Sermons

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost | Pastor Pauline Farrington

August 1, 2021 

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Apparently not satisfied by Jesus’ feeding of thousands, some who were there press him for a sign of his power; perhaps it is daily manna they want. As always in John’s gospel when people want a sign, Jesus offers himself. He is the bread come from heaven to give life to the world. He calls us to come to him and believe in him, and through that relationship to know the one who sent him.

 

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost | Pastor Eric L. Murray

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Today is the first of five Sundays with gospel readings from John 6, the first four of which focus on Jesus as bread of life. Today Jesus feeds thousands of people with five loaves and two fish. What we have, what we bring to Jesus’ table, seems like it is not nearly enough to meet all the needs we see around us. But it is not the adequacy of our supplies or our skills that finally makes the difference: it is the power of Jesus working in the littlest and least to transform this world into the world God desires, a world where all the hungry are satisfied.

 

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost | Pastor Pauline Farrington

July 18, 2021 

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Mark’s gospel makes clear how great is the press of the crowd, with its countless needs to be met, on Jesus and his disciples. Yet in today’s gospel Jesus advises his disciples to get away and rest, to take care of themselves. Sometimes we think that when others are in great need we shouldn’t think of ourselves at all; but Jesus also honors the caregivers’ need. We are sent from Christ’s table to care for others and for ourselves.

 

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost | Pastor Pauline Farrington

July 11, 2021 

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When Amos reports his vision of God judging Israel for its mistreatment of the poor, he becomes a threat to the power of the priests and the king. John the Baptist also speaks truth to power, and Herod has him killed. In Herod’s fear that Jesus is John returned from the dead, we may hear hope for the oppressed: all the prophets killed through the ages are alive in Jesus. We are called to witness to justice in company with them, and to proclaim God’s saving love.

 

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost | Pastor Eric L. Murray

July 4, 2021 

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Jesus does great deeds of power and gives his disciples authority over demons. Yet none of this power is unilateral; it all must be received by faith. Jesus asks his disciples to go out without money or supplies, so that they will be dependent on how others receive them. When we are sent from the assembly to witness and to heal, we are asked to be vulnerable, to be dependent on the reception of others. The Spirit always operates in the “between”: between Jesus and his Abba, between Jesus and us, between you and me, between us and those to whom we are sent.

Boundary Crossing | Pastor H. Julian Gordy

June 27, 2021 | Fifth Sunday in Pentecost

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In today's gospel lesson for today Jesus once again crosses the lake that is the boundary between a mostly Jewish community and a mostly gentile one. Then, he crosses some cultural and religious boundaries when he heals a woman who touches his clothing and returns to life a young girl who has died. Throughout his ministry, Jesus was a crosser of boundaries. He was always welcoming people that the right people excluded. He loved people that others left out. He touched people that others ignored. And he calls us, who are his body, to be his healing, boundary-crossing presence in the world today. 

Experiencing the Storm | Pastor Michelle Kuhlman

June 20, 2021 | Fourth Sunday in Pentecost

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In the midst of a raging storm, the terror-stricken disciples experience Jesus’ power and authority. This is an opportunity for us to consider how Jesus’ acts teach us more about God’s kingdom.

 

God's Job and Ours | Pastor H. Julian Gordy

June 13, 2021 | Third Sunday in Pentecost

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In today's gospel reading from St. Mark, Jesus tells two gardening parables. In one, he compares the Dominion of God to seed sown that grows without the sower knowing how, even when the sower is asleep. In the second, he compares the Dominion of God to the seed of the mustard plant, which grows from a tiny beginning into a large shrub that provides shade for all sorts of birds. What might we learn from these enigmatic stories about God's job and ours?

The Trouble with Labeling | Pastor Michelle Kuhlman

June 6, 2021 | Second Sunday in Pentecost

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We love being able to neatly label and categorize things and people. We learn in our texts this week that there can sometimes be difficulty when we affix these labels.

Status Change | Pastor H. Julian Gordy

May 30, 2021 | The Holy Trinity

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Trinity Sunday is the only church festival that honors a doctrine of the church. What does it mean to confess the holy mystery that is the Holy Trinity? Jesus' night-time conversation with Nicodemus may give us a little insight into what it means to live with the God whom we know as transcendent creator, imminent presence, and unpredictable Spirit.

 

Amazed and Astonished | Pastor Michelle Kuhlman

May 23, 2021 | Day of Pentecost

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The arrival and presence of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost is quite an event. How does the Holy Spirit’s presence continue to amaze and astonish us today? 

Witnesses to the Resurrection | Liza Hawkins, Seminarian

May 16, 2021 | Seventh Sunday of Easter

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In the aftermath of the Ascension, the disciples must rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the midst of chaos and confusion. The psalmist reminds us that who delight in the ways of God will prosper, and we trust God will care for God's people in all times and places. Jesus prays a prayer of strength and unity over his friends and calls us all to be witnesses to the resurrection. Come, Holy Spirit!

 

Love and Friendship | Pastor Michelle Kuhlman

May 9, 2021 | Sixth Sunday of Easter

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The understanding and use of “love” and “friend” in our modern time is different from what they meant in Jesus’ day. We learn from what our Lord has to say about the subjects.

Abiding in the Vine | Pastor Michelle Kuhlman

May 2, 2021 | Fifth Sunday of Easter

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In John 15:1-8, Jesus calls us to abide in him. This is not always easy to do but it leads us to bear much fruit.

 

The Good Shepherd | Pastor Michelle Kuhlman

April 25, 2021 | Fourth Sunday of Easter

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The image of the good shepherd shows us how the risen Christ brings us to life. It is the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep, one of mutual knowledge and love, that gives the shepherd authority. The shepherd’s willingness to lay down his life for the sheep shows his love. First John illustrates what it means to lay down our lives for one another by the example of sharing our wealth with any sibling in need.

 

Can I Get a Witness? | Pastor H. Julian Gordy

April 18, 2021 | Third Sunday of Easter

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The gospel for the third Sunday of Easter is always one in which the risen Christ shares food with the disciples, meals that are the Easter template for the meal we share each Sunday. In today’s gospel, Jesus both shares the disciples’ food and shows them the meaning of his suffering, death, and resurrection through the scriptures, the two main elements of our Sunday worship.

 

Show me | Pastor H. Julian Gordy

April 11, 2021 | Second Sunday of Easter

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Show me. Show me the risen Lord. That was Thomas' response to his colleagues' report that they had seen the risen Jesus. It is no more than many of us ask. And, while we might like some indisputable proof of the resurrection, what we have instead is the evidence that is here among us - here in this community in whom the Spirit is pleased to dwell.  

I have seen the Lord | Pastor Michelle Kuhlman

April 4, 2021 | The Resurrection of Our Lord | Easter Day

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Out of deep grief comes great hope.