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Showing posts from August, 2015

Finding a Direction

You may have noticed that I have stopped posting lectionary notes recently. Life has been a little crazy, and for a couple of weeks, I forgot. And then, I started thinking about what I wanted to do with this online space.  I have lectionary notes on here for the whole three year cycle - you can find them for whatever text you need by searching the blog, using the archives, searching by tag. I will continue to post my sermons each week.  But for now, other than that, I'm thinking things over. I'll keep you posted!

Sermon, "Summer Days: The Great Outdoors"

Sermon 8/23/15 Genesis 1:1-2:4 Summer Days: The Great Outdoors             When I was in Sunday School in about 5 th grade or so in Westernville, NY, my class didn’t have to be in any of the skits for the Children’s Sunday pageant. Instead, we each got to pick and read our favorite passage of scripture. I already had lots of favorites, and I hadn’t yet discovered my current long-lasting favorite – “I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” But out of my favorites, I decided to go with the creation story found in Genesis 1. I thought it was so beautiful. And I loved the part about how we’re created in God’s image. I’m not sure, looking back, whether my questions about creation came first, and then I chose to read this text in worship, or it is was the other way around. But near the same time, I asked my Sunday School teacher Mr. Waldo how it could be that God created the world in seven days if dinosaurs lived and became extinct all millions of years bef

Sermon, "Summer Days: Water Break," John 4:5-42

Sermon 8/16/15 John 4:5-42 Summer Days: Water Break Over the years, I’ve tried several times to stop drinking Diet Coke. In high school, my senior year, I had a bout of kidney stones. The doctor wasn’t sure what caused them, but they suggested I try backing off the caffeine, and I would have agreed to anything they recommended to ensure no repeats of the kidney stones. So I just switched to caffeine free Diet Coke. But eventually, I started drinking it again – I had a become a vegetarian in my first year of college, and vegetarians are at less risk for kidney stones, so I felt like I could make the trade. And I’ve been pretty addicted to Diet Coke ever since. And several times, I’ve tried to give it up. One year, I gave up soda for Lent. I did really well all through Lent. I passed through the headache phase, that painful process where your body doesn’t respond well to missing out on caffeine. I still wanted Diet Coke when I saw it, but I managed to survive without it.  

Sermon, "Summer Days: Gone Fishin'," John 21:1-19

Sermon 8/9/15 John 21:1-19 Summer Days: Gone Fishin’             This summer, we’ve been playing around with some of the fun summer themes we can draw from the scriptures: Eutychus and sleep, a picnic and the feeding of the 5000, (and a potluck of our own, of course,) a road trip with the Good Samaritan. Today, we’re going fishing with Jesus and the disciples. But I hope in the midst of these summer days, you’re thinking about our dreams at Apple Valley, God’s dreams for Apple Valley. I hope you notice that it’s been in the bulletin each week – a reminder of the dreams will be thinking about in more focus in the year ahead – an Apple Valley that is fruitful, and prayerful, and invitational, and missional.             This summer I’ve been working with another church in our conference helping them put together a strategic plan for their outreach ministry. We’re using a process called Asset Based Community Development – a way of planning for the future that starts by focus

Sermon, "Summer Days: Road Trip," Luke 10:25-37

Sermon 8/2/15 Luke 10:25-37 Summer Days: Road Trip             Generally speaking, I love to drive. Lately, my commutes to Rochester have tested the boundaries of my love. But it’s more the length of my work day that’s the challenge, and not really the driving itself. I inherited a love from my grandfather of just going for a drive in the area to no place in particular – just taking a random turn and seeing where the road leads. I didn’t always appreciate these drives as much as a child, finding them boring, but my grandfather loved to look for dear, or pussy willows, or the highest, windiest road. But eventually, I came to enjoy this too. When I have the time – and the gas to spare – I like to take a drive on a sunny day over some country roads. This area is pretty good for drives like that, isn’t it? Seeing where the road might take you? Driving down a road that you’ve never been on before?             Of course, sometimes going on roads we’ve never been on before turn