Messages


September 25, 2022—Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Everyday People” It never ceases to amaze me to see the ordinary people God used in the Bible. From cover to cover, the Bible has shown us ordinary men and…

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September 18, 2022—Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Storytime with Pastor Jeff, Part 3: “The Shoe Man” I believe that we have a lot to offer people. As Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, we are called—actually, commanded—to love…

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September 11, 2022—Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Storytime with Pastor Jeff, Part 2: “Soul Nudge” We are living in an upside down world right now. We may be tempted to return hatefulness with hate. To retaliate. To…

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September 4, 2022—Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Storytime with Pastor Jeff, Part 1: “His Name Was Bill…” Today, we begin the first of three Sunday’s which I’m calling “Story Time with Pastor Jeff,” where I will share…

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August 28, 2022—Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

“A Fish Tale” As we write our own fish stories—like Jonah—can only bring a rich catch to God if we speak God’s Word to others; if we speak a word…

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August 21, 2022—Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Let the Healing Begin” Reading this healing story, our tendency is to side with Jesus and the woman and the crowds, and against Jesus’ opponents, even to be glad about…

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August 14, 2022—Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“If We Are the Body of Christ, Which Part Are You?” Separateness is an illusion. We are all part of one Creation. We are all beloved—those we like and those…

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August 7, 2022—Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Humility,  Forgiveness and Love” Today, we welcome Ruling Elder Beth Doebereiner to our pulpit. As a member of Montgomery Presbyterian Church, she serves as treasurer and just completed six years…

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July 31, 2022—Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Trouble Sleeping” Are we having trouble sleeping? Perhaps it’s time to stop kidding ourselves, others, and—especially—God. Perhaps it’s time to open ourselves up to the possibility that God is calling…

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July 24, 2022—Christmas in July

“Celebrating Christ(mas)” Why celebrate Christmas in July? Well, it seems to me that Jesus is with us every minute of every day, not just in December, when we traditionally have…

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July 17, 2022—Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Knowing the Difference” Some parts of life are temporary. Some are eternal. Wisdom knows the difference. If we want to have any kind of meaningful relationship with God; if we…

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Artist: He Qi
July 10, 2022—Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“New Neighbor” We’re quite familiar with the traditional boiling down of the Parable of the Good Samaritan’s message to an example story: “We should help everyone, everyone is our neighbor.”…

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July 3, 2022—Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Citizenship” This morning we welcome Rev. Dr. Erwin Goedicke to our pulpit. Erwin was pastor of North Presbyterian Church for almost 34 years before he retired last July and he…

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June 26, 2022—Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“No wHere? Now Here.” This morning, we welcome Lisa Allgood back to our pulpit. Lisa is the General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Cincinnati, and great supporter of our church!…

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June 19, 2022—Fathers’ Day, Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Akedah (The Binding of Isaac)” Today’s sermon, takes a different look at what we believe is a familiar story—important in all three “Abrahamic” faiths (Islam, Judaism and Christianity)—asking: “What If?”…

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June 12, 2022—Trinity Sunday

“Who Is God?” One in Three—Three in One. When we encounter God, we encounter all three, whether we realize it or not. This is the mystery of God, and that…

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June 5, 2022—The Day of Pentecost

“Forgotten God” Today is Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit is on full display for all to see, and fills the disciples, who’ve now become apostles—learners who’ve now become messengers—we  should…

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May 29, 2022—The Ascension of Our Lord

Guest Preacher: Rev. Beth Anne Crego, Westwood United Methodist Church The disciples and others throughout the millennia have done their jobs; so, how will others get to know God’s saving…

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May 22, 2022—Sixth Sunday of Easter

“Becoming the Beloved Community” God wants to use us. It’s often through a simple invitation, and a warm, sincere welcome, showing genuine interest in the person or people that find…

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May 15, 2022—Fifth Sunday of Easter

“How Wide Is Wide?” As the old hymn goes, that there’s a wideness in God’s mercy. But I ask you: What about us? How wide is wide?  Is it as…

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May 8, 2022—Fourth Sunday of Easter, Mother’s Day

“All the Way” Gospel Reading: John 21:1-19—Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples 1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself…

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May 1, 2022—Third Sunday of Easter

“Unlocking Doors” If we have an ounce of understanding, an iota of conscience, if we’re honest with ourselves, and with God, don’t we long for something more? Something better than…

