Sermons

Living into Tomorrow

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Easter
Sunday, April 16, 2017

The theme for Eastertide will be Unanticipated Love. We begin on Easter with the gift of God’s love in the resurrection. After all the preparing of our ears and hearts throughout Lent, still what the gospel brings is beyond, graciously, miraculously, unanticipated-ly beyond our expectations and hopes. It is Unanticipated Love.


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Matthew’s Witness

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Thursday, April 13, 2017

As we gather on Maundy Thursday to celebrate the sacrament of communion, we listen to the witness of the gospel of Matthew. This witness of Jesus' final days lead us deeper still.

Humility and Humanity

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 9, 2017

Mary Oliver has a short poem that includes these lines: On the outskirts of Jerusalem the donkey waited. Not especially brave, or filled with understanding, he stood and waited. … Still, he was what he had always been: small, dark, obedient. I hope, finally, he felt brave. I hope, finally, he loved the man who rode so lightly upon him, as he lifted one dusty hoof and stepped, as he had to, forward. It is this line that has always captured me:… stepped, as he had to, forward. The poem brings me closer to Jesus’ own steps. In focusing on his silent resolve, I have felt encouragement for my own steps that simply must come, one after the other. I pray they may be for you as well.


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Bones and Breath

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 2, 2017

Israel felt that their being sent into exile meant that God’s will had been thwarted. It made no sense to them. They had dozens of ways to explain it. In Ezekiel, as soon as he is given the scroll with the word of hope and warning, he is told by God to eat the scroll [God is still willing this.], and Ezekiel goes mute. How is the Word to get out of his belly and into the ears of Israel!?!? It’s bizarre, but it points to a real problem that ends up with Israel in exile, feeling abandoned, dead in the water. However we got there, that is the problem that Ezekiel and we face. God said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”


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Once Upon a Parable

Sermon    
Sunday, March 26, 2017

God’s great story is filled with countless, timeless short stories. God’s big story uses these little stories to delight us, inspire us, and change us. God’s story is a message of hope in trouble, light in darkness, and love in rejection. It is a message of peace on earth and welcome to absolutely everyone.


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Suffering and Hope

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, March 19, 2017

We will consider closely the life of Jesus Christ and the struggles we have in following him. As we are invited to follow after Christ by denying our self, taking up a cross and following him, we might think that only a masochist, a fool, or a loser could embrace such a life… …or perhaps it would be one who understands that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.


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Trust and Leaving

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, March 12, 2017

This week, I have been deeply inspired by my colleague in the Moveable Feast, David Lewicki. He has drawn my attention to a deep irony in God’s call to us. The paradox is that trust, which is our orientation to God’s promises, which are full of new life, full of new possibilities, full of… well, promise—our trust, our leaning in to those promises also inevitably entails loss. We must leave in order to move ahead. In that is a deep truth. David says it this way: Faith is leaving, holding tenderly to the grief of leaving’s loss.


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Humanity and Humility

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jesus’s obedience is what the temptations in Matthew 4 reveal, not his trying to be God. The temptation that we share with Jesus is not to be human. Against that temptation, we seek to live on the side of obedience to God with the Holy Spirit keeping us company on our side, and hope to keep our presumption to be God on the other. It is a genuine temptation to cross the line.


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Ears to Hear

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This Wednesday, March 1st, is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent—the forty days of preparation for Easter. Our Lenten theme this year is: Ears to Hear: Preparing Our Hearts for Easter. We will explore the story of Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus 24. After six days of silence, God finally speaks to Moses, evidently when he is finally ready to hear. How do we open our ears to our God? How can we maintain our attentiveness to our truly “other” God, who is paradoxically both so present and so elusive.


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Do Not Be Afraid

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, February 26, 2017

We have been talking about the map of the realm of God laid over the earth. In Matthew 17, this map shows us that we are not alone. There is Jesus, the one who brings together heaven and earth, the living link in between. With him, Moses and Elijah in the spirit. With him, the disciples. Jesus is the way between all the great witnesses of the faith and all here on earth. We are never alone.


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Salting the Roads

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tom Long said: The hardest part is not in being Christian for a day, but being faithful day after day, maintaining confidence in what, for all the world, appears to be a losing cause. Some days we really feel that. The confidence that Jesus has in telling us that we are the salt of the earth is that we are truly good for something. And it is something good for this world that truly matters. This Sunday we discover what it means to be the salt of the earth.


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The Edge of the Map

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jesus is no less insistent on the critical nature of our speech. In Matthew he says: But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. What an extraordinary standard for our speech.

A World of Difference

Westminster Youth Group

Sermon    
Sunday, February 5, 2017

THIS Sunday, February 5th, please join us in this annual celebration as our high school and middle school youth lead worship during both our 8:30a and 11:00a services, including sermons preached by the senior class of 2017.


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The Map of Blessing

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Will Willimon once wrote: One of the dangers of being in church as often as I am is that it all starts to make sense. I speak of the Christian faith so casually and effortlessly that I begin to think, “Fine thing, this Christianity. Makes good sense.” The Beatitudes subvert that glib comfort with the sense of our faith.


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Getting on the Map

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, January 22, 2017

Jesus will say, “The kingdom is like…” He paints a picture of it, draws a map to it. And, even though it’s called the kingdom of heaven in Matthew, it’s not a star chart. It is a map of something terrestrial, on earth, right here, “at hand.” Jesus calls us to get on that map.

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