Sermons


A Deeper Loyalty

Amanda Gorman. When I expressed enthusiasm for her inauguration poem to my daughter, Eliza, Eliza said “Oh, yeah, I follow her on TikTok.” Well, I’ll tell you, I’ve got a whole new level of respect for TikTok! The poem says so much in such a beautiful, powerful way. I have many favorite lines. What I… Read More

The Land of Promise and the Year of Jubilee

This year our congregation is devoting considerable time to study, to conversation, and to prayerful self-scrutiny with regard to the consequences of our presence on land that was taken from the Indigenous Dakota people. Along with the rest of the European-American settlers in Minnesota, our forebears obtained the land on which our beautiful building sits… Read More

Water and Spirit

Truth be told, we Americans are in deep shit. Our lofty ideals and our soaring rhetoric mask our great national hypocrisy. Claims of liberty and justice for all are simply absurd. You’ve seen the photos and the footage. When peaceful “BLM” protestors gathered at the nation’s capitol, police in full riot gear lined the steps…. Read More

Christmas for Elders

In the fall of 2006, my colleague Rev. Nancy Swanson was serving as interim pastor at a church in St. Paul. The church had many older members, and very few young families. In fact, there were not enough children in the congregation to stage even a very simple Christmas pageant. And the people were feeling… Read More

You Are with Us, O God, in Darkness and in Light

Those little waving fingers in the nativity video belonged to our daughter, Alice. It might appear she was greeting the baby Jesus. I can tell you that’s not what was going on. She was doing a very natural thing for a seven-year-old—trying to turn attention onto her polished red nails. This was, I assure you,… Read More

Testify

I notice that, as a congregation, we’re ambivalent about the ancient Christian practice of testimony. We’re reluctant to speak publicly about our faith. We’re allergic to fervor and fanaticism. We don’t want to be viewed as pushing Jesus on anyone. We want no part of the versions of Christianity that our ancestors used to exploit,… Read More

Good News in the Place of Struggle

“In the wilderness, prepare . . .” We modern-day people live with the noise of highways and the glare of light pollution. Leaves and trash choke our storm drain and oil pipelines leak into our rivers. We long for the sound of the wind in the trees, for the sacred darkness of starry nights, for… Read More

Could the World Be About to Turn?

Judgement. It’s not a popular idea. However, I think we need it. In fact, I believe judgement is a gift that comes to us particularly in the season of Advent. Judgement calls us to sit with the heartbreak of the world—to listen and turn, to repent and turn, to turn and imagine. A dear friend… Read More

Will You Love the “You” You Hide?

  Tony McDade, 38, was killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida, on May 27. McDade’s murder—two days after George Floyd’s—sparked outcry from advocacy groups and became a rallying cry for the protection of Black trans lives. Helle Jae O’Regan, 20, was proud of her trans identity. On Trans Day of Visibility in March, she posted… Read More

Release to the Captives

In today’s video, [1] Candace Montgomery of Black Visions Collective calls for the abolition of policing. For those who call themselves “abolitionists” there is a fundamental, fatal flaw in the system of policing. Yes, there are good people within the police force, and yes, there are many who seek to reform the work of policing… Read More