Rev. Stephanie Allen
July 23, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:24-30,36
“What I do matters. How I tend to my wheat makes a difference. If I let my weeds overtake me and my community, it has an effect. There are consequences if we do not pay attention to these two different aspects of ourselves. How do we relate to the Kingdom of God? How are we connected? This is who we are and what we are about. God came, lived, died, and rose again to save all of us and our world, and that means something, every moment and every day, and when we choose to ignore that, there are consequences. Immediate consequences. We don’t have to wait for them. They’re right here, in our personal lives and on our planet. How do you live with the weeds without being choked out? How do you tend to your wheat?” (sermon audio July 23, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
June 11, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
“Go make disciples of all nations, because these tribal boundaries don’t matter anymore. That is Trinity. It’s outside of our dualistic minds that say it’s either this or that, you’re with me or against me.It recognizes that we are all one, because we are one with God. Through the creation of the world we are all part of that. And maybe rather than trying to understand it, I say it’s the seventh day and you get to rest, to be one with God, to find our place in this order and this rhythm that is made and called good. God created us because God wants us, all unique and all one.” (sermon audio June 11, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
June 4, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 7:37-39
“The world is still thirsty for living water. And guess what folks, we got that! We know there is another way. We are called and sent, through Pentecost, through this Holy Spirit, to go and proclaim that Good News to a thirsty world. Tell the poor there is more than enough in this world. God has given us creation, which provides abundantly for all of us. We don’t have to wait for somebody in charge to tell us to do it. We do it now. Jesus’ death and resurrection reconciles the whole world with God, with each other, and with creation. We have the Good News that death is not the end, that life is not ended, but changed. We have the communion of saints. Our sins have been forgiven. No matter how bad you think it might be, you are still loved. Jesus died for you. You are forgiven and you are free to live a new life. The world needs this Good news, the world that fears death, and hides itself in shame, and can’t move forward. What we have to share is Joy, knowing that we are loved and we are saved, and this Joy is available for everybody. Violence is not the answer and death is not the end. Go forth and tell the world that God loves them, and the Holy Spirit will be there as you do.” (sermon audio June 4, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
May 21, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 14:15-21
“The act of gratitude is a practice. Jesus says, ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.’ What are those commandments? To love God and to love your neighbor. And that sounds so easy to do until some woman cuts me off in the parking lot. I don’t really love her at that moment. In practice, it’s a lot harder to love God and our neighbors. It’s really easy to say God is absent from that moment. It’s really hard to find the places where God is at work. We need to practice it. And if we love God and love our neighbors, we begin to see the world as God sees the world, as a place to be loved and nurtured and cared for, a place where these is abundance for all, which gives us increased capacity to love, to be reconciled with God, with the world, and with each other.” (sermon audio May 21, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
May 14, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 14:1-14
“Stephen reminds us that the Way of Jesus is the way of the cross, which leads to the empty tomb, which is hope, which says that this is not the last word. No matter what we’re going through, no matter what is happening in life, it is God on the cross who has redeemed it all. God has fixed the things that cannot be fixed. God will redeem what is irredeemable. God will provide mercy when we have no more mercy to give. Any solution we come up with generally leads to another unintended consequence. When we’ve done all we can to save ourselves, we cannot, but rather than falling into despair over this, Stephen, and all of us, are called to go to the places where people are suffering and vulnerable, because that is where God is.” (sermon audio May 14, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 30, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35
“This story is about seeing the resurrected Christ through grief. It’s this paradox of being human, that in our moments of sorrow and despair, when we think we’ve lost hope, that suddenly we’re open to the presence of God. Everything else, the distractions, are gone, and our eyes are open to see Jesus in our midst, restoring us, restoring creation. All of this is possible, this community becomes a spiritual friendship, our grief can be transformed, because of Christ’s death and resurrection. It is only God who can make what is wrong right again.” (sermon audio April 30, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 16, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 20:1-18
“It’s a story wherein the love goes both ways. It’s a story of reconciliation. It’s not a hierarchy. It’s not who has more and who has less. It’s a story of the abundance of creation and how we tend it together and share it together. The paradox of the risen Lord is that we’re not fully there yet. We have joys and fears, sorrows and happiness, and we hold those together, knowing that someday it will all be transformed and it will all be revealed to be reconciled.” (sermon audio April 16, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 9, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 26:14-27:66
“We kneel with empty hands; open, accepting, asking. What we receive is the answer to all our prayers, the sacrifice of love that was given for us, not because we’re so great and not because we’re terrible. It was love and nothing else. So I ask you, this week, to sit at the foot of the cross, in front of the tomb, with whatever feeling of loss, whatever pain you’re experiencing, whatever brokenness might be in your life right now. Just sit there with it, because God is there. We can do that for one week, knowing that the savior suffered the same things we suffer, betrayals, loss, pain. Know that you have God with you because you were here with those open hands, ready to receive.” (sermon audio April 9, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 2, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45
“Lazarus’ death is an opportunity for God to be glorified. Lazarus dies, and they are sad, but Mary and Martha place their hope in Jesus. Even as they’re asking ‘Where were you?” When Jesus says ‘What do you think?’ Martha answers ‘ I believe you are the messiah. I believe in the Resurrection. I believe you are the Christ.” Where is your hope? Where do you see God at work, even in the silence? Where does the lens of hope focus you? Where is the Spirit at work in this world? God has not given up yet, and you can be a part of it. That’s our call as we embark on the way of the cross. May it be a way of Spirit and of light for you.” (sermon audio April 2, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 19, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 4:5-42
“This man comes and sits down in front of the Samaritan woman, and tells her everything she ever did, without shame, without blame, without judgment, without even necessarily needing her to learn a lesson from it. Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes we fail, and it can feel broken and unresolved. What do we do with that? We encounter Jesus, who is there to hear our story, and to save us anyway. To say, ‘Through Baptism you are my child. Don’t forget you’re going to come to my table, and you are going to be saved again and again and again. It doesn’t matter what happens. You are mine and I love you. Let go of the pain. Let go of the outrage. Let go of the need to judge. Love each other. Just love each other.'” (sermon audio March 19, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 12, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 3:1-17
“In our Baptismal promises we say that we will proclaim the Gospel, that we will share this truth with the world. Sometimes that means through acts of love, sacrificial love. What are we willing to sacrifice in our own lives in order to alleviate the suffering and the cruelty that exists in the world around us? Sometimes that means asking what it is that we are doing that causes suffering, whether we’re aware of it or not. As much as we might fear it, our sacrifices bring us more joy that we can imagine, because we find out that we can live without those things just fine, and we’ve made the world a better place for other people, but we won’t know until we try it and see.” (sermon audio March 12, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 5, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
“As we enter into this season of penitence and reflection, thinking about these things that have pulled us away from God, Lent is our reset, a chance to reorient ourselves back in the direction God would have us go. We need this time, and we need to do it as a community. We need all the prayers. Satan offered Jesus the whole world to distract him from his focus on God. We should beware of that. The temptations and distractions that pull on us will not be as dramatic as those offered to Jesus, but they do pull us away from our focus on God. ” (sermon audio March 5, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 26, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:1-9
“Somehow God knew we are worthy of it, but we are broken. This world is broken, and left to our own devices, we’ll never get it right. We need something bigger than ourselves, but the people here are worth saving, worth loving. And that is Grace. There’s no other word for it but Grace, that God chose to do this. God said ‘I love these people, and I will die to save them, because these people are worth it.’ And God changed our hearts, and we are to go out into the world and change hearts, until everyone is saved.” (sermon audio February 26, 2017)

