Sermons


Breathe and Push

Sometimes, the Spirit shows up at surprising times. One night last week, I opened my computer and set it on the kitchen counter, as Jen and I cleaned up after dinner. I tuned in to the General Synod, our United Church of Christ national meeting. Keynoter Valarie Kaur was literally in the middle of a… Read More

Courage in the Struggle

This week’s scriptures got me wondering . . . What does it mean to live with courage? I can think of many people whose extraordinary courage has made them well-known. Malala Yousafzai, who, even after taking a bullet to the head, continued to insist on education for girls in Pakistan. Youth climate activists like Greta… Read More

At Home and on the Road

When the worship team chose the theme for this summer—our spirits and the Spirit of God—I was delighted to hear that we would be using the 8th chapter of the book of Romans. This chapter includes passages of comfort, encouragement, and faith that I dearly love: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who… Read More

Persistent Healing

How is it with your spirit? How is it with the Holy Spirit? These are the theme questions for this summer’s worship at First Church. In this sermon I will speak to each question, with the aid of words from the biblical books of Lamentations and Mark. My own spirit, during this past year, has… Read More

Stand

 I meet regularly with a really wonderful group of clergy colleagues. This week, after we took some time for silence and shared our check-ins, we got to talking about recent events, about the unnerving sense that hate-filled violence is just around the corner. Law enforcement gunned down Winston Smith with a complete lack of transparency… Read More

Here

Dear friends, how good it is to be here. Wherever you are is called Here / And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,/ Must ask permission to know it and be known. After fifteen months of exile, here we are again, gathered in this sacred space. Here, the air vibrates with music and… Read More

How Is It with Your Spirit?

So much is happening. How is it with your spirit? As the masks come off, I hear a variety of responses—happiness and wariness, relief and stress. This very day, our bodies are groaning in this unseasonable heat, even as thousands gather up north as “Treaty People” to address the climate crisis, and to restore right… Read More

Magical Creatures

Alice and I are reading the Harry Potter series aloud. We’re just starting Book 5. The magical creatures that fill the wizarding world are a diverse crowd. Some creatures are extremely deadly, like the basilisk. Looking into the eyes of this huge green serpent brings instant death. The Boggart is a shapeshifter that takes the… Read More

Life in Liminal Seasons

We moved into a new house last week. My mom scrubbed everything –the insides of cupboards, the fridge and the stove, the sinks and the showers. Jen’s mom (the handiest person I know) crafted all kinds of improvements—new shelves and a set of drawers, hooks and spice racks, and undercounter lights. The dads mowed and… Read More

Stayed on Jesus

“Mom” my daughter asked, “how do you spell crumb?” “C-r-u-m-b,” I responded. Later I picked up the note she was working on. It was signed “crumb, Alice.” “What does this mean, honey, ‘crumb, Alice?’” “Not crumb! From! From, Alice!” She shouted. I tried to explain that I had made a mistake, that I had misheard…. Read More