campaign, with big church banners that say, “God is still speaking,”?[1]  Red script letters on a white background.  As an English major, the thing that first caught my attention was that the phrase ends with a comma – it’s unfinished.  As a person of faith, the second thing I noticed was the message itself:  God is still speaking, with a comma for a breath and a next phrase.  The Word of God is not finished.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9, 2017 - the 5th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for the Day (Track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

What are your favorite things to do on a beautiful summer day like today? [Take responses from the congregation]
I was out for a walk yesterday, marveling at the perfection of summer here - not too hot or humid, a light breeze of sweet fresh air, and blue skies. This is a great time for recreation and rest.  
By definition, to rest is cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.  Rest is good for us humans.  Good for us physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually.   

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2, 2017 - the 4th Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 8

Readings of the Day (track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

Why are we reading this story of Abraham nearly sacrificing Isaac?  As a parent, this is a truly horrifying story.  I’m not sure my faith in God is that secure.  Why is this story preserved in holy scripture?  What is it telling us about life with God?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 18, 2017 - the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for the Day (Track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

Have you ever gotten a gift you weren’t really sure you wanted?  A gift from someone you really love and respect, and whom you think knows you pretty well - and you wonder how they could have picked this “unusual” thing for you.  And it came without a tag or a gift receipt – so you couldn’t just return it.
How do you react when you open it?  Do you fake loving it? Or boldly ask what they were thinking? Or appreciate the thought and decide you know just the place in the closet to hide it until the giver comes to visit?  And what do you do with the gift that you can’t put away or hide?
Today’s readings about Abraham and Sarah and the twelve disciples both talk about those kind of gifts you might not want but can’t hide.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 4, 2017 - Pentecost

The Lessons of the Day. Reading lessons from the Acts of the Apostles, 1 Corinthians, and John 20.

Listen to the Sermon.

Wind, fire, water.  Three of the four basic elements of life.  Unlike the fourth element - earth - wind, fire, and water are formless, unpredictable and powerful.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28, 2017 - Pentecost 7 / Sunday after the Ascension

Lessons for the Day.

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I think our lesson from Acts today is a perfect lesson for interim time.  Where we find ourselves in our life together is not so different from where the disciples found themselves on this day in the church year.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14, 2017 - the 5th Sunday of Easter

Readings of the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

Happy Mother’s Day!  On this day when we honor our mothers, let’s take a moment and think about what we love about our moms.  Anyone want to share a word of what you appreciate about your mom?

I am guessing that a few of us will be giving flowers to our mothers or mother-like people in our lives today.  In the world where we use flowers to express feelings, carnations broadly signify love, fascination, and distinction.  The pink carnation, the original color of the flower, has the strongest meaning since it’s thought that they first appeared from the Virgin Mary’s tears - making them a symbol of a mother’s undying love.