Sermons

13041435_1159982794033037_1825211134944730220_oOur sermons often give us things to think about throughout the week. We share here to help you reconnect with words that moved you during our services, or to help you connect with the Sunday service if you have to be away on a given weekend.

Never alone in our journey:  “Discipleship is about offering healing and liberation. This is what disciples of Jesus do. They offer healing and liberation. Healing from the things that keep us from living fully as God’s people. Sometimes that may include physical healing, but more often it is spiritual healing. Healing from our own sense of guilt or shame or anger. Healing from hopelessness or despair. Healing from the pain of loneliness.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from June 18, 2017. 

Going into the World:  “The mark of discipleship, it seems, in the eyes of the risen Christ, is not whether or not his disciples sometimes have doubts. Or questions, or wonderments about the life of faith. No, according to the resurrected Jesus, what matters most for his disciples is that they worship, and that they go.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from June 11.

Holy Spirit:  “A fellow pastor I know once said that the Holy Spirit functions almost like our opposite. The Holy Spirits always invites God’s people to the places where we aren’t currently dwelling, invites us into something new or different. And so if we find ourselves chronically angry, fearful, rigid or unforgiving, then the Holy Spirit invites us into a place of God’s peace, comfort, forgiveness, and assurance. And, on the other side of the equation, if we find ourselves too comfortable in our lives of faith, if our life of ministry seems rote and uninspired… If we find ourselves closed off to welcoming new people, to speaking different languages, different languages of lifestyle, race, age, wealth or even values… Then the Holy Spirit comes to us like a rushing wind of fire, opening our ears and our lips to speaking and hearing God’s presence in new ways, people and places.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from June 4.

What does Psalm 23 mean today?  “What does it mean for us, who live in a society rampant with consumerism and materialism  …  where the persistent cultural expectation is that success means only the pursuit of wealth, at all costs … what does it mean for us to say and to really mean when we say: ‘The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.’ To say to ourselves: ‘In God, I already have everything I need.’ Pastor Anna’s sermon from May 7.

Walking the Easter Journey:   “And yet, I wonder if today’s gospel is less about Eucharist and more about the fact that it is only after walking the journey, after sharing their struggles, asking questions, and really paying attention to the answers… that the disciples come to recognize the risen Christ in their midst. Perhaps it is simply because these two disciples have taken the time to walk these seven miles with a stranger … to share honestly their struggles, to pay attention to their questions and answers, … and then invite him to stay, to be a stranger no longer, that allows God to be seen. Perhaps in all the ways we walk our journey of faith, sharing our struggles, asking questions, and growing ever deeper in relationship with God and one another … we become witnesses to the resurrection.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from April 30.

Faith: “As a child, I used to hear the story of Thomas as a kind of morality tale. The story of why we need to believe in Jesus without the benefit of proof. Why we need to believe, without necessarily seeing for ourselves, the risen Christ. But now I have come to think that my childhood interpretation of today’s gospel story isn’t the full story. What if, instead of rebuking Thomas for wanting to see in order to believe, Jesus instead says that faith is about believing in a variety of ways.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from April 23, 2017. 

Transformation:  “While it may be difficult to hear about all the disruption, the turmoil that transformation can cause … in ourselves, in our relationships, in the very spheres of our existence. That’s also the profound, amazing thing about transformation. It changes everything. Everything gets turned upside down, rearranged, made new. Our perception of ourselves, other people’s perceptions of us, the very places where we live and work … everything, everyone gets touched by the power Jesus Christ, working in us. When we are transformed in Christ, it is total transformation.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from March 26, 2017.

Faith as a Verb: “We are saved, the world is saved through Jesus, not simply because we believe the right things all of the time … but because we are in an ongoing loving relationship of faith with God and the world, and that relationship is lived out in the world.  God’s love is seen, felt, and experienced every day by people in the world, living their lives, living their faith… Faith becomes embodied, it becomes real, simply by us living it. It’s not solely about what we believe. It is also about how we live.  Faith, pistouh, is both.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from March 12, 2017.

