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Showing posts from July, 2019

Sermon, "Unafraid: Fear and Failure," Exodus 3:7-15, 4:1-17, Joshua 1:5-9

Sermon 7/28/19 Exodus 3:7-15, 4:1-17, Joshua 1:5-9 Unafraid: Fear and Failure I’ve been thinking about failure this week. It’s not the easiest topic to wrestle with. I don’t think we like to talk about or think about failure and failing. As soon as we poke that topic, it can expose some of our deepest self-doubts, fears, and insecurities. I’ve been thinking about how we do talk about failure. The first thing that came to mind was the category we call “Pinterest Fails.” Pinterest is a very visual site for sharing creative ideas, and lots of people use it to share recipes and crafts and decorating ideas, along with directions so you too can create these beautiful projects. Only, if you’ve ever actually tried one of these projects, many folks find they are not actually so easy in real life. So people have taken to posting their “Pinterest fails” online - a picture of what that awesome birthday cake was supposed to look like along with the clear disaster that happened instead.

Sermon, "Unafraid: Fear and Security," Matthew 5:43-47, 1 John 4:18-21

Sermon 7/21/19 Matthew 5:43-47, 1 John 4:18-21 Unafraid: Fear and Security My mom gave birth to my older brother Jim when she was just 21 years old. She’s often joked that he was her “practice baby.” More seriously, she’s said that she thinks being a young parent meant she wasn’t afraid of making too many mistakes because she didn’t know enough to be afraid! And so she mostly assumed that things would go right, that Jim would be okay, and she wasn’t full of worry about how she was doing as a parent, and how Jim was doing as a baby. Of course they were ok!  My brother and sister-in-law, on the other hand, were older parents when they had Sam, my nephew who is now 12 years old. They were old enough to be anxious, to be aware of everything that might go wrong in the blink of an eye. Collectively, as a family, I think we so loved and doted on and worried about everything being perfect for Sam that the poor child barely touched the ground for his first couple of years of life. A

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, "Laborers for the Harvest," Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Sermon 7/7/19 Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 Laborers for the Harvest We’re sort of between things on our worship calendar right now. We finished up our Holy Club sermon series last week, and in two weeks, we’re starting a series on Fear and being Unafraid that will take us through the rest of the summer. But with some schedule quirks, and adding a special Sunday later this summer when my childhood pastor will come and lead a special music and worship service for us, we were left with a Sunday in between things today. So, without a particular theme or series to guide us, I turned to see what was on the lectionary, the suggested schedule of scripture readings, for worship today. I’ve been serving here for three years now, and the lectionary is a three year cycle, and so the scripture in the lectionary today is the same as it was on my very first Sunday here! I’m sure you all remember my sermon from three years ago, right? Three years ago, I was remarking on how funny it is for new pastor

Sermon, "The Holy Club: A Matter of Time," 2 Peter 3:8-15

Sermon 6/30/19 2 Peter 3:8-15 The Holy Club: A Matter of Time Today, we’re finishing up our series on The Holy Club as we look at the last in a set of questions that John and Charles Wesley and other members of their accountability group used to focus themselves and each other in their continuing spiritual growth. We’ve looked at some questions about trusting God and our own trustworthiness, and we’ve thought about what it means to have faith, and what faithfulness looks like. Today, we’re thinking about how we use the resources that God gives us to grow as disciples, and in particular, we’re thinking about how we use the gift of time. The Holy Club questions this week are, like every week, challenging and timeless: “Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits? Do I get to bed on time and get up on time? How do I spend my spare time? Do I pray about the money I spend? Did the Bible live in me today? Do I give it time to speak to me everyday? Am I enjoying prayer?” I thi