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April 24, 2022—Second Sunday of Easter

“He is Risen Indeed!” In the economy of the Christian faith Jesus’ resurrection and ours are the obverse and reverse side of the same gospel coin. He is “the first fruits…

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April 17, 2022—EASTER, Celebrating Our Lord’s Resurrection

“The Wisdom of Easter” Perhaps, this Easter, we could we let our reflection on the meaning of Easter be introspective and allow it to change us. We could allow our…

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April 14, 2022—Maundy Thursday

“A New Commandment” Maundy Thursday is an annual reminder that God’s ways aren’t our ways. Though difficult to acknowledge the reality is that humans tend to believe that life is…

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April 10, 2022—PALM SUNDAY

“OUR Story” We gather on Palm Sunday to once again tell the story of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, marking the beginning of Holy Week. So—let us tell the story…

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April 3, 2022—The Fifth Sunday of Lent

“Perfect Scents” Jesus sees the beauty of Mary’s gesture of love, and Jesus tells us that God’s greatest gesture of love is coming. It’s coming on the cross of Good…

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March 27, 2022—The Fourth Sunday of Lent

“Prodigal” This parable is about the Loving and Prodigal Father, one who refuses to give up on his children, no matter how lost they may be, no matter how far…

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March 20, 2022—The Third Sunday of Lent

“What’s Fair?” Good and bad things happen all the time to good and bad people alike. The notion that bad things only happen only to bad people was put to…

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March 13, 2022—Second Sunday of Lent

“Desires” In our gospel reading, Jesus laments over Jerusalem, what might have been. How do respond? That’s not a rhetorical question. Are we willing to follow Jesus, to pick up…

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March 6, 2022—The First Sunday of Lent

“The Uneasy Burden” Today’s sermon includes the story “The Burden of the Crucifix: What the Sweetbrier Pastor Did Instead of Writing Lenten Sermons.” It was written by James Calvin Schaap,…

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February 27, 2022—Transfiguration Sunday

“Metamorphosis” The Oxford Dictionary defines transfiguration as “a transformation; a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural…

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February 20, 2022—Seventh Sunday of Epiphany

“Deep Water” People say that the net full of fish is the miracle of this story, but I don’t know. I think the real miracle of this story is that…

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February 13, 2022—SCOUT SUNDAY

“Duty to God” Scouting has been part of the history of Westwood First since 1923 (yep, that’s 99 years)! We are proud of that tradition, and welcome Cubs, Scouts and…

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February 6, 2022—Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

“Afflicted” My preaching professor in seminary told our class something that most preachers have known for a long time. Which is that in our preaching we’re to comfort the afflicted,…

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January 30, 2022—Fourth Sunday After Epiphany

“Perspective” Despite all that’s been said, and all that’s written, all that been passed on to us, it’s easy to forget, as writer/theologian George MacDonald once wrote, that “affliction is…

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January 23, 2022—Third Sunday After Epiphany

There was no service this week because of technical issues.

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January 16, 2022—Second Sunday of Epiphany

“The Good Wine” Hey, here’s a crazy thought: Is it an accident that we worship together—be it in-person or virtually—on Sunday? Talking about a miracle happening on the third day,…

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January 9, 2022—The Baptism of our Lord

“Now What?” It seems to me that what Jesus’ baptism meant to Him was that when He found himself in trouble, He would never find himself alone. It meant that…

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He Qi, The Magi
January 2, 2022—Epiphany Sunday

As we well know – the story did not end in Bethlehem. The child would grow and become strong, filled with wisdom – the favor of God upon him. The…

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December 26, 2021—The First Sunday of Christmas

First Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-17 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a…

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December 24, 2021—Christmas Eve

First Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-55 39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and…

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December 19, 2021—Fourth Sunday of Advent

“A Father’s Love” Christmas is a time to remember God’s love born in human flesh, and we are to express his unconditional love to others, becoming examples of God’s love…

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December 12, 2021—The Third Sunday of Advent

“Rejoice!” It may well seem that focusing our attention on the waiting for what is coming, but is—as yet—not here, might be futile; a waste of time, a cause for…

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December 5, 2021—The Second Sunday of Advent

“The Way It’s Supposed to Be ” John preached repentance. We, too, need need to acknowledge, and accept, the fact that we’re sinners, and that we need to repent. We…