 

David Lynch
February 19, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:38-48
“Hate is seeing in other people those features we wish we did not have. If we’re going to love our neighbor as ourselves, we need to love ourselves, which means we need to know what’s in our hearts. That’s what confession is for. What have I done? What do I need to address in my own heart? If we can come to love ourselves, and forgive ourselves, then we are able to love our neighbor and our enemy. ” (sermon audio February 19, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 12, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:21-37
“It’s hard to see someone who disagrees with you as a beloved child of God, to look at everyone we encounter as worthy of love and respect, because that’s how Jesus sees them. We promise to seek and serve Christ in one another. We promise to respect the dignity of person. That means seeing them as fully human, not some other, to be used or set aside. However, we don’t do it alone. The only way we’re able to do any of these things is with God’s help.  ” (sermon audio February 12, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 5, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-20
“If God is concerned with suffering, how am I concerned with suffering? How can I shed light there? Can I let someone else’s light come into my life? Maybe that light can show me something new, about Grace. It requires putting our egos aside to let someone else’s light shine a new vision of the world to us.” (sermon audio February 5, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
January 29, 2017 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
“It’s a message of foolishness, as Saint Paul says. God asks us to be weak, and to show mercy, and to show love, even to people who don’t deserve it, because that’s how Jesus did it. It’s foolishness that the messiah hung out with the poor, people who could do nothing for him, that the messiah used his power to heal the sick, for what did that get him? We proclaim the foolishness of Christ crucified as people of the resurrection, as people who know that’s not the end of the story, that we are saved in our weakness, that by being vulnerable with the world, we are blessed.” (sermon audio January 29, 2017)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 11, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:2-11
“God is with us, and we can look around and find places of transformation, if we open our eyes. What we thought was impossible is happening. That’s what this little pause in Advent is reminding us. Sometimes the thing to do is wait in hopeful expectation that God is at work in our world, and that we are a part of that. Look for moments of joy. Those are indicators that God is at work. The world is being transformed.” (sermon audio December 11, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 4, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 3:1-12
“We all have rules, that we have set up for ourselves, that we have convinced ourselves that if we do these things, we will feel loved. And in the middle of that, John the Baptist points to God, who interrupts those rules and says ‘No. I’m going to come in the form of a tiny baby, a tiny helpless child, and that’s how you’re going to be saved, and there’s nothing you’re going to do to be worthy of it, but that’s what is going to happen.'” (sermon audio December 4, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
November 27, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 24:36-44
“What is your Armor of Light? What is it that helps you turn away from the forces of darkness, that would keep us from God, and allows your light and your love of God to shine through and be shared with everyone you meet? May you have the strength and the power and the vulnerability to wrap yourself in whatever armor you need.” (sermon audio November 27, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
November 20, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 23:33-43
“Our king is not up on a throne, it’s not rules and absolutes, it’s love. The king that we worship is up on a cross surrounded by criminals. He’s a big old loser, and so are we. And that is good news. We have new life and a new way of being. We have been given work to do in this world, to serve God, to share with the world a God of love, of healing and reconciliation, not fear and judgment. May you have the endurance and the patience to tell your story. May you have the strength that you need, that comes not from might and power, but from vulnerability. May you do the work that you have been given to do, to bring healing and reconciliation to God’s world.” (sermon audio November 20, 2016)

 

Rt. Rev. Anne E. Hodges-Copple
November 13, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 21:5-19
“We are a new creation through Jesus, capable of doing the impossible. There is work to do on behalf of the Gospel, and whether we are free or whether we die, we are the Lord’s, and we are called to work, to protect creation, to defend the dignity of every human being, and to seek and serve Christ in all persons. Who dares stand idle?” (sermon audio November 13, 2016)

 

