Sermons

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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The Cost of Life

Jeremy Bork

Sermon    
Sunday, September 4, 2016

Our two texts this week create fascinating tension when read alongside one another. Moses says to choose life and live while Jesus uses strong language against life. What’s up with that? This Sunday we will enter into this paradox leaning into hope, love, and life.


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Please, Come In and Sit Down

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jesus calls us, no, really, Jesus commands us to humble ourselves. I think I may understand better why now, having spent so many hours with great providers of hospitality and time with Luke 14. How might we be inspired to appropriate humility? That's our question for Sunday.


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To Be Human Now

Rev. Dr. Riley Jensen

Sermon    
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us….Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.


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The Fire Next Time

Kyle Nolan

Sermon    
Sunday, August 14, 2016

“Freedom,” writes James Baldwin, “is hard to bear...I have met only a very few people - and most of these were not Americans - who had any real desire to be free.” Our culture sells us convenience in the guise of freedom. And we buy it in bulk. But in Jesus, we follow one who would have us be free—who liberates us!—and who also knows what it costs. That’s the challenge, the hope, and the invitation of Luke 12.


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What Comes Next?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, August 7, 2016

Join us this Sunday as Rev. Chandler Stokes makes his return to the pulpit as he preaches on Hebrews 11:1-3. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.


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Things That Endure

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, July 31, 2016

In these uncertain days, God's living Word speaks again. This week, we listen in Luke 12:13-34 for the warnings and encouragements about how we live our lives. "Do not worry about your life." Together, we live in Christ, free from worry and fear.

Bending Toward Justice, Becoming Allies

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Surrounded by evil and violence, we sometimes find it easier to close ranks with those just like us, rather than seeking peace and reconciliation for our world. Yet, we are reminded in our confession “that God has revealed God’s self as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people…and God calls the church to follow… standing by people in any form of suffering and need…" (Belhar Confession, 4.) This Sunday we look at Psalm 85 to help move us beyond despair or analysis toward the time when “justice and peace will kiss each other.” Rev. David Baak, preaching: “Bending Toward Justice, Becoming Allies.” Diane Helle, violin.


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Climbing Down the Sycamore Tree

Kyle Kooyers

Sermon    
Sunday, July 17, 2016

This text is really quite compelling, especially when situated in its large context. It is held in parallel with the Healing of the Blind Man and in contrast to the Rich Man. So the narrative of Zacchaeus depicts a person who is able to gain a newness of sight, a vision for living that isn’t contingent upon his wealth or status. Unlike the Rich Man, however, Zacchaeus is able to make the move down from his power position and privileged mentality, which I’ll symbolically connect to the sycamore tree. It is interesting that, upon meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus, perhaps for the first time, really hears the cries of the people around him, those whose suffering he has benefitted from, and responds to them by sincerely giving of himself. For Luke, “salvation” is pretty much synonymous with “healing” and “wholeness.” So the story ends with a “healing” and “wholeness” coming to the home of Zacchaeus as a result of his literal and figurative climbing down the tree. What might that look like for us? How might that affect our discussions around BLM?


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