In the Struggle and the Power

On Easter weekend, NBC released a remake of the 1970s musical, Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice. I appreciate many things about Superstar, including the way it brings to the forefront the political conflict that is essential for understanding and interpreting the Jesus story. The show makes it clear that the… Read More

Death Becomes You

This sermon was inspired by several people: Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Valarie Bridgeman, Academic Dean at Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio, and Lois Malcolm at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Just a few days ago, there was a gathering of 2,500 people at the National City Christian Church in Washington, DC. Another 700 filled… Read More

Holy, holy, holy

This past week I attended a conference on preaching and politics in Washington, D.C. Rev. Otis Moss III, of Trinity UCC in Chicago, defines politics as “how power is distributed among people for the common good.” Our scripture passage from Isaiah recounts the prophet’s dramatic call into politics.  “I saw the Lord!” he exclaims. Well… Read More


On the day of Pentecost, also known as the birthday of the church, Jesus’ followers received a new gift: the Holy Spirit. “Come, Holy Spirit” This is the ancient prayer of Pentecost. This is not a prayer to pray lightly. The Spirit we urge to come among us is a loud, violent rush of wind,… Read More

Abide. Prune. Fruit.

Jesus’ teachings are often centered around green and growing things. Sowers, soil and seeds; fig trees that need compost, and little more time; other fig trees that deserve to wither suddenly under a curse; giant, invasive, bird-sheltering mustard bushes; weeds that grow entangled with the wheat (argh those weeds!). Then there is today’s picture of… Read More

Acts of Kindness

A few weeks ago, I was honored to be invited to talk with Sky Li’s World Religions class at her school. At the end of the class I asked them to help me choose the scripture that I would focus on in this sermon and they chose the text from Acts 10 that Jean read…. Read More

Shepherding Community

My shepherd is the living God; I therefore nothing need. I love the hymn-writer’s elegant take on the first line of Psalm 23.             My shepherd is the living God; I therefore nothing need.             I’m still thinking about a few sharp words someone spoke years ago in a study group. “I don’t need a… Read More

Still Wondering

We all have our scars. During my college years I cross-country skied into a tree. That adventure left a permanent wrinkle in my eyebrow. And then there’s the angular bump on my hip that still aches years after the bike accident. Some scars are more inward. As a kid I was painfully shy, both bullied… Read More

At the Tomb

“At the Tomb” A sermon by Rev. Jane McBride April 1, 2018 • Easter • John 20:1-18 First Congregational Church of MN, UCC While it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. While it was still dark, Resurrection began. Last Saturday, Emma Gonzalez opened her speech at the March for Our Lives by… Read More

8-Tracks and Cassettes

  It’s important for you to know that early in this sermon I will briefly mention the topic of suicide a couple of times. The emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in the heart of downtown Chicago is a 24/7 beehive of activity. It is the only Level 1 trauma center in the city center,… Read More