Peter Saros
November 6, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 20:27-38
“Sometimes you say to people ‘Do you want to come to church?’ and they say, ‘The church is full of hypocrites.’ That’s true. Hypocrites know we can be better than what we are. We know we’re messing up but we can really do it. If you’re not a hypocrite you’re saying, ‘This is who I am and this is the only way I can be.” That’s not who we are as Christians. We get crucified, but we can resurrect.” (sermon audio November 6, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 30, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 19:1-10
“What has it been for you? Has it been something instantly transformative, a radical way of seeing the world differently? Or was it something quieter, something already moving in you, something already going on, that made you want to explore more deeply. What is your sycamore tree? May you find it, and may you walk the path with Jesus. ” (sermon audio October 30, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 23, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:9-14
“For all of us, paradoxically, it is in our brokenness, in our moments of hurt, when we realize we broke the rules, that we didn’t do the right thing, that is the opportunity for God to enter into our life, not when we have it all together, not when we have it under control, but when we realize we don’t and we’re not going to. We need this blurring between the sacred and the profane so that we can see God.” (sermon audio October 23, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 16, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:1-8
“Your homework is to find someone in the other six days of your life, who needs connection, who needs to know there is more. Look them in the eye and tell them, ‘Don’t lose heart.’ Take your time. Breathe deeply. Pray without ceasing. Don’t lose heart. Amen.” (sermon audio October 16, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 2, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 17:5-10
“Faith is not something we have. Faith is something we do. It’s not quantifiable in our sense of measurement. It’s like Grace. You don’t have to earn it. It’s freely given. The love of God never ends. The steadfast mercy of the Lord never ceases. Your faith, that grace, that love is there even in those moments when you doubt. Share your story of faith. The world needs to hear the story of resurrection and new life. May you find what you need to share your story.” (sermon audio October 2, 2016)

 

Rev. Nita Byrd
July 3, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-11. 16-20
“We are lambs entering a throng of wolves because our strength lies in Jesus and not in ourselves. We are knit to one another with the love and strength of Jesus. We are called to bring love to the wolves, because wolves need love too. We are lambs, not to be devoured by wolves, but to bring love to a hurting world. We live the gospel not just in our minds, not just by reading it, but with our entire bodies. By living this way, we change our thinking. We have to trust it and step into it, even among wolves. We must have the courage not to return evil for evil, but to overcome evil with good.” (sermon audio July 3, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
May 15, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 14:8-17 (25-27)
“What are those inner values, what creates happiness, what creates peace, character essential, that is essential to a culture? We are all looking for some kind of contentment, some opposite to the spirit of fear. You are apostles. Every one of you here today are being sent out into a world that is very anxious. You have a job to do, not just with your actions, but with your words. You shape reality. The language of God, of Jesus incarnate, who died, resurrected, and is with us, is a language of love. What is your story about God? Where has God shaped your reality? Where has this unconditional love changed you? How will you share your Gospel? How will you speak truth to your world?” (sermon audio May 15, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
May 8, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 10:22-30
“As disciples we are not left alone in the disruptions. As disciples we don’t handle this ourselves. We have the prayers of Jesus and we have the prayers of each other. This is not something we do on our own. We are all singing this campfire song together. We are all praying for each other and holding each other up during these holy disruptions. We are supporting and standing by one another when things don’t go the way we thought they were going to be. We remind each other what is important, where we need to look to see Christ suffering in our midst.” (sermon audio May 8, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 17, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 17:20-26
“The story of resurrection is happening already, with all those people gathered around, eating together, sharing stories of Jesus, making things for one another, tending to the sick, taking care of the children, being a community. That was resurrection already happening. Don’t look for Jesus among the dead. He’s among the living. We ask God to keep us in everlasting life, not someday, but right now. As we gather, eat, share, and love, we look for those people who need our help, who need the work of our hands,  who need our love. Serving others is what makes us disciples. It is our call to follow Jesus. What is the work of your hands that can be used to serve someone else? How will you be Tabitha in this moment of resurrection?” (sermon audio April 17, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 10, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 21:1-19
“This is what it means to be a disciple. We have to throw the net on the other side of the boat. We see the world in a different way. The lens is wider, the perspective is bigger. We are part of something larger than we might comfortably choose for ourselves. Our circles have to be wider. We have to love the people that God loves, which is everybody. In order to love someone, you must have a relationship with them. If you don’t have a relationship with God, you can’t love God. Knowing God is necessary, and so is knowing each other, getting outside our circles, our neighborhoods, our usual way of doing things, so that we can learn from each other, hear each other.” (sermon audio April 10, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 27, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Easter Sunday

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 20, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 22:14-23:56
“Be uncomfortable. Sit with the feeling of what it means to lose everything. We have to wade through the uncomfortable feelings and the sense of “why am I doing this,” in order to get to resurrection. That thing that caught your attention today in the Gospel, write it down, and think about it during the week. Bring your attention back to it. If you do that, if you walk this way, you’ll be different on Sunday. Something will have changed for you in your relationship with God. Walk this way. May you be uncomfortable. And may we look forward to what is to come.” (sermon audio March 20, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 28, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.

Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9
“We are earth creatures, made out of dirt, who walk on Holy ground all the time if you think about it, if God created it. If you think about yourself in that way, you’re going to encounter the world in a particular light. Our understanding of the parable of the fig tree depends on this. What if God is the gardener and the landlord is the world that tells us that our value comes from what we produce. What if, with God’s help, we’re capable of producing compassion, and grace, and the fruits of love, and that’s actually why we’re here in the first place.” (sermon audio February 28, 2016)

 