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November 28, 2021—The First Sunday of Advent

“With the World Enough” In the Jesus of Crib and Cross, God comes to be with us, and for us, that we may taste and see how good God truly…

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November 21, 2021—Christ the King Sunday

“With The World Enough” We are enough. A simple enough message, yet so important that God sent Jesus to bear that message in his flesh and blood. Simple, profound, compelling.…

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November 14, 2021—33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Fear” For many people fear remains an all-pervasive, all too vivid, reality. It shapes their behavior by day, and molds their dreams by night. It effects how they think. It…

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November 7, 2021—32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Widow’s Mite Redux” Jesus was intentionally highlighting the widow’s gift in the Temple as an illustration of just how messed up Jerusalem was—how corrupt the religious system was in…

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October 31, 2021—All Saints’ Sunday

“Remember. Decide.” We’re called to choose this day, the same way that Joshua called the people of Israel to choose. But while the choices are pretty much the same, the…

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October 17, 2021—The 140th Anniversary of Westwood First Presbyterian Church

“Does the World Need the Church?” Does the world need the church? Does Westwood need Westwood First Presbyterian Church? I believe that it does, but not as we are. Certainly…

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October 10, 2021—Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“All In” When it comes to our wealth and our possessions, it’s all about our attitude—our priorities—and it boils down to two things: First, that stewardship isn’t just about giving.…

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October 3, 2021—World Communion Sunday

“Celebrating Jesus” God has made us family. God’s family. A family that stretches around the world. A family that’s been called to love as we’ve been loved; to know as…

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September 26, 2021—Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Costly Grace Do we see the irony in the fact that the one who ended up mutilated for sin was Jesus himself? The irony that the one who said cut…

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September 19, 2021—Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Defining Greatness” Greatness in God’s eyes is found in our willingness to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus Christ; to receive, accept—and truly welcome—those we’d normally consider unreceivable, unacceptable,…

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September 12, 2021 Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We Remember… On September 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people lost their lives. At 8:46am, American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, and at 9:03am,…

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September 5, 2021—Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“We’ve Got Work To Do” Christians have good reason to celebrate Labor Day, and in light of our understanding of vocation it can be an occasion to thank God for…

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August 29, 2021—Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

“A Time For Perspective” Solomon—the Teacher (and presumed by some to be author of Ecclesiastes)—for all his wisdom did not have all the answers. Nor do we. We’re far too…

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August 22, 2021—Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Senior Sunday

“Even To Our Old Age…” The enemy wants you to believe that you’re rejected and useless. But God speaks a better word over your life:  “Even to your old age…

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August 15, 2021—Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Strange Blessings” We live in a world of swords. Some in our wallets. Some in our hearts. And some in the words that come from our mouths. The divisions among…

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August 8, 2021—Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Livin’ the Dream” While it’s not easy being a dreamer in this world with all its harsh realities, this is the dream to which we must become committed. It is,…

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July 25, 2021—Christmas in July

“Christmas in July?” Why in the world would we celebrate Christmas in July? Let me say it this way: Our celebration of worship this Sunday, much like the one we…

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July 18, 2021—Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Nature of Grace” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is quoted as saying that, “It is the nature of grace always to fill spaces which have been empty.” That’s what grace…

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July 11, 2021—Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Go and Tell” This morning’s sermon is being delivered by Lisa Allgood, the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Cincinnati. First Scripture Reading: Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you?…

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July 4, 2021—Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“IN-dependence Day” Our guest preacher this morning is the Rev. Jerry Grigsby. First Reading: Jeremiah 28:5-9—Sign of a True Prophet 5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in…

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June 27, 2021—Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Just Believe” Jesus’ power to heal and raise the dead is —I believe—at the very heart of the gospel itself. The power of God’s inexpressible love for us, capable of…

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June 20, 2021—Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Father’s Day

“In the Midst of Giants” If our children are to stand confident in the midst of giants, then we ought to tell them about the God with whom nothing is…

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June 13, 2021—Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Dangerous Hope” “Hope is the only thing more powerful than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous.” That is what the Kingdom of God, to…

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June 6, 2021—Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Signs” Watching for signs from God are an important part of process of discernment. We’re to be still and know that God is God—that the Lord is God indeed. So…