Using our gifts and power:  The life of faith is not simply a matter of believing in the right things, but it is also how we prioritize and live our lives. It’s about how we use our gifts and our power. How we spend our money, what we do with our time, how we live out our relationships with others. All of that is the life of faith too. Do we use our gifts and power for ourselves or for others and the glory of God?” Pastor Anna’s sermon from March 5, 2017.

Making Meaning:  We may not encounter God on a mountaintop in a moment of terrifying transfiguration, but we do encounter God in moments, in people, among the struggles of our daily life. These moments with God may be less dramatic than the transfiguration, but they can be no less terrifying. After all, our lives may be broken, but at least we know the territory. But when we encounter moments of the divine, or when we try to become the people God calls us to be, we will be transformed. Who we thought we were, what we thought our future would be, what we thought we were meant to do… All of it changes in an encounter with God.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Feb. 28, 2017.

Relationships:  “God keeps God’s promises to us, even if those promises are fulfilled in ways that we do not always welcome, expect or recognize. And sometimes, when we intentionally work on our own relationships in our life… When we can peacefully and lovingly work through a tough time with someone, or if we can respectfully bring a relationship that is no longer working to a dignified end … When we can still hold people accountable without attacking their character or their essential humanity … When we can gain insight from hearing another person’s side of the story, without getting defensive or angry … When we reach a point of forgiveness or reconciliation with one who has wronged us, then we get glimpses of what God’s love is like. Pastor Anna’s sermon from Feb. 12, 2017.

A Call to Active, Engaged Discipleship “It is how we live in the world, how we love and care for God’s people, how we help bring about God’s kingdom in the world that makes us disciples, not just the practices through which we do it. So yes, we do have a role to play in this world, in our time and place as people of faith, and it is to make God’s kingdom lived, tasted, seen and felt in this world. Our righteousness is a righteousness of practice and action.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Feb. 5, 2017.

The Nature of Discipleship  “Discipleship is not something we need to earn, it’s who we are. We are already blessed. Our task, as disciples, is to carry that blessedness and show it in the world.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Jan. 29, 2017.

What Makes a Disciple?  “We belong to God, we belong to each other as people of God, and it is that ongoing work that is the work of discipleship. It’s not always easy, it’s not always perfect or straightforward. More often, I would say, the work of discipleship is messy and flawed and sometimes we feel like we are literally making it up as we go along … It is no less discipleship, perhaps it is even more true discipleship, simply because we engage in it, we keep living in relationship with God and other people, difficult as it is.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Jan. 15, 2017. 

God’s Revelation in Great Joy and Generosity: “The truth is, sometimes our lives or our way of thinking and being in the world, are transformed by God, before we are even aware of it. That moment of joy when we are sad, or the feeling of belonging when we are lonely, or of giving when we have plenty or of having a full stomach when we are hungry, …sometimes that reveals God to the world, before or apart from whatever we do religiously.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Jan. 8, 2017.

What Name Does God Know Me By?  “I’d invite each of us, at the start of this New Year, to think about the different names that we bear. What are the names that we are proud of, that we want to keep, that we want the world to know us by? As a hard worker? A loving parent? A generous soul, A faithful person? And what are the names that we know are not who we truly are, or are not what how we wish to be known? As an anxious person? An angry or judgmental person? As someone who is resentful, or unhappy? Some of these names we have control over, others we do not.” A sermon by the Rev. Anna Doherty from Jan. 1, 2017.

Seeing things with a new perspective: “We can read, in John’s call to repentance, a desire to reorient our lives and behavior. To walk the “straight path” towards God.But repentance actually means something even more than simply straightening out our lives, difficult as that itself is. Repentance means more than just acknowledging our sins. The Greek word for repentance, the word that John the Baptist actually uses in today’s gospel lesson from Matthew…is metanoia. Metanoia means to have a new mind, or to suddenly see things from an entirely new perspective.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Dec. 4.