Rev. David Lynch
February 21, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 13:31-35
“We’re full of trouble. All these voices around us saying we’re not good enough, or we should be doing something that we’re not. We need the comfort of God’s wings enfolding us. But that’s not enough for Jesus. If we are called to follow Jesus, we must also provide that comfort. We have to be strong. We have to be determined, and we have to be vulnerable. Are we brave enough to be vulnerable? Are we strong enough to be vulnerable? To be strong enough, we really need to know ourselves, to believe that we are God’s beloved children, and that we can take that risk to show God’s love to others. We can share God’s love with others. ” (sermon audio February 21, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 14, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:1-13
“Usually our stories of faith come out of moments when we hit the bottom, when things fall apart and the grace of God rains down upon us. If we’re going to tell somebody how we felt God in our hearts and then proclaimed it with our mouths, that’s the story. I was a mess and then God showed up. I’m still a mess, but God is here with me. The other stories are important, the Bible, our understanding of doctrine, the creed, our traditions that have grown out of that house church in the beginning, but it’s also important that we know our story, and it’s very important that we share our story. What is your story, which moments in your life did you feel the power, presence, and grace of the risen Lord? Who can you share that story with, not to convince them, not to change anything, but because someone needs to hear that story, and you need to tell that story. May your story, from here on out, continue to be shaped by God’s never-failing grace and love.” (sermon audio February 14, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 7, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:28-36,[37-43a]
“For us, the harder part is not imagining Jesus is transformed, but getting past our own brokenness to believe that we’re loved by God enough to accept that Grace. We feel like we must do penance or atone to make ourselves worthy. The Transfiguration reminds us that that’s backwards. The gift is freely given. God’s love is for all. There is nothing we do to make that happen. It is not our power at all. It is God’s power. Lent is about what we do in response. How do we respond to that gift?” (sermon audio February 7, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
January 31, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:21-30
“There are going to be times when our sense of the way the world works, our assumptions of how life works and who God is and what God wants, is going to be blown up by someone else’s experience. Can we, rather than throwing them off the cliff, can we be present and listen to that experience. If we think God sees the world as we do, and we encounter someone who has met the world in a different way, can we listen to what they might have to tell us about God? Who are those people that you would like to throw off a cliff? Who would like to throw you off a cliff? When we hear that, when we sense that discomfort, maybe that’s actually a call for repentance. We need to turn away from “that’s how life is, or that’s how the world works,”  and towards “how does Jesus want it to be.” How does it really look for the poor to have good news? What does it look like for captives to be released? What do they mean by the oppressed being free?” (sermon audio January 31, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
January 17, 2016 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 2:1-11
“The work is not complete. We are still called to shine our light into the dark places and say “This is not of God. This is where light needs to come in and heal the brokenness.” And though it is daunting, there is Jesus dancing in the middle of it, showing us the dance moves, showing us our own particular step, where our spiritual gifts serve the world, spreading light into the darkness, taking part in the saving light of God. May you be granted the courage, the wisdom, and the heart to know what light is inside you, and how you may shine it in the darkness, how you may take part in the light of the world, and may you dance as you do it.” (sermon audio January 17, 2016)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 27, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 1:1-18
“If you think about the whole history of time and space, we’re nothing, we’re a blink. And yet at the same time, because of the cosmic Christ, who chose to be born as a little, tiny baby, we are vastly important to God. Every single one of us matters. Everyone here is a child of God, loved and precious and vastly significant to God, with a purpose and a reason for being here. That reason is to look around in the light that has overcome the darkness, and to see each other, and to see God, present within us, and within each other. May you see light in your life, not just at Christmas but all year, and may you see the light of Christ within you and know that you are beloved and precious and chosen, and may you see the light in everyone you meet, so that you may know how you are to love and serve God through others.” (sermon audio December 27, 2015)

 

December 20, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Christmas Pageant