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May 30, 2021—Trinity Sunday

“God’s Side” As Christians How can we not do everything in our power to help make that God’s new reality possible? A reality where countries “will beat their swords into…

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May 23, 2021—Pentecost Sunday

“Straight Talk” We—the Church—are a Pentecost church. We have been—and always will be—a Pentecost church. We are a fellowship—a family—with different backgrounds, different life experiences. We have different levels of…

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May 16, 2021—The Ascension of Jesus

“Okay, Get to Work!” We live in what’s called the “between time,” the time between the Resurrection and Jesus’ return. There’s a tension there as we wait, because we don’t…

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May 9, 2021—Mother’s Day, Sixth Sunday of Easter

“God Is the Name for Mother…” Even though a woman may forget her nursing child or show no compassion for the child, God will never forget us. Never. Ever. If…

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May 2, 2021—Fifth Sunday of Easter

“Abide in Love” Jesus says, we must abide in him. What does this mean? Well, three things: “remain,” “stay,” and “wait”—that is, mutual connection, dependence and continuance. What this all…

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April 25, 2021—Fourth Sunday of Easter

“Grateful Center” Our faith gives us our identity and reminds us that God’s faithfulness in providing a home for us, is constant and sure, even when human faithfulness to God…

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April 18, 2021—Third Sunday of Easter

“Emmaus Road(s)” Jesus Christ is alive—as alive today as he was when he walked the road with Cleopas and his companion. He wants to walk our roads, too. With him…

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April 11, 2021—Second Sunday of Easter

“Living As We Believe” The key truth of Easter is that Jesus is risen—that He is alive. This ought to make a difference in our lives, most especially as we…

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April 4, 2021—Easter Sunday

“Cliffhanger” The silence at the end of Mark’s gospel waits to be filled in by every generation. It’s waiting now for us. Can we do it? Can we tell the…

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April 2, 2021—Good Friday

“We Knew…” The journey we’re on began in Advent and if we’ve been paying attention, we knew where it was headed. There was no doubt that the place Jesus was…

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April 1, 2001—Maundy (Holy) Thursday

“More Than We Think…” Jesus commands them to love one another. He says: this is what you know, that God is love. We know that we will be able to…

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March 28, 2021—Palm Sunday

“Save Us!” God answers our cries of “hosanna,” ”save us,” in ways so utterly and incredibly unexpected, that we have to wonder if they can possibly be true. But they…

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March 21, 2021—Fifth Sunday of Lent

“It’s That Simple” We struggle to comprehend the scope, the dimensions, the scale of God’s love—the depths, breadths, and heights of that love—the lengths to which God has gone in…

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March 14, 2021—Fourth Sunday of Lent

“Look Up and Live” Like the snakes of long ago, sin and its consequences—in a word, death—remain. But we too have a way to survive the bite of sin and…

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March 7, 2021—Third Sunday of Lent

“The True Temple” God’s house is, first and foremost, a house of prayer, but the building itself must never be our sole focus. It should never become a hinderance to…

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February 28, 2021—Second Sunday of Lent

“As If” We must forever move forward in faith, despite our doubts and fears—that is the path of true discipleship. It’s hard to trust. No one wants a cross. But…

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February 21, 2021—The First Sunday of Lent

“A Dangerous Place” “The wilderness is a dangerous place. You only go there if you have to.” Mark’s Gospel account of Jesus’ temptations doesn’t provide many details. But the few details…

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February 17, 2021—Ash Wednesday

The Lenten journey begins… Scripture Reading: Psalm 51 The quintessential Lenten Psalm. David knew what he’d done. He knew the depth and breadth of his sin. But he also knew…

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February 14, 2021—The Transfiguration of the Lord

“Divine Encounters” At the top of the mountain of transfiguration, Jesus shows the disciples the glorious nature of the Christ. And it seems to me that it might be impossible…

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February 7, 2021—The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Our Father’s Business” The picture of the boy Jesus who lives the life of a normal child obedient, dutiful in his parents care, the foreshadowing of his future teaching in…

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January 31, 2021—The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Possessed” Jesus doesn’t leave us to deal with our demons alone, however we define them. Not when we are beloved and belong, body and soul to God bought at a…

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January 24, 2021—The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“An Urgent Call” God calls each of us by name and in a personal way. And each call is urgent. Scripture Readings: Jonah 1:1-17; Mark 1:14-20 Our readings are once…

