Sermons


Holy, Earthly Seeds

In A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard writes: When I was six or seven years old, growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to take a precious penny of my own and hide it for someone else to find. For some reason I always “hid” the penny along the same stretch of sidewalk up the… Read More

Cracked Cisterns

            Four hundred years ago, an English pirate ship named the “White Lion” landed at Point Comfort, Virginia. The ship bore twenty human beings with black skin. They had been kidnapped from their homes and torn from their families. They were chained, starved, beaten and tortured. Arriving in Jamestown, they were sold in exchange for… Read More

Fire, Baptism, Peace

Some years ago, I developed a Bible study with the intentionally provocative title, “Seven Things I Wish Jesus Hadn’t Said.” Some of these sayings are difficult, some are disturbing, some are counter-intuitive. I have used this material several times since then (including in at least a couple of sermons), and the general theme of the… Read More

Vanity of Vanities

Today’s reading from Ecclesiastes (or Qoheleth) really brings out the Bible geek in me. So let me apologize in advance if you don’t find Hebrew words as fascinating as I do! Qoheleth is an obscure book of the Bible that is, ironically, the source of three well-known proverbs: “There is nothing new under the sun.”… Read More

Winter

Our family loves the musical “A Year with Frog and Toad” based on a series of stories by Arnold Lobel. Frog is tall, green and easy-going. Toad is short, brown and more of a worrier. The story begins in the late winter. Frog and Toad, who are still hibernating, visit each other’s dreams. Once they… Read More

Autumn

How many of you have ever had a reoccurring dream? If you have, take just a moment to recall it. What do you remember? How does that dream make you feel? I have two reoccurring dreams. One causes me anxiety to the extent that while I’m in the midst of the dream, I am aware… Read More

Spring

Let me start out by saying what a delight it is to be here amongst the good people of First Congregational Church. I always look forward to the ways that we support and challenge each other as Christians seeking to be helpful and productive in this world. May I also say that I am very… Read More

“Savoring Green”

This Spring I’ve been trying to take a few short walks each day. I just go outside and head down the street or around the block. I might stroll through a park or a vacant lot, beside a body of water or along some train tracks. Alice, our 5-year-old, has been learning to ride her… Read More

Green Pastures

Today’s shepherding metaphors bring to mind summers I worked as a wilderness canoe guide. It was exhausting and rewarding to be responsible for a group of teenagers twenty-four hours a day, amid waves, weather, and their continual inclination to make unsafe decisions. It was good work and hard work to teach them and motivate them… Read More

Greening Our Wounds and Fears

In North Enough: AIDS and Other Clearcuts, Jan Zita Grover writes this: The Minnesota and Wisconsin cutovers are northern counties that were logged over several times between 1860 and 1920. Never particularly habitable on a permanent basis, their soils were too thin or too sandy or too acid for farming, their growing seasons too short…. Read More