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 13, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 3:7-18
“Sometimes the sin that holds us back the most is the sin of believing that we can do this on our own, of thinking that we don’t need God, that if we work hard enough we can be kind and honest and do the work we’ve been given without needing anyone’s help. We do not save ourselves. We do not bring the kingdom into being. God alone does that. We show up. God does that work. We say yes to it by turning our lives towards serving each other, loving each other, loving God’s children as God loves us, being honest with ourselves and each other. May you find what you need to develop your Advent practice and a new way of being, honest and kind and welcoming to the stranger.” (sermon audio December 13, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
November 15, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 13:1-8
“How do we love our enemies and how do we pray for our enemies, especially at a time like this? We cannot do this alone. We cannot be advent people or incarnation people or Resurrection people on our own. We need God’s help. We are sitting in the dark, waiting for the light. We pray and we act. We alleviate suffering, we acknowledge the effects of poverty and how our way of life affects the rest of the world. We treat each other with humanity and dignity and respect. And it start’s small. It’s not big. It’s not grand. All of us have the ability to do the next right thing, to look for the light, to act as if the light is here, and to point towards the light that is coming.” (sermon audio November 15, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
November 8, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 12:38-44
“Where do I hold back from God? What stops me from giving God my all? I struggle with this. What is God asking me to do? Am I willing to do that? Do I trust God enough to put my whole life in God’s hands? Or am I holding back, just in case. What is it that I’m not willing to give to God? What the woman does, giving her two coins to God in the moment, is a call for us to be present and to see God in this moment. We can only let go when we leave the past and the future in God’s hands.” (sermon audio November 8, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 18, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:35-45
“We need Jesus to be more than a nice guy who gives us some good rules to live by and asks us to do good deeds. Jesus takes our weaknesses and our sins, in order that we might transcend them, to live in mutuality with each other. If Jesus is just a nice guy, we can’t do that. If Jesus is God incarnate who lived and died and rose again, we can do that. We have the opportunity to enter into God’s glory. We’re not just being nice or kind. Everything we do has cosmic significance. We are more than just living and surviving. We are thriving within God’s glory. I think it’s a much more compelling vision of what it means to be alive.” (sermon audio October 18, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 4, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:2-16
“Jesus actually flips the conversation and talks about when humankind was created. Rather than the power differential of first century marriage, Jesus talks about a sense of mutuality. All human beings were created to be in relationship. The heart of who we are and why we are here is for human connection. One of the primary ways we experience God is through relationships with other human beings, even the very messiest relationships.” (sermon audio October 4, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 27, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:38-50
“Jesus is saying something about the things we think are essential. In the kingdom of God, we don’t need them. To participate in the kingdom of God, to have the generosity to give someone a drink of water, you’re going to have to let go of those things, strip them away, and find that you didn’t need them. He always ties healing to forgiving of sins. Healing is body and soul, a restoration and reconnection with God. They are not separate. When you receive that healing and are reconciled to God, then you can do the work of the kingdom of God.” (sermon audio September 27, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 20, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:30-37
“We as Christians live in this kind of cognitive dissonance. We inhabit a particular culture. We live in a particular time and place, but we live knowing that we also live in the kingdom of God, which is here and yet we are waiting for it to come. Sometimes the values of the particular time and place are not the values of the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, security is not what we think it is. The blind see. The deaf hear. So how do we handle this cognitive dissonance? How do we operate in the world as beloved children of God?” (sermon audio September 20, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 13, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 8:27-38
“God became human, suffered, died, and then came to life again. If we are going to attach meaning to our lives through that story, then what we say and do becomes a message of hope. That is our choice, hope or despair, comfort or fear. No one creates this meaning for us. You get to choose your meaning. This is a gift that God has given you. If you choose to tell a resurrection story, then there is hope in this world, and rather than being afraid of suffering and running from it, we can embrace it and work to help it, not just for ourselves, but for everyone we encounter. We are taking part in the larger story in a new way, in a way of hope and not fear. The decisions we make, the stories we tell, and what stems from our actions, is hope and resurrection. What meaning do your stories have? Is there grace for the story to change? Are you OK with the power to change your story?” (sermon audio September 13, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 6, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 7:24-37
“How do we live together as one? How do we reconcile ourselves to God? It starts, I think with our hearts. It starts by bringing those broken pieces of ourselves together, so that we can have ears to hear, so those who have not had a voice may speak, and we can listen to what they are saying. It’s not pretty. We must wrestle and struggle and pray a great deal, and work and fail, but still have hope, to keep working on reconciliation with God and the world. I pray that we all find a way forward, so that we can hold up our identities in lifegiving ways that can be celebrated without harming another tribe, another group, so that we may see the face of God in each other. We are all in this crazy human family together. God is here. God will be present.” (sermon audio September 6, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
August 16, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 6:51-58
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This doesn’t mean fear that God will destroy us if we mess up. It means that there is God and we are not it. It’s recognizing that there’s good and evil, light and dark, that both are created by God and we cannot understand that. It’s not our job to understand it. God understands it.  The bread and wine are the flesh and blood of Christ. How can they be both? Through them we have eternal life, though we die. How is that possible? Some think there’s life now and another life in the future, but maybe they’re at the same time. All we have is this moment. The past is gone. We have no idea what the future is. Maybe that’s what Jesus is talking about when he says eternal life. It’s not letting go of our anxiety about the future. It’s just being present right now. And maybe it is not quite understanding how it all fits together and how it all works, but it’s just being open to the contradictions of the present.  What is it that you need to find to know your wisdom? What paradox do you need to embrace to see the living God in your midst?” (sermon audio August 16, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
August 9, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 6:35,41-51
“May you experience the bread of life, and see God in that homeless woman at McDonald’s. May you be angry at the injustice of this world, and may you be moved by Christ to grace filled action to address it. May you experience the mystery and the mundane that is a living faith, through our belief in Jesus. ” (sermon audio August 9, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
July 26, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 6:1-21
“May you all see all that you have in your life, that you have something to share. May you see that the kingdom of God is at work in what you heart desires and what you love. And may you experience the peace of Jesus as you look through the storms and see Jesus walking towards you, calmly, smoothly, to remind you that the kingdom of God is at work.” (sermon audio July 26, 2015)

 

Rev. Canon Cathie Caimano
July 5, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 6:1-13
“When we let ourselves be cared for by others, when we risk that kind of vulnerability, we realize how much we truly are neighbors, how much we rely on one another every day, and how much we rely on the lifegiving love of God. Even Jesus in the Gospel today is dependent on love in order to bring his power to the people in his hometown. When they are unwilling to receive it, he cannot force them. He just has to move on. This is how much God believes in us.” (sermon audio July 5, 2015)

 

Rev. Ann Burts
June 21, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 4:35-41
“God put more into us than a little bit of faith. God gave us hands and hearts and minds. Minds to come up with solutions (pebbles against a giant, but David shows us it can work) and minds to reason and reject the old fears that divide us. Hearts full of the love of God like the families of those slain in Charleston, who were able to say, just days after the murders, that they could forgive the killers of their loved ones. Hands to put to the task of remaking this corrupted world. Let us stand up to the giants. Let us call them out. Racism. Warfare. Gun violence. Hunger. Poverty. Climate change. Let us begin with prayer like those 9 brothers and sisters in Charleston, and then let us pick up our pebbles and get to work.” (sermon audio June 21, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
June 14, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 4:26-34
“The kingdom is not something we sit back and wait for, it’s happening now in our midst, and we are part of it. In God’s kingdom, our wounds and brokenness help us serve in far better ways than our success. They are invitations to a new way of seeing God. We are all part of this kingdom. We don’t have to be ready. We are already here. We are called. How are you called? What is it that is unique about you, that no one else brings, that you have recognized through the failures and the hurts? God loves you, and you matter. May you find that love. May you know, deep within your soul, God’s kingdom and what you bring to it.” (sermon audio June 14, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
June 7, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 3:20-35
“Where are you in your own spiritual development? What helps you go farther? What tools do you use? What do the stories in the Bible say to you? What resonates with you? What helps you pray? What helps you connect with God? I invite you to take a look, and see where you might be going next.” (sermon audio June 7, 2015)

 

Rev. David Lynch
May 10, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 10:11-8
“The paradigm shift is happening. If we are open to Jesus’ command to “love one another,” if each one of us cares and does what we can, the accumulated effect can be historic. May we be filled with the love of Christ, the joy that comes with it, and bear fruit as we carry out our ministries.” (sermon audio May 10, 2015)

 