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January 17, 2021—The Second Sunday after Epiphany

“Listen!” God calls everyone. At different times and in different places and in different ways, but make no mistake: God calls everyone! Scripture Readings: 1 Samuel 3:1-10; John 1:35-51 Our…

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January 10, 2021—The Baptism of the Lord

“Down to the River” As we go “down to the river to pray, studyin’ about that good ol’ way,” floating down the river of Advent and Christmas toward Lent and…

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January 3, 2021—The Epiphany of the Lord

“The Troubling Star” The light of the Star of Bethlehem reveals a new path, a path back to the world; a source of help; a source of encouragement. Whatever our…

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December 27, 2020—First Sunday of Christmas

“True Story” Joy to the World the Lord is come. It’s true, but not because we sing it, because we say it, or even because we believe it. It’s true…

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December 24, 2020—Christmas Eve

“The Innkeeper’s Story” In the midst of all of the busy-ness of “preparing” for Christmas—is it possible to lose sight of what is truly important? We might want to heed…

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December 20, 2020—Fourth Sunday of Advent

“The Forgotten Man of Christmas” A look at Joseph, Jesus’ adoptive father. His example of righteous is one that we all would do well to follow. Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:18-25…

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December 13, 2020—Third Sunday of Advent

“Changing Everything” When Mary said yes to Gabriel, all of heaven rejoiced and the plan set in motion was one that would cause a new light to shine in the…

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December 6, 2020—Second Sunday of Advent

“Tidings of Comfort and Joy” Words of comfort and a call for repentance as we continue our Advent journey. We do not repent so that we might hear God’s words…

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November 29, 2020—First Sunday of Advent

“Hope is Coming” The Advent Wreath candle we light today is a reminder of the hope that Christmas brings—as we look back at the birth of Jesus Christ and look…

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November 22, 2020—Christ the King Sunday

“Here is OUR King!” Jesus is our King. Duh, of course He is! But what does that mean? Does it change the way we live? How? https://youtu.be/nKYJoqzmfQo Scripture Readings: Revelation…

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November 15, 2020—Fourth Stewardship Sunday

“God’s Economy, Part Four: Future Returns” Today’s sermon is the fourth of four in a series, intended to offer a more comprehensive understanding of Stewardship—something far more than money, pledging…

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November 8, 2020—Third Stewardship Sunday

“God’s Economy, Part 3: Risk Assessment” Today’s sermon is the third of four, which are intended to offer a more comprehensive understanding of Stewardship—something far more than money, pledging and…

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November 1, 2020—All Saint’s Day

“We Do!” Today’s sermon, while not entirely about stewardship, nevertheless engages the theme of God’s hopeful future. Our worship service is highlighted by a celebration of the Sacrament of the…

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October 25, 2020—Second Stewardship Sunday

“God’s Economy, Part Two: Investing in God’s Future” Today’s sermon is the second of four, which are intended to offer a more comprehensive understanding of Stewardship—something far more than money,…

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October 18, 2020—First Stewardship Sunday

“God’s Economy, Part One: What’s God’s?” Today’s sermon is the first of four, which are intended to offer a more comprehensive understanding of Stewardship—something far more than money, pledging and…

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October 11, 2020

“Child-Like” Today’s sermon invites us to look at our faith and asks the question—Is our faith child-ish or child-like?—while looking at specific characteristics of a child-like faith. Scripture Reading: Mark…

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October 4, 2020—World Communion Sunday

“Hard Truths” Today’s sermon looks at the harsh reality and the hard truths about the world, which we will only be able to overcome if we stand united as Christ’s…

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Open Book-Heart
September 27, 2020

“To Will and To Work” God is within us to will and work for his good pleasure. And God’s pleasure is that all people would know him as the loving…

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September 20, 2020

“It Isn’t Fair!” Generosity is the deepest characteristic of the holy and because we’re made in God’s image, our being generous is the secret to our joy. The vineyard in…

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September 13, 2020

“Forging Ahead” Discipleship—following Christ—is about moving forward, becoming more and more the people and the church that God calls us to be. The story of the Exodus, is very much…

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September 6, 2020

“Where Two or Three Are Gathered” Jesus offers a clear blue-print for how we’re to live with one another. How our church might be holy place, where holy relationships will…

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