Posts Tagged With 'Sermon'

Election Follow-up from Rev. Chandler Stokes

  Election Sermon Letter
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On November 13, I gave a sermon on 1 John 3:18-21 and Exodus 3:1-15, asking three things of us as a congregation. One, to get out of our echo chambers by listening to those on the “other side of the aisle,” talking to and trying to understand one another; two, to remain vigilant about racially-charged speech; three, to be in solidarity with those at risk—to “walk each other home.”

Following that sermon, it became clear to me that getting out of our echo chambers is not always easy. The next Sunday, I shared that I wish my sermon had also included, “Please have those conversations in a safe venue, and have those conversations when you are ready. Many are about to go home for the holidays, and that is not always an easy space for those conversations! So, please be gentle with yourselves.”

I also said that we cannot wait on the other two points of that sermon: being vigilant about racially-charged speech and being in solidarity with those at risk. To that end, I announced that the session was sending a letter to the president-elect, asking him to use his authority to disavow the racially-charged rhetoric made during the campaign. The session voted unanimously to send the attached letter.

One might think that such an action would somehow be unusual or violate the separation of church and state. On the contrary, I believe that nearly every Presbyterian session I have ever served has sent some letter to the newly elected president. The focus of these letters has always been on what the president is called to, e.g., “now be the president to the whole nation.”

Our current session, in addition to assuring the president-elect of our prayers, asks him to use his authority to aid us in our work against racism by speaking out against racial attacks. Regarding the separation of church and state, the session’s letter addresses the rhetoric in the campaign, not the persons saying it. The church must always speak out against any form of oppression, but legally cannot endorse persons running for partisan office.

I encourage you to read the letter, which is intended to communicate a concern for justice and safety that Republicans, Democrats, and Independents among us all share.

Revealed

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon     Sermon Sermons
Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Revealed" God often comes in ways that are easy for us to miss. We give thanks for the Holy Spirit at work in the world, and for the dedicated witness of the faithful in our midst. Simeon and Anna have waited for decades


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Sitting in Darkness

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Sermons Worship Worship Blog
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

“Sitting in Darkness" - God did not wait till the world was ready, till...the nations were at peace. … God did not wait for the perfect time. God came when the need was deep and great. Come celebrate with us the Birth of the Messiah, the Light of the World.


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The Light of Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Sermons Worship Worship Blog
Sunday, December 21, 2014

This week also gives us a chance to introduce an addition to our pastoral care team: a mental health referral panel that gives us some great confidence about making referrals for members of Westminster. It is a very comforting and exciting development.


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The Light of Hope

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Sermons
Sunday, December 14, 2014

In addition to our children’s choirs singing at the 11.00 am service, we will also be offering a sneak preview of our plans for the MissionMatters campaign in the new year and introducing our new Minster for Mission. It will be a grand day.


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Moving in Darkness

Sermon     Sermon Sermons
Sunday, December 7, 2014

There is always an obscure quality to our living. There will always be unanswered questions, places of unease, of irresolution… darkness. But we move through it. We move through life without resolution but with a “deepening sense” of it all. It is solved in the walking… As the disciples walked the road to Emmaus, we too walk without resolution, and yet with the promise that, for a moment, as we pause and eat together, there will be a bit of … calm, sense, maybe even light around the table. And get up… and walk again.


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The Luminous Dark

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Sermons
Sunday, November 30, 2014

We will begin by rememberingeven the darkness is not dark to God—and that when we find ourselves in oppressive darkness, we are not alone; God has habitually met God’s people in their darkness: pointing to the stars at night for Abraham to count his descendants to come, starting their exodus on Passover night, meeting Moses in the darkness on Mt. Sinai, converting Saul in his blindness, and raising Jesus in the dark of the tomb. All these liberating gifts, all given in the darkness.


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Thy Kingdom Come

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon     Sermon Sermons
Sunday, November 23, 2014

As we stand between our confirmation series and the season of advent, we finish this church year remembering the vast kingdom of Christ. Our shepherd king shows us the way, gathering in a people who can join in loving the world.


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Now What?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Worship Worship Blog Sermon
Sunday, November 16, 2014

This is what Prof. Thomas Long says: We do not get to draw a line in the sand and say, “OK, God, when I get this problem of suffering worked out in my mind, I'll step over the line toward you.” Or, “OK, God, when you begin to honor my sense of justice, then I will trust you.” No, we have to step over the line and fall on our knees in prayer and faith. Only in the light of our trust in God is there anything to see.


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Why Do We Pass It?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

All Saints Celebration & the Lord’s Supper: Why Do We Pass It? Rev. Chandler Stokes will be preaching on 1 Peter 2:9-10, which declares that God has made us (us?) a royal priesthood and a holy nation. The answer to the question, Why do we pass it?—that is, the elements of communion--is much the same: because we serve as priests. Those affirmations tend to make us nervous. We will explore those affirmations and our nervousness.


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How Do I Work This?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Sermons
Sunday, October 26, 2014

We need Scripture and Spirit both. The Bible without the Spirit is a dead word. The Spirit without Scripture is unbridled. It is their integration that gives the Church its life and vitality, its momentum and direction. We cannot be who we are as a community without both of them. This is the question that officers in the Presbyterian Church answer about Scripture: Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you? Part of this week’s reflection is to lift up is: by the Holy Spirit… It is essential in our understanding of the Bible.


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I Asked For Wonder - Rev. Jen Porter Installation

Sermon     Sermon Sermons
Sunday, October 19, 2014

"I Asked For Wonder" A sermon by Rev. Jeff Petersen. The installation service for Rev. Jen A. Porter on October 19, 2014.


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It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

Rev. David Baak

Sermon     Sermon
Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Genesis story of Jacob tricking his twin brother Esau out of the birthright is a classic ancient Hebrew story. The question for us, as always, is what is the teaching here for us, for today? It probably says something about immediate gratification and certainly it teaches us about God’s providence—though we never really know quite what that is until after it’s over. So, surely, that should remind us that for us, and certainly for God, It’s Not Over Until It’s Over.


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Closing the Distance

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Peter is the exemplar of "I believe. Help my unbelief." When he watches Jesus' trial "from a distance," Jesus looks at him in compassion. Jesus crosses the distance to him.


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Finding the Unknown God

Rev. David Baak

Sermon     Sermon
Sunday, May 25, 2014

The question is how do we live as a holy people in a broken world? From the Greek poet, Paul affirms for us today: “In God we live and move and have our being.” When we hear our own faith voice in that of another, we reach toward understanding and acceptance and peace. And, when we live that way, we experience God’s grace with and through each other…which in a profound sense is an experience of holiness.


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