Sermons

What Love Requires

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, December 1, 2013

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Isaiah 2:2–4 as we begin Advent. We sometimes have a hint or an echo of something profoundly beautiful—something of God in this life—and it’s important to seek it out. But, by and large, the world is not the way it’s supposed to be. To this situation, Isaiah offers God’s promise of love, and God also brings us love in Jesus Christ. Love: That’s it. That’s what we're to be looking for, seeking out, witnessing and witnessing to: Love.


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Thanksgiving

Rev. David Baak

Sermon     Thanksgiving Reign of Christ
Sunday, November 24, 2013

The annual, national Thanksgiving Day is a metaphor for thanksgiving as a daily practice of our faith for our time. Both can be responses to the message of this, the last Sunday of the liturgical year—the Reign of Christ Sunday. A sermon by Rev. David Baak on Colossians 1:9–23.


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Praise

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Praise suicide
Sunday, November 17, 2013

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Psalm 8. The psalmist declares, “You have set your glory above the heavens.” Praise, praise, praise—that our lives may be an expression of praise. Yet praise does not deny the pain or other realities of the world—including suicide, as our congregation recently experienced. Rather, worship names that which is worthy, and so we praise even in the midst of pain.


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Repentance

Repentance can be a difficult subject. There’s a Shaker song, ‘Simple Gifts,’ whose lyrics say, “To turn, turn will be our delight ‘Til by turning, turning we come ‘round right.” What does it mean to “come ‘round right”? We look to Luke as we consider these questions. The American preacher Fred Craddock says of the text, “In fact, for Luke the gospel is the offer of repentance and forgiveness of sins…” A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Luke 13:6–9.


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Remembrance

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     remembrance hebrews all saints day
Sunday, November 3, 2013

A sermon with selections from Hebrews 11 in celebration of All Saints Day. Our faith is a song—we learn it from others, add our own voices to it for a time, and teach it to others so they can sing it after us. The basis of that song of faith is a call to remember not only the saints themselves, but the basis of the faith that empowered them: Christ has defeated death.


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Thanksgiving

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pledging is a practice of thanksgiving, and so we explore thanksgiving as a practice. Karl Barth, the great 20th century theologian, once said, “To believe in Jesus Christ means to become thankful.” This is not to say we’re always in touch with gratitude, as the parable of the laborers in the vineyard from Matthew 20 indicates—in fact, we find it very easy to be ungrateful! A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Matthew 20:1–16.


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Preserving Our Inheritance

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     stewardship
Sunday, October 13, 2013

What IS our inheritance? The church. What preserves Westminster through 152 years? We do. We preserve it. The church isn’t something you can put in a jar; the only way it’s preserved is though us—just as it was with the early church. A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on I Thessalonians 1:1–10, part of our ‘Stewardship Practices for Our Time’ series.


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Peace—At All Times in All Ways

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, October 6, 2013

On World Communion Sunday, we join other churches around the world in celebrating the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. A sermon by Rev. David Baak on Luke 7:36–39,48–50; Acts 16:35–36; and 2 Thessalonians 3:16–17, joined by Rev. Abel Mirabal Padilla from Güines, Cuba.


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Blessing

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 29, 2013

Each Sunday we exchange blessings with the children in the congregation. It is not a trivial gesture: Blessing someone carries with it the potential to change the world in a very real way. That is the intent behind the passage in Genesis 12, when God says, “I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Genesis 12:1–4.


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Humility

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Genesis Humility
Sunday, September 22, 2013

Humility is a practice: humility in all things—but especially before our understanding of God. This is an exploration of a very, very difficult text. By grace, it will at least humble us before the God who transcends us all and forms us in humility. A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Genesis 22:1–14.


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Faith

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Faith Genesis
Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Genesis 12:1–4, part of the series ‘Faith Practices for Our Time,’ in which we explore the essential practice of faith.


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Worship and Education

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why do we have children in worship and in education? The answer is simple, but goes to the very heart of the nature of faith: We are called to be disciples—which is not quite the same thing as being a student.


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Reconciliation is the Goal: Labor Day Letter

Rev. David Baak

Sermon     Worship
Sunday, September 1, 2013

How often have you thought of or read Philemon—one of the shortest New Testament books? Labor Day gives us an occasion. Jesus’ teaching gives us a principle of reconciliation, and Philemon offers a case study.


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Paying it Forward: What is Your Motive?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Worship
Sunday, August 25, 2013

The instruction to “pay it forward” is about motives—about why we do what we do. This is kingdom language that teaches us not so much about the words we use, but about how we go about living the Kingdom.


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Hearing Voices

Rev. Katherine Baker

Sermon    
Sunday, August 18, 2013

The faith community, in which we find our being, holds in tension a collection of voices — young and old, simple and complex, mystical and prophetic, popular and controversial — all needing to be heard. As we listen for all these voices, how are we made better as colleagues, students and teachers in Language School?


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