Imogen Rhodenhiser
May 3, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 15:1-8
“Jesus is the one who holds it all together. Jesus is the only one who can. But in knowing that, we know that we are not only in relationship with Jesus, but also with each other. And we don’t know it only in moments of crisis or elation. We do it all the time. We say it in the creed. We pray for people every week whom we may never meet, but we believe we are joined through Christ.” (sermon audio May 3, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 26, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 15:9-17
“May you have the courage to live into love, that new way of being, to trust that you have enough, and to lay down whatever it is that is holding you back from that new life. May you trust in the resurrection of Christ to give you hope and courage to live in this transformed world that you are helping to create. May you be good in God’s love, but not safe.” (sermon audio April 26, 2015)

 

Imogen Rhodenhiser
March 15, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 3:14-21
“God will take one serpent and lift it up for the healing of many, and God will take one cross, instrument of torture and execution, and make it the vehicle for the salvation of the world. What has been used to take life, God will use to give it. And if God can use a cross, then can’t God use you, me, all of us? Doesn’t God go further than we ever expect or imagine? I pray that God disturb our comfortable, modest expectations, and grant us the grace to see God’s presence in surprising people and place, and on the days when we are weary and we cannot find God, that even then God will call us back to his Son, so that we might walk in His path in whose love we are formed and in whose image we are made.” (sermon audio March 15, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 8, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 2:13-22
“Stopping, resting, repenting, keeping the Sabbath, listening to God in that silence, leads to compassion. We can truly look at our fellow children of God and know they are doing the best they can. We can love them completely and fully with the compassion of Jesus. All we need to do is to be. We don’t need something from each other. There is no consumer transaction. We just are, in relation to one another, and we are free to love each other. Then we start to see what the kingdom of God will look like, where we can all thrive. There is enough love, compassion, and resources for all of us. The Sabbath is a bridge to the kindom of God.” (sermon audio March 8, 2015)

 

Rev. David Lynch
February 15, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-9
“It’s up to the three who witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus to tell the other nine apostles. It’s up to Elisha to tell the other prophets about the assumption of Elijah. It’s up to us to remove the veil from those from whom the gospel is hidden. Try the Muslim prayer posture. Prostrate yourself and let your head touch the ground. Connect with the earth which God has made for you. Take something ordinary and, with the help of God, make it divine. And then share your experience. We most often recieve God’s truth not in the form of chariots of fire, but in the words of believers whom God has sent to us.  It is up to us to bring the good news of God’s love for his creation to his creation.” (sermon audio February 15, 2015)

 

Imogen Rhodenhiser
February 8, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:29-39
“The good news is happening all around us, but if we only look at the headlines, we may not see it. How can we notice what God is doing in the lives of those around us? Who is God putting into our life, for however fleeting a moment? May we see. May we care to look, that in bearing witness to what God is doing around us, we may find ourselves freed and emboldened to take another by the hand, to lift one another up, and to serve in the name of the one who came not to be served, but to serve.” (sermon audio February 8, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 1, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:21-28
“We think we can keep God out, but God is already there. God knows. God loves us anyway. God will be present with us as we work through the shame, the fear, the pain. But we have to open our eyes to see it. There is a certain level of spiritual maturity we reach when we can start letting God into these unclean places. This allows us to find peace in life, the peace that tells us that God is there. It’s not to say let’s throw out all the boundaries. It’s not to say let’s do whatever we want and God will be there. It’s finding the boundaries that help point us in the direction of God, that show us the way to that perfect peace, that show us how to love each other, how to love God.” (sermon audio February 1, 2015)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
January 18, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 1:43-51
“Listen for God to speak. God does communicate to all of us. God wants to communicate. Do we not hear God because we don’t really try to listen? Have we trained ourselves to hear God as well as we’ve trained ourselves to listen for dropping coins. Listen. When you think you hear God say something, test that word. Is what God is saying to you an expression of the love that was manifest in Jesus? Does it lead you more deeply into the mystery of life and love abundant? Or is it a word of hate, oppression, exploitation? If so, then it’s not from God, because God never speaks that language. Go. Be a Samuel, a Nathaniel, one who listens for God, and then one who answers.” (sermon audio January 18, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
January 11, 2015 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:4-11
“Jesus was baptized because every single one of us is broken. We’ve got stuff we have dealt with and stuff we have not dealt with. Our brokenness brings us pain and sometimes goes out and hurts other people. Through our baptism we have the capacity to look at our brokenness honestly, and not say if they are good or bad, not worry about the shame or the blame, but hold it before God, so that God can do something about it. The brokenness doesn’t just stay. God takes that and does something with it. It can be transformed and used by God for the healing and the reconciliation of the world. That’s why we come here right? To be healed so that we can go back into that crazy, broken, beautiful world and bring that healing to them. Because God loves you too much to let you stay broken, to let any of us stay broken. Jesus’ baptism is an invitation to something new.” (sermon audio January 11, 2015)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 28, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 1:1-18
“Where there is evil, where there is harm done, yet, the darkness does not overcome the light. Everyone is doing the best they can at any given moment. The word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, so small, has cosmic significance. You matter. Doing the best that you can matters. Despite the odds and however hard it may seem, let your light shine. Trust that the darkness will not overcome it. There is grace upon grace.” (sermon audio December 28, 2014)

 

Rev. David Lynch
December 14, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 1:6-8,19-28
“John says emphatically that he is not the messiah, he is not a prophet. We are not the light. Our job is to mirror the light. If we do that, everyone around us will see it, like they could see it in John. Rusty was a quadruple amputee I met at Rex Hospital. He nearly died several times, and yet he ministered to me when I was supposed to be ministering to him. He saw that his life had purpose. He could see the light and share it with everyone around him. I wish for you, this advent, to see the light, and to share it with the people around you.” (sermon audio December 14, 2014)

 

