Sermons

 

The video above includes the full service, except for the time for sharing.

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained through One License with license A-727859.

Sermon Manuscript | Blessings and woes on the plain

Text: Luke 6:17-26

Speaker: Joel Miller

Being married to a Kansan means that about once a year our family packs up the minivan and heads west to be with our Kansas people.  Being married to a Western Kansan means that after we cross the state line in Kansas City, we’ve still got a solid four a half hours of Kansas ahead of us before we arrive.

When I tell this to people, a regular response is that Kansas is that place they have gone through to get to the mountains.  And while I can’t disagree that the Rocky Mountains are indeed glorious, I usually try to slip in a good word about the beauty of the Great Plains. 

I couldn’t help thinking about plains and mountains and the relationship between them while reading this passage from Luke. 

Mennonites and other folks point to the Sermon on

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The video above includes the full service, except for the time for sharing.

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained through One License with license A-727859.

Sermon | Here I am.  (Don’t) send me. 

Texts: Isaiah 6:1-8; Luke 5:1-11

Speaker: Joel Miller

There’s something compelling about call stories.  These are the experiences that move us to go on and do things we feel we must do, in service to the world. 

I learned early on that pastors are frequently asked to tell their call story.  So when did you feel called to be a pastor?  This is perhaps because, of all people, pastors are expected to know why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Or maybe it’s because most people assume nobody would actually want to be a pastor unless they’re really called.  You know, unless God made them do it. 

My typical answer to this question starts with the time around sixth grade when I was asked to preach a sermon at our little church. Not...

 

The video above includes the full service, except for the time for sharing.

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained through One License with license A-727859.

Sermon Notes "Called for Such a time as this…"
Speaker: Rev. Dr. Renée P Wormack-Keels

 

Good morning and I am so grateful for this opportunity to share with you.
Your Pastor is indeed “gracious” to offer a chance to speak with you.

The primary text that is found in Jeremiah – is often referred to as a “call
narrative.” The second text from Esther is also a familiar text that reports an
explanation for being “chosen” for service. Numerous call narratives throughout
the biblical story.

I am sure that you have had opportunities to study and examine both passages
for their historical and biblical context.

But for our time together, I would like to share some of my reflection on what it
means to be called into service in times like these. These are, indeed, challenging
times. There will always be challenging times.

God is always...

The video above includes the full service, except for the time for sharing.

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained through One License with license A-727859.

Sermon manuscript

Texts: Nehemiah 8:1-10; Luke 4:14-21

Speaker: Joel Miller

“What season are we in now?”  It was an earnest question from the administrative side of the church office, directed at me.

The intent was to discern whether we need a new icon for worship slides, a new word or phrase declaring a theme.  Something to give order to these disordered days. 

“Depends who you ask,” I reply.  “Some liturgical calendars call the whole season between Christmas and Lent Epiphany.  Others just call it Ordinary Time, same as the long stretch in the summer.”   

After further discussion during which we voiced our personal preferences whether to think of this as Epiphany or Ordinary Time, I mentioned that it kind of doesn’t matter since we’ll be going with the lectionary readings week to week without an overall theme. 

It’s one of the perks of being Mennonite.  We get to pick and choose when to emphasize the liturgical...

The video above includes the full service, except for the time for sharing.

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained through One License with license A-727859.

Sermon | Wine and a whip 

Text: John 2:1-12: 13-22

Speaker: Joel Miller

In the second chapter of his gospel, John puts two stories back to back that seemingly don’t have much to do with each other.   

The first is when Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana.  The second is when Jesus clears, or cleanses, the temple in Jerusalem.

None of the other gospels record the water into wine story.  All three of the other gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke include the clearing of the temple.  But they each put it toward the end rather than beginning of the story, right after Jesus enters Jerusalem in his triumphal entry during the final week of his life.  In their telling, this dramatic public act of temple disruption serves to convince the powers that be that Jesus has finally gone too...

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