Service Type: Traditional

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

Called by Name

January 10, 2022
God calls us “by name,” which means that we are known by God. Just as God’s voice calls Jesus a beloved child at the moment of his baptism, so also…

Shepherds Guard and Angels Sing

January 3, 2022
The birth of Jesus is the initiation of the restoration of the remnant. The presence of both shepherds and angels means that the Messiah has come to gather in the…

The Island of Misfit Toys


Watch Nick Reinhardt's sermon on the Island of Misfit Toys.

The Gift of the Magi Revisted


Watch Rev. David Bennet's sermon on the Gift of the Magi Revisited.

A Ruler for the Remnant

December 20, 2021
Micah’s prophecy was early on, before even the Northern Kingdom fell. In the midst of his warnings, he also promises a restoration of the remnant, the lame and afflicted who…

Gathering the Outcast

December 13, 2021
Zephaniah is prophesying before the exile, during the time of King Josiah. He is both warning the people of God’s impending judgement and offering a word of hope that a…

Refiner’s Fire

December 6, 2021
Malachi’s prophecy is post-exile, the temple was rebuilt, the walls of the city rebuilt, yet the people still did not follow God’s ways. In response God promises a messenger who…

Stand Up and Raise Your Heads

November 29, 2021
The Babylonian Exile challenged the faith of the people, who had been promised God’s presence would be with them always, in the land and the temple itself. With all of…

Anticipating What Will Be

November 22, 2021
The next few years in the life of this congregation will be directed by a new strategic plan currently being developed. This plan will take us from here into “Century…

Remembering What Was

November 15, 2021
The past few years have been directed by a strategic plan known simply as the “2021 Plan.” Good work has been done in multiple ministry areas by a wide cross…

Those Who Conquer

November 8, 2021
The saints of the church are those who have come before us and made it possible for us to be where we are now. Though technically the UMC does not…

The Living Bridge

November 1, 2021
Watch Rev. David Bennet talk about the living bridge and Jesus offering us a different view of the world.