Fred Brown
November 30, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Mark 13:24-37
“Being awake means practicing those habits that ultimately define us. Christians are not defined by our beliefs about God or humanity. We are defined by how we live our lives. It requires practice. We recognize that we are made in the image of God. The world sees God through us. We can reveal God to the world. If we practice doing just that, at all times and in all circumstances, it will become so natural that when the crucial moment is upon us, we will act without hesitation, and, to the untrained observer,  it will seem like a miracle.” (sermon audio November 30, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
November 23, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
“I know that when that next thing comes along, you will be ready. May you be surprised by your prayer life. May you be surprised by where God shows up in your life. May you be surprised by knowing the next right thing to do.” (sermon audio November 23, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 26, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:34-46
“We are called to widen the circle to include people we don’t like, our enemies. That’s what it means to love your neighbors: To pray rather than to react, to invite God into the relationship, to talk, to listen, to let our actions and our choices reflect our love, and when the love is not returned, to learn about forgiveness, because forgiveness is part of this deep, abiding commitment to love.” (sermon audio October 26, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 19, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:15-22
“We are stamped with the image of God. We are God’s coinage. We are God’s likeness. If you are the image and likeness of God, that tells you who you are, where you are going, how to love each other, how to love your neighbor as yourself. And while every coin is the same, bearing the image of the emperor, all of us are unique, and that is our likeness to God. When we come together those unique talents come together to form a whole. ” (sermon audio October 19, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 12, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:1-14
“Holding joy and suffering together, as two sides of the human condition, seeking God’s presence in all situations and looking for God’s face in everyone, knowing that both joy and suffering are there for a reason, we begin to understand, and we begin to find peace. ” (sermon audio October 12, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 5, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:33-46
“The story is not about how much we do wrong, but how the mercy of the Lord is everlasting. God is going to continue to show up, and if we can avoid getting hung up on what we stand to lose, we can expand our whole way of thinking about how we treat the Earth and its resources and the Kingdom of God, so that we too are producing the fruits of the kingdom, which are there for everybody, and which will not be taken away. ” (sermon audio October 5, 2014)

 

Caleb Tabor
September 28, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:21-35
“God became embodied in Jesus to continue teaching and speaking this blessed word to a broken world, and the people’s response, the massive response from the middle class tax collectors and the poor sex workers, was the physical sign of God’s presence. Their inspiration was a sign of the real and active movement of God’s abundant life in our world.” (sermon audio September 28, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 14, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:23-32
“It is in a moment of absolute weakness that the power comes through, that salvation occurs. The Israelites know that they have an army behind them and a wall of water in front of them. Neither is a good choice. But God shows them a possibility that did not exist. God frees them from the Egyptians and offers them a new way forward, because they kept following that pillar of fire. What are the possibilities for you?” (sermon audio September 14, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 7, 2014 – 11:15 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:15-20
“We are trying to walk the way of Jesus. We are seeking the way of peace and compassion. We are living resurrected lives, a new way of being that is not afraid of death, that has nothing to fear from the world. Behold what you are. Become what you see. We are changed. Our community is changed. It is more important to listen with compassion than to be right. If someone is a tax collector or gentile, Jesus does not shun or exclude them, and neither do we. To live that kind of love, the possibilites are endless. What would the world be if we met everyone in genuine compassion as Jesus did?” (sermon audio September 7, 2014)

 

Caleb Tabor
August 17, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 15:10-20,21-28
“Let us seek to find these messages of giving and change, so that our hearts might be led to God and divine goodness in a world that is sick and possessed with ideas of its own destruction. The good message of Jesus here is that we don’t have to live in a world like that. We can have something better, and we are something better. All we have to do is stop defiling ourselves and others, and in light of God’s grace, be a living blessing in the world in ways that really matter. ” (sermon audio August 17, 2014)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
August 10, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
“If you and I would experience God’s saving decisive spiritual power, if you and I would become vessels through which that power can flow to others, then we are in need of constant renewal. Keep the channel clear. Stay in tune with God, and with God’s message. ” (sermon audio August 10, 2014)

 

Rev. Ann Burts
July 27, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:31-33,44-52
“These parables aren’t about plants. They’re also not about ascetics giving up everything and living in a monastary. They’re about us. We are the seeds bursting forth into plants. We are planted here to be what we are, to grow with eagerness, because we are all needed in the kingship of God. Right now. ” (sermon audio July 27, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
July 20, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:24-30,36-43
“The Kingdom of Heaven is the opposite of the Roman Empire under which they were living. Jesus is speaking against life as they knew it, in terms of politics and power. Christ is here to change the world as we know it. What might look like wheat, and goes down deep, with roots intertwined, are weeds, like the systems of power at work in our world that use fear and violence to lift one group of people up and hold another down. How do we discern the right thing to do? Wait, and listen. The reapers, not us, will sort the wheat and the weeds. Our job is to listen for God’s voice, with patience and compassion, seeing everyone as a child of God. ” (sermon audio July 20, 2014)

 

