Sermons

Photo of workers in a vineyard

The Good Wage

The wage each worker was paid in the parable of the vineyard was “good” because it recognized the value of each person’s work, no matter how long each had worked.
Good Samaritan painting by Paula Modersohn-Becker

The Good Samaritan

The Samaritan was called “good” because he showed mercy to the one who was injured; his acts of compassion made him a neighbor even though his ethnicity made him a…
Photo of the ocean with the words 'Anticipate your heaven below, and own that love is heaven.'

Eternal Life

Our forgiveness makes a difference in the present; it is not only a ticket into a post-mortem life everlasting.
Photo of a green sprout gtrowing from a stump.

Alive to God

Being forgiven empowers us to die to our old selves, become alive to God, and live as our new, true, Christlike selves, which means we in turn forgive others.
Christ in Alabama Painting by William H. Johnson

Still Sinners

The love of God is proven by the fact that Christ “died for us while we were still sinners,” meaning that we do not earn God’s forgiveness, but rather that…
Person looking at the nigh sky filled with stars

The Chaos of Creative Disruption

Imagine the chaos & angst of God in creating a creature who can think, do, and say "no" to God. Then, in Matthew we perhaps find a new creation story…
Art depicting the dove descending on the disciples on the day of Pentecost

What Does This Mean?

The way the Holy Spirit moves among us can be perplexing and sometimes elicits skepticism; it is hard for us to believe that God is so generous with God’s Spirit.
Art depicting the Ascension of Christ.

Aldersgate

John Wesley went to a Moravian group meeting “reluctantly,” feeling like he had failed - and the Spirit warmed his heart and empowered him to launch the Methodist movement.
Paper cut-outs with Truth and question marks written on them.

Give Me Your Hand

Methodism is both intellectual and emotional, a balance of head and heart. A rigorous exchange of opinions is good, as long as we manage to do so with grace and…
The word Love written in the sand by the sea shore.

It’s A Both/And …

Methodism is a balance of personal holiness and social holiness, not either/or, but both/and.
Sheep following a shepherd.

The Way of Salvation

The grace of God - preventing, justifying, sanctifying, and perfecting - is the source of our salvation, all along the way.
Photo of dogwood branches in full bloom.

Emmaus Days

During  “Emmaus Days” all of us can get a glimpse of who Jesus really is. The slower pace of life can increase our awareness of God.
Painting of the wounded hands of Christ.

Easter Evening

Doubt is not the opposite of faith; the opposite of faith is certainty. Having and expressing doubt is a healthy way to deepen one’s faith.
Young girl looking through a window.

Fear and Great Joy

Easter is scary, and joyous at the same time; resurrection is more than a feel-good metaphorical concept – it changes us.
Man and woman with hands pressed against a glass barrier.

Triumph

When Jesus enters Jerusalem one final time, it is in “triumph,” but not as the crowds perceive it. How does Jesus re-create the human concept of victory.
Photo of light streaming through a dark forest.

How Do We Fit In?

The UMC is experiencing a shift, and in many ways is serving as a case study for how NOT to negotiate it. We can do better - we can live…
Iconic image of the Woman at the Well

Where Is It Going?

The "compartments" in which we have placed ourselves are artificial. The divisions among various expressions of church are deteriorating, and a new eclectic theology is emerging.
Photo of dandelion seed blowing in the wind.

Where Did It Come From?

Reform happens in cycles, and all this has happened before. This season is really just a part of the natural seasonal life of the church.
Sunrise, the dawn of a new day.

Waiting for Morning

If we gloss over the pain and jump too quickly for the redemption, we are going to miss the point...we're going to miss God.
Desert River painting by Peter Praisey

What Is Happening?

This season in the church feels unsettled, uncertain - it is a time of reform where we are examining assumptions and thinking differently about what church really is. And that's…
Photo of wooden cross wrapped in purple.

New Again: What Is Happening

In the season of Lent, we want to take a genuine, honest, prayerful look at our lives, and the life of the church. It may be uncomfortable, but that's OK;…
Photo of an alarm clock sitting on a beach with the sun rising.

Just Be

Do ever feel like there’s not enough time in your day to get everything done? Does the pace of your personal or public life leave you stressed? Discover a slower…
Photo of hands holding a paper cutout of the word Hope.

Still I Rise

God gives strength to those who are weak, lifting up the oppressed, and giving victory to those who trust in God.
Photo of the light dawning over the outline of Earth in space.

What Other Gods?

What does it mean for our hearts to turn away? What does it mean to be led astray, to bow down to other gods and serve them? Bowing down to…
Children walking down a road.

