Sermons

Change of Heart

January 30, 2023
Mary Poppins is a prophet like Ezekiel, speaking into the Banks family and specifically to Mr. Banks. She breaks his heart of stone, giving him a heart for love alone.…

Changed for Good

January 23, 2023
In Wicked, there is a difference between being changed for the “better” and changed for “good.” “Better” is the standards of the world, the expectations of the Wizard in this…

Peace Is…God With Us

December 19, 2022
The incarnation brings peace into the world, in flesh and blood. Shalom isn’t a thought or an abstraction, it is an embodied, tangible reality in the world.

Peace is…A Way of Life

December 12, 2022
Shalom is a way of being more than a goal to achieve. Isaiah describes a way made in the wilderness, a way on which travelers are safe from harm. Mary…

Peace Is…Cutting Edge

November 28, 2022
The Peace of Christ is cutting edge. Both swords and plowshares are cutting edges. Swords cut in ways that do harm; plowshares cut in ways that bring life. The shalom…

In the Midst of the City

November 21, 2022
When Christ reigns, we need not fear. We are safe, and no threat can move us. We are able to “be still and know” the sovereignty of God, which sets…

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? Questions of Theodicy

November 14, 2022
Why Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?: Questions of theodicy. There is no good answer, but we can talk about how the church understands evil to function in…

The Next Place: Questions about death and the afterlife

November 7, 2022
Is there a hell? Where is heaven? Where does God live? Why is it necessary to leave “here” when we die? When we read about “hell” in the Bible, at…

Are You There, God?: Questions about the role of spirituality in religion

October 24, 2022
When does a faith journey begin? Is it bad if I don’t pray often? How do I get into the habit of spiritual disciplines? I do not think I feel…

The Word of God: Questions about reading the Bible

October 17, 2022
How can there be such vastly different interpretations of scripture? How can two people, reading the same words, come to different conclusions? How do we discern parables and myths from…

With My Own Eyes

October 10, 2022
Vader’s story is one of contrasts and ultimately of redemption. His mask keeps him alive, but it also hides who he truly is. His final act saves Luke’s life, and…

More Powerful than you can Possibly Imagine

October 3, 2022
Obi-Wan allows Vader to strike him down, which is for him a transition from one part of his life to the next, mystical and powerful part of life - a…

Fear is the Path to the Dark Side

September 26, 2022
Yoda warns the Jedi that fear has no place in their hearts. In Scripture, love eliminates fear - Christ calls his followers to love their neighbor, which makes it impossible…

May the Force Be With You

September 19, 2022
In the Star Wars universe, “The Force” is similar to the Holy Spirit in Christian Theology - penetrating all and binding all together. We are connected to one another by…

Count the Stars

September 12, 2022
The church is a diverse body made of many different parts, and as such those who are members of the body extend a welcome to all. MUMC makes this clear…

Let’s Get Real


Manchester UMC is responding to the movement of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes it seems so unusual that others may question it. But it is a real response to what…
Welcome Home 43

The Elder Brother Joins the Party


Welcome Home Series, The Prodigal Son story, but in this version the elder brother comes to the party too. This story of MUMC is a story of both the prodigal…

Celebrating One Another

August 22, 2022
There is a big difference between “including” people and truly “celebrating” people. When it comes to LGBT+ people, just saying “we include you” is not enough (and not entirely true,…

Interpretations

August 15, 2022
Solomon asks for the ability to discern what is right for the people, for the common good. There are six passage of Scripture most often cited to condemn same-sex relationships,…

Put Away that Malice!

August 10, 2022
This sermon will set-up the possible outcomes of the pending General Conference. We confess the UMC has not always acted like Ephesians 4 tells us to, and hope that this…

Closing the Loop

August 1, 2022
Forgiveness can “close the loop” on unresolved tension or conflict. Joseph’s brothers, even a long time after their reunion, were worried that Joseph would hold a grudge against them. So…

Forgiving Yourself

July 25, 2022
After Jacob was so bad to Esau, taking everything away from him and destroying the family relationships, he had to forgive himself for doing that harm so that the two…

The Humanizing Power of Forgiveness

July 12, 2022
The forgiveness Jesus offers de-escalates the need for revenge, for retribution, for punishment. Jesus reverses the power dynamic in this story by pointing out the mob’s own need for forgiveness,…

Being Forgiven

July 5, 2022
The paralyzed man in this story doesn’t ask for forgiveness but he gets it anyway. When Jesus forgives him, the Pharisees react with disapproval and in response Jesus heals the…

The True Light That Shines

June 27, 2022
Watch Rev. Stephanie Lendt's last sermon at Manchester UMC and learn about the True Light That Shines.

