Sermons

Texts: Matthew 4:1-11; 5:13-14

Speaker: Amy Huser: Sustainability and Outdoor Education Director at Camp Friedenswald

About a year or so ago I was sitting in the Electric Brew, a coffee shop in Goshen, with Doug Kaufman, the Director of Pastoral Ecology for the Mennonite organization - Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions - talking about climate change - and he brought up the topic of lament as it relates to our work in this area,  “It is very important to lament what is happening to the earth, and lament is a place that the church and pastors can really provide support for people - they know how to handle grief.”  I paused, and then replied, “Pastors are really into lament, aren’t they?  I’d rather talk about hope and action.”  Luckily Doug didn’t get up and leave in offence at my almost impolite comment, although he may have wondered if I am a true Mennonite - speaking in such a blunt manner!

The truth is - at that point I’d developed a pretty strong aversion to the words lament and grief. 

This was partially due to a pretty intense season of grief I went through a...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/20200119sermon.mp3

The first half of the audio is a historical reading of Mennonite Central Committee, and three members briefly telling of the MCC service experiences.  The sermon begins around the 17 minute mark.

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Back in 2004, I had the opportunity to attend the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, Spain.  Along with being happy to just be there, I was especially interested in how these different philosophies and religions would find common ground.  I attended seminars with titles like: “Middle East stories: The significance of the Holy Land in our Sacred Texts,” “A Buddhist-Christian dialogue on responses to environmental violence,” “Interreligious dialogue and non-negotiable dogmas.”  In between seminars there was plenty of time for random conversations with whoever I found sitting or walking next to me, most of them not Christian or American.

One of the things I remember most, now 16 years later, had nothing to do with theological dialogue.  It related to something we all had in common: We all had to eat.  There were plenty of options.  One of them was in a large tent by the conference center.  Every day of the Parliament members of the Sikh...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/20200119sermon.mp3

The first half of the audio is a historical reading of Mennonite Central Committee, and three members briefly telling of the MCC service experiences.  The sermon begins around the 17 minute mark.

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Speaker: Joel Miller

Back in 2004, I had the opportunity to attend the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, Spain.  Along with being happy to just be there, I was especially interested in how these different philosophies and religions would find common ground.  I attended seminars with titles like: “Middle East stories: The significance of the Holy Land in our Sacred Texts,” “A Buddhist-Christian dialogue on responses to environmental violence,” “Interreligious dialogue and non-negotiable dogmas.”  In between seminars there was plenty of time for random conversations with whoever I found sitting or walking next to me, most of them not Christian or American.

One of the things I remember most, now 16 years later, had nothing to do with theological dialogue.  It related to something we all had in common: We all had to eat.  There were plenty of options.  One of them was in a large tent by the conference center.  Every day of the Parliament members...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/20200119sermon.mp3

The first half of the audio is a historical reading of Mennonite Central Committee, and three members briefly telling of the MCC service experiences.  The sermon begins around the 17 minute mark.

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Speaker: Joel Miller

Back in 2004, I had the opportunity to attend the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, Spain.  Along with being happy to just be there, I was especially interested in how these different philosophies and religions would find common ground.  I attended seminars with titles like: “Middle East stories: The significance of the Holy Land in our Sacred Texts,” “A Buddhist-Christian dialogue on responses to environmental violence,” “Interreligious dialogue and non-negotiable dogmas.”  In between seminars there was plenty of time for random conversations with whoever I found sitting or walking next to me, most of them not Christian or American.

One of the things I remember most, now 16 years later, had nothing to do with theological dialogue.  It related to something we all had in common: We all had to eat.  There were plenty of options.  One of them was in a large tent by the conference center.  Every day of the Parliament members...

Texts: Isaiah 42:1-9; Matthew 3:13-17

Speaker: Mark Rupp

I want to start this morning with an excerpt from a poem called “Traditional Values Worldview” by the spoken word artist named Levi the Poet.  In the first half of the poem, we enter the story of a young woman traveling with her father, a sea captain.  She meets a young man on one of their island stops, and here we pick up as the young woman and this new friend head off looking for adventure:

~~~

[You can read and listen to the full poem HERE.  The excerpt during the sermon began about halfway through the poem at the line: "The boy and I met a mystic...".]

~~~

The story of Jesus’ baptism is a bit confounding for those of us who may have grown up with a theology of baptism sunk so deeply into the notion of washing away sin that we have forgotten where the surface really is or what it means to fill our lungs to the brink of overflowing.  Those of us who broke forth from the waters gasping toward a forgiveness that could finally make us good,

enough,

we echo that voice from the wilderness...

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