Wearing Christ on our Sleeve:  Isaiah sees a word from God about what God’s kingdom is like: “God shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” The coming of God into the world does not result in fear and devastation. It is, in fact, the coming of God into the world, God’s judgment of the nations, that allows for peace and justice for all people. Pastor Anna’s sermon from Nov. 27, 2016.

Christ the King: “We are called, to lead, as best we can, as Christ leads. With humility, forgiveness, and deep love, as Christ demonstrates through his passion and death on the cross. With a desire for justice for God’s people, and to help create a world where people shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing from the fold of God. I am reminded in this call to share in the kingship of Christ, of our baptismal promises this morning. We are asked at our baptisms, “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?” We promise to do this at our baptisms, with God’s help.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Nov. 20, 2016.

God will Never Leave Us: “In today’s gospel, Jesus gives voice to the painful reality of God’s people. To the loss, the fear, the uncertainty that people experience in their lives. Today’s gospel is not a prophetic description of destruction to come. It is a pastoral response for coping with the painful loss that has already happened, and for coping with the difficult things that may yet happen.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Nov. 13, 2016.

Living in Wholeness: “Fundamentally, as children of God it is less about following the political and social establishment — especially when that establishment serve to disenfranchise and oppress people — and it is more about living in wholeness and nurturing our loving relationships with God and one another as people of God. As Jesus says, God “is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.” All of them are beloved children of God.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Nov. 6, 2016.

The Loss of those we Love:  “We will be reunited with the ones we love, as surely as we are God’s beloved people. Because of this, we do not grieve, as Paul writes, as others do who have no hope. We have hope, we have faith, and we have God’s promise to us that we will dwell together in the presence of God.” Pastor Anna’s sermon from All Soul’s Day, on Nov. 1, 2016.

Active Engagement: “We should all of us, it seems, be so desperate to see Jesus, to live lives transformed by God’s grace, that we too should be climbing trees, and serving others … whether or not other people notice what we do, or even if they are embarrassed by it.vActs of worship are acts of engaging with God and God’s people in love, however we do it. It is not just coming to church, although that is important too. But it might also be serving someone a meal, giving of your financial resources to the work of God, or praying for someone who can’t find the words or the will to do it themselves. ” Pastor Anna’s sermon from Oct. 30.

Admitting our sin, openly and honestly: “We can try to be the best people we can be, but we are still trapped in oppressive, evil, sinful, systems that keep us from living more fully as the people God calls us to be.” Learn about systemic sins like the sin of sexism, or racism, in this sermon by the Rev. Anna Doherty.

Wrestling with God: God is working in the midst of it to bring about life, not death, resurrection, not destruction. And Jesus knows this about God, which is why Jesus prays in the first place. It is a both/and. It is praying for God’s future work, and also praying about our daily longing for God’s justice. Which is really what contending with God is really about. A sermon about prayer, from our priest, the Rev. Anna Doherty.

Caring for each other: We should care for each other, using our wealth to build up communities of compassion. A sermon drawing from the prophet Isaiah and economist Adam Smith, by our priest, the Rev. Anna Doherty.

Jesus crossing boundaries: God is doing good things for us, even as we grieve, even as we step into an unknown future. As people who have been transformed by God, our job is not simply to recognize what God is doing in our midst, but also to proclaim and live out God’s presence in real ways. Like the man healed of his demons, we go forth into the world proclaiming what God does and will continue to do for us. Even as we step into an unknown future.” A sermon by our priest, Anna Doherty.

Forgiveness and gratitude: “And forgiveness is a gift that can so fill us with gratitude that we too, like the woman in today’s gospel, could weep at Jesus’ feet in relief and in love. Forgiveness can inspire such gratitude and love that it not only fills the heart, but also transforms the whole world. The woman is giving thanks to God for the forgiveness she has already experienced. This is what Jesus affirms and honors in her today.” A sermon by our priest, Anna Doherty. Sermon on Forgiveness