Sermons


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

The Green of Jesus

I’m savoring spring, how about you? The sweet smell of damp soil; the music of the birds; the soft breath of warm air our faces. The poet Lucille Clifton ties the rising of Jesus to the exuberant green of spring. The poem, “spring song” comes from the book “good news for the earth.” Clifton, who… Read More

I Did Not Hide

I’ve always been good at hiding. Just ask Eliza and Alice, who couldn’t find me during hide and seek at the park yesterday. I was lying flat on my back behind the stone retaining wall that circles the playground. It’s just tall enough to conceal a person and just short enough and plain enough that… Read More

Lopping and Thinning

This sermon is inspired by Kevin Vetiac at the Boston University School of Theology; by Sufi mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan; and by the members of my Lenten small group. At NASA, Adam Steltzner is known as the “rock and roll” engineer. He has pierced ears, wears snakeskin boots and has an Elvis haircut. At the… Read More

The Fox, the Hen and the Lamb

I was going to preach about the three animal metaphors for Biblical characters. I thought I’d throw in a little St. Patty’s Day and talk about how he supposedly drove snakes out of Ireland to round out the menagerie. But then another mass shooting happened in another holy place of worship. This time in peaceful… Read More

My God, in Whom I Trust

In her book H Is for Hawk Helen Macdonald describes her experience raising and flying a goshawk. She explains that birds gripped her imagination from an early age: I was a scrawny, too-tall child with ink on my fingers, binoculars around my neck, and legs covered in plasters. I was shy, pigeon-toed, knock-kneed, fantastically clumsy,… Read More

“Glory in the Ashes”

With our daughter Eliza, I’ve been reading Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo. Louisiana Elefante is born into a family under a curse, a curse of sundering. Synonyms of sunder include: divide, split separate, and sever. Which is why I could not stop laughing last night as I sat at urgent care dealing with this… Read More