Sermons

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.

Greater Things Than These

Rev. Jen A. Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jesus asks "What are you looking for?" There are many who are eagerly looking for him, but in him what are they looking for?. Committing to being a disciple of Christ, committing our lives to his way and his love- we need to know what it is that we're looking for.


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Holding Our Swords out of the Water

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, January 8, 2017

Holding our Swords out of the Water. The sermon title this week is a reference to this: When the “Frankish warriors came to be baptized in the water of the Rhine or the Rhone, they were always careful to hold their swords above their heads, out of the waters of baptism, not to save them from rust, but to keep them from Jesus.” They still wanted to be able to kill at will—and maintain their integrity. In a book study once, after reading this line, my friend, Judy, said, “…and I know what swords I hold out of the water.” And to the degree that we hold parts of ourselves out of the waters of baptism, we resist our truest identity as human beings.

Lifted Up in the New Year

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, January 1, 2017

The First Sunday after Christmas Day is not simply the “new year” — we have already begun this new year with the anticipation of Advent several weeks ago— and Christmas has now come! So, we can have the courage and the strength for us to live into the difficulties of our lives. We are given the faith to bring the Light of God’s love into the lives of children and families who suffer all over the world. We can bring the message of peace and God’s presence into the days and weeks of the calendar before us. God has, as Isaiah said, “lifted us up and carried us [all of our days]” We have been here before so we know we can have hope for the future.


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A New Name

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christ was born in Bethlehem. That’s what we celebrate on Christmas Day. And, although no one knows exactly where that manger was, it was somewhere. Jesus was born somewhere in this world—this world that we live in too, not some other make believe place. This world. And that makes all the difference.


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The Grace of God Here

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Saturday, December 24, 2016

The lectionary offers us the unusual text Titus 2:11-14 as the sermon focus for Christmas Eve at 8pm and 11pm. It is the declaration that God came to us in Christ to make a difference in our lives, to redeem us, transform us, and make it possible for us to indeed “be good” to “do good”—as much a miracle as Christ’s Advent in Bethlehem! Join us on Christmas Eve, as we sing, celebrate, and retell the Story of Christmas.


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Belonging to Jesus Christ

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, December 18, 2016

Isaiah really makes clear that God is coming to us as Emmanuel, whether we like it or not. What's not to like? Seems strange to think that we might resist such a gift..., but we do. Come and join us as we seek to rekindle our longing for the God Who is with us.


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The Longest Season

Rev. Jen A. Porter

Sermon    
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Much broader than our grief for those who have died and are not with us during the holidays, at our longest season service we honor our feelings of fear, of anger, of pain, and a whole spectrum of losses. Those feelings do not disappear in this season, sometimes they are even more stark. Everyone is welcome to join, tonight, 7pm in the sanctuary. Communion will be served.


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A New World Coming: Just You Wait!

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, December 11, 2016

At the heart of our tradition is this simple affirmation: Our chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever. Joy is at the center of who we are to be as people of God. Sometimes it's a little embarrassing to realize that. Where has joy gone? Can we recover it legitimately, honestly, truthfully? Join us as we listen for the Christmas angels who offer good news.


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That We Might Have Hope

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, December 4, 2016

Because hope is not rooted in the present but in an unseen future, hope is hard. Hope is hard, but it is essential. And amazingly, we do catch glimpses of it in the present. Those who live by hope witness to its reality and power—as do the poets. Mary Oliver’s The Place I Want To Get Back To is, for me, a great present witness to hope. Look it up and join us Sunday as we lift up the witnesses to hope.


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Wake Up and Get Dressed

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, November 27, 2016

When Isaiah promises peace “in the days to come,” we ask, “When is that?” Good question. Paul boldly tells us, “You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.” Paul says “the days to come” are now, and he entreats us to wake up to that fact. His whole statement is “Wake up and get dressed”—he says, “Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, … put on the Lord Jesus Christ….” By living Christ’s peace, “the days to come” arrive. That’s the Advent—the arrival we anticipate. Join us as we listen for the call to wake up this Sunday.


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Take a Risk on Paradise

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Walter Brueggemann gives us this prayer: “We pray for the coming of your kingdom on earth…we are people grown weary of waiting…and we have settled for what we can control." But the challenge of this Luke passage about the crucifixion is for us to take seriously the offer of Christ’s spirit living in us, giving us courage. We are the ones that have a choice between “settling” for things that we can manage for ourselves or we can take a risk and enter the room, so to speak, with “How can I be helpful?…” The reign of Christ describes an option for how we live our lives.


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How Firm a Foundation

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Jorge Luis Borges tells a story about a young man who finds himself in a poor, violent world. He takes refuge among what he calls “people of the vilest class,” and he gradually adjusts to them and their vileness until one day he’s in the middle of a conversation when he senses in a person speaking a discrepant note—a tone of voice that does not belong. All at once, he perceives some mitigation in the horrendous world that he’s become part of. He then resolves to dedicate his life to finding this person. Our faith is very much like that—a search for the voice that speaks beauty, grace, and exaltation. This is the journey of faith that our young people celebrate this Sunday.


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For All the Saints

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, November 6, 2016

The song-writer Sy Kahn once offered a response to "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" It's not all that our faith has to say, but it is an affirmation of an undeniable continuity with the saints: We come today to say good-bye To one who held us close To tell the stories of his life That move us each the most No circle has been broken here No one left stands alone The threads of life so lately broke Are woven through our own. Join us as we celebrate the communion of saints on Sunday.


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