Sermons

Sermon: Patience in Ambiguity

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, July 23, 2017

This week’s scripture, Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43, gives one of the “kingdom parables” that teaches how to live in this beautiful, conflicted, joyful and confusing world. Wheat that is nutritious and life-giving and darnel or “tares” (weeds that are deceptive and noxious), growing together and indistinguishable from each other. We are called to let God be the judge and we are called to be patient with what is ultimate while faithfully working to find the right and the good. Rev. David Baak preaching on “Patience in Ambiguity."


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Sermon: Good Dirt

Kyle Nolan

Sermon    
Sunday, July 16, 2017

There are subtle but marked tensions in the Parable of the Sower: between the mystery of God’s will and the possibility of its faithful anticipation, between the word of the prophets and the experience of the church, and between the title of the parable and it’s real focus, the soil. Join us as we explore the promise, possibility, and challenge it offers


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Sermon: The Capacity to Choose

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, July 9, 2017

In this passage, Jesus addresses 'this generation.' This of course is not our generation, but sometimes as William Goettler reminds us, too much rings true. There is within us however, a capacity to understand, a capacity to follow, even a capacity to surrender. What will we choose to cultivate?


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Sermon: The Wisdom in Uncertainty

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, July 2, 2017

My colleague, Erin Keys, writes, “There is an aspect of human nature that is forever trying to create a dichotomy, forever trying to make things black and white, forever trying to create a worldview based on two opposing forces, when the truth is always far more complex…. Anytime we are given two opposite views, the reality is that neither one is totally true. The life-giving gift of the Spirit is to be found in the wisdom of uncertainty; of wading in to a reality that is vague and often confusing, but one that offers an alternative to seeing things as either one way or the other.” That is the wisdom in uncertainty.


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Sermon: How Can I Keep From Singing?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Here is the point of Luke's story in Acts 8: The Spirit is not a commodity to buy and sell. Luke is clear: commercial interests do not mix easily with the Spirit's movement in the world. The Spirit is not a power one can possess without first being possessed by it. (David Lewicki) That is an unsettling notion...


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Sermon: Without Jesus

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Two thoughts from Rowan Williams drive the meditation this week: One: For most of our time, we belong to groups and societies and to individuals we love. In all these contexts we use the common coinage of words and ideas and concepts and accept the compromise and imprecision of human communication. Nor is this wrong: it is, indeed utterly necessary to us… But it is not everything, and … if we think it is everything, the results will be the grossest hollowness and unreality in our selfhood. Two: In our failure at the level of word and understanding not everything is lost. Through the unhealed pain of [not communicating, while] looking despairingly at each other there can still be trust that there are other levels of which to communicate. There is deep hope and deep honesty in these words, which I hope to unpack for us on Sunday. Join us.


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Sermon: And it was so…

Sermon    
Monday, June 5, 2017

Brene Brown challenges us with this questions: how can we find rest and play if we tie ourselves to what we produce? We were not created to produce and making space for rest and being helps us discover who God is and who we are. We are invited to play and to create.


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Sermon: Rejoicing in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 4, 2017

The notion of progress has been pretty well smashed by the evils of the twentieth century, but sometimes the “progressive church” gets trapped in the notion of increasing good, simply because that church is an American phenomenon. We hardly know who we are without the notion of progress. Rejoicing in the Holy Spirit is rooted in something other than progress. And it is something we can see and touch and taste… albeit in a world that is broken and bitter. Join us for joyful feast of the people of God.


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Uncommon Power

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 28, 2017

The key to this week’s service is in this short passage from Frederick Buechner: As for making a human being be what I want him to be, without at the same time destroying his freedom—only love can make that happen. God’s power is a very different power than the world uses and values; it is the power of love.


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Abiding Love

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, May 21, 2017

8:30 “Abiding Love” is the theme of this sixth Sunday of Easter and our exploration of Unanticipated Love. The gospel of John (14:21) assures us that we will know the mystery that “[the Spirit] abides in you and … [Jesus] in the Father, and you in me, and I in you” and from the apostle (Acts 17:28) that “in [God] we live and move and have our being.” Rev. David Baak, preaching.


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Unanticipated Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Just a week ago, the session finalized its decision about a new position for adult faith formation. We will announce on Sunday the plan for filling this critical role in our seeking to be faithful in our generation to the call of God at Westminster.


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Unimaginable Grace

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 7, 2017

This is how Luke describes the earliest church: They would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God… My colleague, Erin Keys, writes: “When the first Christians made the choice to worship a God who came to us as a person in the world; a God who took something so basic and everyday like bread and made it holy; a God for whom the highest form of worship is to give away everything we have for the benefit of all, those first Christians chose to see all of life as sacred because they chose to worship a God who sees it that way, too.”


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Unexpected Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Luke tells us that When Jesus was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. It is an amazing, unexpected gift that he is there, but then: Vanished from their sight? Oh. That’s disappointing. And yet… is that not the way that it is? This holy, holy gift is really present and really out of our hands…


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In the Walking

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, April 23, 2017

On Easter morning, Jesus told Mary "Do not hold on to me because I have not yet ascended to the Father." We walk by faith and not by sight, and we do not get to hold on to Jesus. Saint Augustine offers us this encouragement, that "it will be solved by walking." The way of spiritual growth comes not as we hold on to this day, but as we walk all the way through Easter.


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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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