Sermons

Spiral clock

There’s No Time Like Forever

November 23, 2020
'There's No Time Like Forever' explores the idea that the Kingdom of God is a past, present, and future event; it is both here already and not yet here.
Field of mustard against a backdrop of mountains.

I Just Forgot the Yeast

November 16, 2020
The parable of the yeast demonstrates that the kingdom is about the small things; even small acts of faith make a big difference. And it doesn’t have to be incredibly…
Photo of hands of many people placed on top of each other.

Among You

November 9, 2020
The Kingdom is not a personal possession, but rather among/within the life of the community is where the Kingdom of God exists.
Photo of bricks being layed, one at a time.

God At Work

November 2, 2020
The kingdom is being built by God, not by us. At the same time, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do the work of the kingdom. We allow God to build…
Photo of Manchester UMC's building in the fall.

Entirely Sanctified

October 26, 2020
The ONLY limitation to this congregation’s potential is the extent to which we can envision the future God has in store for us.
Sidewalk chalk art with a smiley face and the word Pause underneath.

Let the Light Shine

October 19, 2020
Being “children of light and children of the day” means we in a different relationship with others and the world…where we welcome the outcast and tear down the supposed hierarchies…
Illustration of the word 'Why' in printer block type.

Why We Do What We Do

October 12, 2020
Paul and Silas were not only “doing the right thing” they were doing it “for the right reason.”
Photo of early bible open to Thessalonians.

Turning the World Upside Down

October 5, 2020
The mission of the church can really raise a ruckus, and working together on a mission like that creates a deep and affectionate relationship.
Photo of a river running through the forest over rocky terrain.

The River

September 28, 2020
Water appears throughout scripture as a source of life, renewal, and promise. "Everything will live where the river goes."
Young woman practicing breathing in a yoga position.

The Air

September 21, 2020
Wind (air) is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, a life-giving presence that moves within, among, and around us. 
A hand grasping loose soil.

The Land

September 14, 2020
The first man is named Adam to emphasize humanity’s connection to the land and to the earth, adamah.
Photo of a single older tree with limbs reaching to the sky.

The Forest

September 7, 2020
Humanity is created in community with creation; when God’s creation suffers, we suffer too. Trees are the lungs of creation, making it possible for us to breathe.
Photo of a cross with a sunset in the background.

LOVE Is A 4-Letter Word

September 2, 2020
What can we do to make a difference in times like these? Maybe we should not waste time bothering whether we love our neighbor, and act as if we did.
Artist rendition of Queen Esther.

Esther Saved


When Esther risks her own life to approach the king, she was doing so in order to save the Jewish community in the nation of Persia. The story highlights God’s…
Painting of what Huldah may have looked like.

Huldah Spoke

August 17, 2020
When Huldah declared her prophecy, she was speaking on behalf of God, expressing God’s anger at the unfaithfulness of the people. She called the people to remember because the nation…
Art depicting the celebration of the Israelites.

Miriam Sang

August 10, 2020
When Miriam sang on the “other side” of the Red Sea, she was leading the nation in an expression of joy and gratitude for God’s faithfulness.
Photo of a winding road with a single person walking.

Sarah Laughed


When Sarah laughed at God’s announcement that she would have a child, she was expressing skepticism that God could do what God promised to do. Turns out God could.
Painting of a farmer sowing see by hand.

The Good Soil

July 27, 2020
The Word of God is present everywhere in the world; it has been “sown” like seed. The Word of God always finds a way to grow, in spite of any…
Photo of a sheep.

The Good Shepherd

July 20, 2020
The parable of “The Good Shepherd” is about knowing God, and being known by God. There is a deep, authentic relationship.
Photo of workers in a vineyard

The Good Wage

July 13, 2020
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

July 6, 2020
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

June 29, 2020
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

June 22, 2020
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

June 15, 2020
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

June 8, 2020
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?

June 2, 2020
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

May 25, 2020
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

May 18, 2020
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 …

May 11, 2020
Methodism is a balance of personal holiness and social holiness, not either/or, but both/and.
Sheep following a shepherd.

The Way of Salvation

May 4, 2020
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

April 27, 2020
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

April 20, 2020
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

April 13, 2020
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

April 6, 2020
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?

March 30, 2020
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?

March 24, 2020
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?

March 16, 2020
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

March 9, 2020
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?

March 5, 2020
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

February 25, 2020
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

February 20, 2020
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

February 10, 2020
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

February 3, 2020
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

January 27, 2020
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

January 21, 2020
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.