Unity is Worth It

June 20, 2022
One sometimes hears the phrase “unity for unity’s sake.” It is often used as a critique, to indicate that a group with irreconcilable differences need not stay together just for…

Anti-Babel

June 6, 2022
Working by human priorities, according to human agendas, will always result in a confusing, conflicted mess. Working by divine priorities, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, will always result…

Promised Power

May 31, 2022
Jesus promises that his disciples will be “clothed with power” to proclaim the good news to the world. The power of the Spirit was to come, and in the meantime…

The Past is not a Prison

May 26, 2022
Saul encounters the Risen Christ in a dramatic, extraordinary way, very unlike most of the other encounters we’ve looked at. In spite of Saul’s past acts of persecution, the light…

The Long Walk-Along

May 9, 2022
The risen Jesus walks alongside the disciples in their grief and confusion, not trying to fix it. And then he stays present with them as they arrive at Emmaus and…

You Should Eat Something

May 2, 2022
The risen Jesus introduces himself to the fishermen by giving them fishing advice, then cooking some of the fish they caught. This strikes us as a very ordinary thing, an…

Breathing out Peace

April 25, 2022
Following his resurrection, the Bible teaches that Jesus appeared to his followers several times. Explore lessons from one of those encounters and discuss how it should guide the church today.

The Easter Encounter

April 18, 2022
The risen Jesus introduces himself to Mary at the tomb by asking her why she is weeping. He approached her with empathy and a desire to know her, to share…

The Silence of Saturday


Experience a unique Holy Saturday service in the Manchester UMC Historic Chapel, with a message from Rev. Winter Hamilton.

Here, but Not Yet

April 11, 2022
Palm Sunday is the celebration of a divine reign that is both here and not yet here. It is the fulfillment of a promise that has yet to be fully…

Expansive Love is Costly

April 4, 2022
We might rather rush to Easter, getting through the self-reflection of Lent. Nobody wants to watch Jesus walk to Golgotha, carrying the cross; we do not want to deal with…

Clearly A Mess

March 28, 2022
Nothing that we can do ourselves can “fix” the world; “we do not have the power within ourselves to abolish sinful systems.” It seems easier to remain a slave to…

It’s Not Their Job


It is not the job of the people with disabilities to explain disabilities to the able-bodied. It is the responsibility of the people of God to be “all-in” and to…

Kind of Like Jesus

March 14, 2022
Sometimes we want a Gospel that avoids suffering. Jesus offers a rebuke to that kind of thinking, and reminds us that suffering is inherent to living.

Not the Thing

March 7, 2022
The physical healing of the “healing stories” is not the point. People who are able bodied are temporarily able-bodied. Redemption has nothing to do with our physical ability - God’s…

How Far I’ll Go


Moana is Moses, called to go beyond the boundary of slavery, beyond the boundary of the reef, but uncertain as to her worthiness. She is called to lead the people…

He Lives in You


We tend to forget ourselves, to forget who we are. Peter “forgets” who he is when he denies Jesus. When we remember our story, our ancestors, the saints of the…

Dying is Worth Living For

February 15, 2022
Death makes us aware of how precious life is, even the most ordinary and mundane life. Joe’s reaction after playing his dream gig points out the vanity of wishing for…

Remember Me

February 7, 2022
We have to remember our story, to remember our ancestors. If we do not remember our ancestors our story will fade into non-existence. If we do not tell the story…

A Jar Never Empty

January 31, 2022
As a gentile, a woman, and a widow, the “Widow of Zarephath” would have been completely powerless in her context. Yet she is called by God to provide food for…

Anointed

January 24, 2022
As Jesus begins his work, he claims an anointing by the Spirit, connected to the prophecy of Isaiah. To be anointed is to be sent by God, to be consecrated…

The Spirit Chooses

January 18, 2022
After baptism, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to prepare for public ministry. The Spirit prepares us for our work by giving each of us gifts “as…