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 | First fruits and last fruits 

Text: Leviticus 23:9-14;22

Speaker: Joel Miller

Anytime the primary reading of the day comes from Leviticus, you know you’re in for a treat. 

Much of what’s written there doesn’t exactly have direct application for the present day.  Parts of today’s reading are no exception, involving the particularities of priestly duties – an offering of a year-old lamb;, a grain offering measuring two-tenths of an ephah, mixed with oil; a drink offering of wine measuring ¼ of a hin.  They don't teach that in seminary anymore.

But Leviticus is also the source of one of two teachings Jesus cites when asked about the greatest commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Leviticus 19:18.  Upon this teaching, Jesus said, hang all the law and prophets.  With this, Jesus was affirming what other rabbis like the great Hillel, had already taught.  That same chapter goes even further.  Leviticus 19:34 -...

 

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: A Story of Embodiment

Speaker: Sarah Werner

Good morning. It’s nice to be with you all this morning, near and far. It’s also nice to preach to actual humans instead of to the emptiness of my computer screen.

This passage from 1 Kings is one of my favorites in the Bible because it’s one of the relatively few times that God is depicted as walking on the earth. God doesn’t make very many in-person appearances outside of Genesis and Exodus. After the Israelites are done wandering in the wilderness it seems like God isn’t as visibly present to humans. But here is Elijah, having fled to the wilderness after killing the prophets of a rival god, Baal, and Jezebel is hunting for him. He asks God to kill him because he’s as good as dead. But the Word of the Lord...

 

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.

 

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Sermon | The next circle outward

Speaker: Joel Miller

To hear the story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman is to witness a transition in the making. 

One of the pulls for me toward focusing on transitions this summer was personal.  Maybe it had to do with turning 40 a few years ago.  Or maybe it had to do with the realization that our oldest daughters are now closer in proximity to young adulthood than I am – they approaching the front door, me having exited the back door - whenever that was.  Maybe it has to do with an evolving inner sense of time, more aware than ever of how this life I call my own extends back well before my birth through ancestors and geological time, and forward past my own death. 

One of the responses from people I’ve talked...

 

 

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: When the plant talks back

Text: Exodus 3:1-14

Speaker: Joel Miller

 

This past week I stood in this very spot several times, looking around, imagining, remembering….  Mostly to practice not crying.  Not that I mind crying in public, not a problem, it just makes it hard to talk.  Along with the three-month Sabbatical, it’s been a year and a half since I’ve been a part of this here.  So there’s that.  And then there was this hope I had, fantasy really, that this end of summer time, more than “Hey, I’m back”, was going to be a much fuller “Hey, we’re back” – celebrating being on the other side of the biggest challenges of this pandemic.  Which is not the case.  So, there’s that too. 

So here we are, and “here” is many places.  And “we,” by God’s grace, is still...

 

Due to technical difficulties, we do not have the first part of the service recorded. The recording picks up during children's time but as usual, does not include the time for sharing.

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

Gathering in God’s Name

Cultivating beloved community.  This was a worship theme that was born in part out of a hope that by the time we got to the series we would be in the process of returning to in-person worship services.  I suppose that hope has become somewhat of a reality, but I also recognize that this transition has been and continues to be more difficult than we probably would have guessed way back in that long-ago oh-so-naive time period known as just a few months ago. 

Regardless of how far we are into this transition, this worship series has coincided nicely with the start of that transition back to in-person services; however, we should not see them overlapping so much as to...

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