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Showing posts from November, 2015

Sermon, "Prayerful: Thanksgiving," Matthew 6:24-33

Sermon 11/22/15 Matthew 6:24-33
Prayerful: Thanksgiving
My mother will tell you that in some ways, I’ve been a worrier since I was a little girl. When I started kindergarten, I went through a stretch where I kept asking my mother “what if” questions about starting school. What if I couldn’t find my bus? What if I got locked in the bathroom and no one heard me calling for help getting out? What if no one was home when I got off the bus? What if the teacher didn’t show up? What if I wore a dress on a day I was supposed to wear pants for gym? What if I didn’t have my money for milk? These were apparently serious concerns on my 5 year old mind, and my mother did her best to help me relax, to know that I would be safe and that someone would be there who could help me no matter what I encountered. I don’t even remember having all these questions myself, so she must have done a good job in calming my anxieties. But I’m still a worrier. I might put on a good exterior show, if you think I am alwa…

Sermon, "Prayerful: Praying Like Jesus," Matthew 6:5-13

Sermon 11/8/15 Matthew 6:5-13 Prayerful: Praying Like Jesus

            We’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a prayerful people. We’ve talked about being confessional, and being persistent in our prayers. And we’ve talked about how we’re bound together in prayer in the act of communion, bound together across time and space in the body of Christ. Next Sunday, we’ll practice praying through music. In two weeks, we’ll be focusing on prayers of Thanksgiving. Some of you have had experiences, even over these past few weeks, of the power of prayer, as you gave thanks to God for some prayer answered. Some of you have offered prayer at one of our meetings or studies – I’ve really been encouraging everybody to feel comfortable offering a prayer to God on our behalf. And so far, everyone has survived the experience! Today, though, I want to spend a little time thinking about Jesus, and how Jesus prays. Jesus does a lot of praying, and it seems like we can’t find a better example to …

Sermon, "Prayerful: Communion," Hebrews 11:1-8, 13-16, 23-40, 12:1-2

Sermon 11/1/15 Hebrews 11:1-8, 13-16, 23-40, 12:1-2
Prayerful: Communion

How would you define a Saint? What does it mean, to be a saint? I’ve been reading a little bit about different religious traditions and what they understand by the term “saints.” Some traditions understand the term saint in more formal ways – there’s a process to be officially named a saint. And others have a more fluid understanding of what it means. How about you? How do you define a saint? What is a saint? In most any tradition, the folks I encounter are sure of at least this: A saint is something other than themselves. I can’t say I often hear people identify themselves as a saint. Are you a saint? And yet, regardless of tradition, if, instead, I ask folks to name those who have been saints in their life, those who have died, those who are living, people can usually quickly tell me people they view as saints.             There are many ways to define the word “saint,” but here’s what I’ve found most compelling. …