Sermons

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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Imagination & Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Love one another, as I have loved you. This is love as in the story of God’s love for us. This is love along the trajectory of Jesus’ life. This is love in the shape of the cross, cruciform love, love given sacrificially. Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Nothing is closer to stewarding the love of God than to love in that way. This is not fantasy love, but real love in a real world.


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Investing in Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Warren Buffet coined the phrase, "skin in the game" to encourage corporate executives to be better motivated and committed, by investing their own money in the companies they worked for and so would themselves be on the line financially. Wow. Money is more powerful than conscience. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I have been asking myself this week anew: what do I want to give my heart to?


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Integrity & Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 16, 2016

Matthew and Luke both call us to have integrity, to match up our words and our actions. It is essential to the gospel’s call. But both gospels also make it clear that integrity, per se, is not the goal. The goal for both is love. Integrity by itself is not enough. Love is required. Maybe G.K. Chesterton points us toward the right end when he said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”


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The Unimaginable

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 9, 2016

I believe that this is so often where we find ourselves—what is sung about Eliza and Alexander Hamilton: There are moments that the words don’t reach There is a grace too powerful to name We push away what we can never understand We push away the unimaginable Too often we indeed push away what is life-giving, but the grace is real. Come and join us and be reminded of that which is so hard to imagine.


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Ambassadors for Christ

Rev. Jen A. Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, October 2, 2016

Every single person on the planet is one for whom Christ has died and risen. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less that God already does. It is that truth that takes root deep within us and that we carry out into the world. This perspective enlarges our world and frees us to live into God's vision of a different time. Amen and amen.


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A Hope Not Hopeless But Unhopeful

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Worship
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Vaclav Havel wrote that “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. ... It is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. … it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.” That is the authentic hope we have in God. Join us on Sunday as we practice hope together.


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There is a Balm in Gilead

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 18, 2016

After an injury, an illness, or a loss, we move, by grace, to a new normal--that's the word these days. And that new normal sounds a lot less full of grief and loss and sorrow than it truly is. When we affirm that there is a balm in Gilead, we remember that in the wake of healing are often scars. It is good news, and yet it is not cheap or glib.


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That Never Used to Happen Before

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Once we receive the gift of attending worship, being in religious community, and of simply trying to follow God's leading, the New Testament tells us that receiving that gift makes us "righteous." And get this--Jesus then says: "...there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." Hmmm... More to ponder. Join us Sunday.


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