A Brave and Startling Truth

Human beings are “neither devils nor divines” in the scope of God’s glorious creation; our insignificance compared to the infinite space of God’s creative power is (ironically) empowering. Please read…
Man seated outdoors facing a beautiful sunset.

Humanity, Humility, and Hope

The Season of Lent can be a refreshing time of discovery. It's a time to step out of the fog of routine, take a deep breath, and make a change…
Byzantine mosaic of Christ.

Touched By An Angel

To discover and realize that you are loved by God is the most liberating, affirming experience one can have.
Photo of child holding an adults hand.

God’s Expectations

How often do we ponder God's expectations of us? Does that feel risky? And let’s face it, you never know what God might ask of us. Maybe it’s better to…
Black and white photo of caged bird.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Can we hear the caged bird sing? And having heard the cry, do we know why? The church of Jesus Christ must learn how to recognize the structures that are…
Kids lining up to pick teams.

Picking Teams

To be part of something that matters, to be included, to be part of a team, a family, a neighborhood, to feel cared for, loved and supported…this isn’t just kid…
Photo of river flowing past a rock and a tree.

On the Pulse of the Morning

Our connectedness to God, to the earth, and to one another, is a source of hope and assurance. It's what we seek as we head toward the horizon.
Helping hand reaching down to another hand.

Out of the Mud and Mire

If our lives have gotten away from us, if we’re not living in a healthy way, body, mind and spirit, a pit might be the safest spot. But, it is…
Image of water splashing, representing baptism.

Reboot the System

Baptism initiates and incorporates us as the Body of Christ; when we renew our baptismal vows we are re-incorporated, the body is renewed.
Artwork of Jesus' baptism with the Holy Spirit descending as a dove.

Close Encounters of the Holy Kind

Close encounters, of the holy kind, occur regularly. Described by some as 'thin places;' sometimes we notice; more often we don’t. Life is like that, holy moments, come and gone.…
photo of a foggy morning meadow with bare tree in the foreground

The Fourth Gift

There was a fourth gift brought by the Wise Men at Jesus' birth that's even more important than the gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Artwork of the flight from Egypt.

The Rest of the Christmas Story

The Christmas story doesn't end on December 26. There's so much more to learn from what happens immediately after the birth of Christ.
Art depicting Isaiah the prophet.

And On Earth, Peace

The birth of Jesus is the inauguration of a reign of endless peace. It is not a culmination; it is a beginning, the beginning of the reign of the Prince…
The Nativity; artwork by Gari Melchens.

Emmanuel

Jesus is the embodiment of peace, “God with us.” Within the startling simplicity of a sign, the birth of a child, we get the Prince of Peace.
Art depicting a shepherd with sheep at night.

Do Not Be Afraid

God entered this world as a baby, grew up in a family, and worked as a carpenter. God knows what it is to be human. God knows what you need.…
Photo of Santa with head in his hands, clearly stressed.

Weak Hands, Feeble Knees, and Fearful Hearts

God's peace is embodied, physical, and something we can feel. It's not just spiritual reality.
Child making a snow angel in the snow.

When Souls Magnify the Lord

When souls magnify the Lord, there is clarity, there is purpose, there is joy! How is it with your soul?
Peaceable Kingdom painting by Edward Hicks

Tender Wolves, Tenacious Lambs

The image of tender wolves lying down with tenacious lambs implies both have changed: the wolf has become more gentle and the lamb has become bolder.
Hand dipping fingers in a pool of water.

Remember, And Be Thankful

The Season of Advent is a powerful and sensory time, full of memories and meaning. Where is your heart and mind leading you? Take time to remember, and be thankful.
Spinning wheel with hope and fear as choices.

Swords Into Plowshares

So profound will be the peaceful reign of the coming Messiah that there will be no need for weapons or for learning about war at all.
Image of a man with a fake smile pinned on with clothes pins at each side of his mouth.

Again I Say, Rejoice!

To “rejoice always” is not to live with an artificial happiness or to pretend everything is okay. It is to live with faith in God’s goodness.
A father holds his child close on a windy day.

Be Still, And Know That I Am God

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Always has been, always will be.
Roman statue with laurels around the head.

Press On!

Earthly gains are nothing; we must press on, leave them behind, and actively purse the heavenly call of God.
Photo of shocked person backing off with a 'Not Me' expression.

Not Me

Arrrgh! The Apostle Paul can get pretty angsty when he’s busy, busy, busy setting an example that folks aren’t following. Are you an idler? Not sure? (uh-oh).

Joy Complete

The grace of God not only allows us to see God's vision for what this world should be, it also empowers us to do it, i.e. to act upon that…
Sea gull flying into the sunset.

Children of the Resurrection

When we leave this world, we are not leaving home. We are going home. Heaven could be something of a homecoming.