Rev. David Lynch
July 13, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:1-9,18-23
“What do we do that plants seeds? How are we the seed, the instrument through which things work? And how are we the soil? Are we ready to receive that which comes to us? This sounds so good and positive on Sunday morning. but all of life is not that way. There are bad seeds and bad soil. How do you know when it’s the right thing. Maybe the seed was sown years ago, and we completely forgot, but then it comes back to us, and becomes very important in our lives.” (sermon audio July 13, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
July 6, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:16-19,25-30
“A yoke is still a yoke, easy as it may be. Conscientious objection usually has a price to be paid. In Vietnam, the Quakers were sent to be firefighters, minesweepers, or other dangerous occupations that do not involve killing in war. Our burden may become lighter, but then we might recieve new burdens, because we see life in a new way, because we are following Christ. The yoke is easy, but still a yoke.” (sermon audio July 6, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
June 29, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:40-42
“Maybe it means following like Abraham did, not knowing where this is going, but somehow trusting, because Jesus said you’re not going to lose a thing. What is it that keeps you from living this way? What is it you feel you need to hold on to, that you’re afraid to let go of, the one thing no one should ever be asked to sacrifice, that stops you from following Jesus? Eternal life is a gift freely given. How do we accept it?” (sermon audio June 29, 2014)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
June 22, 2014 – 10:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:24-39
“Live honestly. Acknowledge conflict. If you can’t listen with respect there is no hope. Jesus always listened with respect to what people said, didn’t hesitate to disagree, didn’t avoid the conflict, but He faced it graciously, and you and I need to do the same. Further, He lived confidently, fearlessly, knowing God was with Him, that God would provide the wisdom, courage, and strength to deal with conflict. ” (sermon audio June 22, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
June 1, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 17:1-11
“This moment is eternal life. Not someday, but right now. Perhaps our sin, our separateness, what keeps us from God, is that we don’t live today. Looking back at the past in regret, or worrying about the future, letting it determine our actions, keeps us from eternal life. We’re not fully present in the moment, every moment, experiencing oneness with God. We think about those who have gone on. We believe that they are one with God again. Does that mean that in our moments of oneness with God, we are one with them as well? Feel eternal life. Know God. God is present. God loves you. Eternal life is right now. What will you do with it? ” (sermon audio June 1, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
May 11, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 10:1-10
“This life abundant means that we have to look at ourselves. What concept have we created about reality that needs to die for resurrection to happen? We have this concept of deserving and undeserving poor. That’s not in the Bible. Maybe that concept has to die for us to see a new way, of making sure that everyone has enough, of looking at our own resources and saying “I have more than enough. How can I share?” This is not up to you. Jesus knows you by name, knows who you are and what you bring to this. Jesus knows you are capable of resurrection, and Jesus won’t leave us alone while we do it. ” (sermon audio May 11, 2014)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
May 4, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35
“Christianity is not about reading the Bible. It’s about journeying into the light, about living the faith. It was in walking to Emmaus, doing something together, that those two men began to understand. It was in breaking bread and sharing a meal together that they experienced God’s presence. The light of God’s love dwells in all of us, if we learn to love one another, and let that light shine. ” (sermon audio May 4, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 27, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31
“Sometimes the point is not getting the questions answered, but asking in the right company, where people are going to hold it close and listen as well. And I think that’s what the disciples were doing for Thomas. ” (sermon audio April 27, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
April 20, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:1-10
“My prayer for you this Easter day is that you may feel the power of the Resurrection and new life in Christ as you leave here today, that you, too, may be a conduit of that resurrection and show grace to others, and that your eyes may be opened to see those moments of resurrection that are happening everywhere you look.  Amen.” (sermon audio April 20, 2014)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
April 6, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45
“Closed in a tomb, bound, tied, buried, and been there so long you stink: Who among us is not in this condition? Maybe we’ve lost our ability to love another person, or maybe it’s a profound sense of unworthiness or incompetence or just being ugly. Maybe it’s having been rejected by our parents at an early age or later by the only person we thought we could love. Who doesn’t sometimes feel like the living dead? We don’t have to live in a tomb. We don’t have to be dead. The power of God that brought Lazarus to life can bring us all to life.” (sermon audio April 6, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 23, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 4:5-42
“We need community to share our stories of transformative, life-giving experiences where we recognize that Christ is the Messiah, the savior of the world, not for someday, but right now. What is your story? How would you articulate that time or that presence of God at work in your life?” (sermon audio March 23, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
March 16, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: John 3:1-17
“Our call during Lent is to recognize that we are all indeed saints and we can all demonstrate the love of God. All these saints opened their hearts and their lives to the movement of the spirit that Jesus is talking about with Nicodemus. I think the charge for us, if we’re going to live into our sainthood, is to open our hearts and our lives to that wind and that spirit and let it carry us to amazing and unexpected places.” (sermon audio March 16, 2014)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
March 9, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
“How are you tempted by pleasure? By popularity? By power? When are you tempted to compromise your identity as God’s child? May God help us to say no to sinful temptation, say yes to opportunities for growth and development, and grant us the wisdom to know the difference. ” (sermon audio March 16, 2014)

 

Rev. Dr. Winston Charles
March 2, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:1-9 
“Contemplative prayer follows Jesus’ example, and the prayer practices of so many faithful people throughout the centuries, seeking out silence and solitude in order to be present with God, open to God, in a way to surrender oneself to God’s grace, and to receive life-giving/life-forming presence on a level deep enough within our psyches to shape them, and empower us to live faithfully, as the Collect says this morning, ‘In order to be changed into Christ’s likeness, from glory to glory.'” (sermon audio March 2, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 23, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:38-48
“We could follow the rules and call that perfect, but I don’t know that we would really be living as God intends us to live. It might be more. The Greek word Jesus uses is teleos, which means perfect, but also means something brought to its natural end. Be brought to your natural intended end or purpose. Live as God intended you to be, as God’s beloved child. The tricky part is that you also have to live as if everybody else is God’s beloved child, too.  ” (sermon audio February 23, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 16, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:21-37
“That compost heap in our hearts, where we hurt others, where we need reconciliation, what do we do with that? It does become part of us. It is who we are, the right things and the wrong things. How are my choices affecting the people around me, and the other people who are part of this creation? Have I made choices, that I haven’t even thought were choices, that affect the state of the planet? I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s possible. We can look beyond ourselves, past anger, past self-interest. Reconciliation continues to happen with God’s help. ” (sermon audio February 16, 2014)

 

Rev. David Lynch
February 9, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-20
“Everyone has that light. And we’re not going to let it go out. And we’re not going to be timid about it and hide it under a bushel. We’re going to share it. You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth. When Ghandi led the people of India to the sea for salt, they took also freedom from oppression. Yet it took 17 years for Indian independence to be recognized. Do not lose your salt.  Do not lose faith.  ” (sermon audio February 9, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
February 2, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40
“When you see that light up there, you know Jesus is in the building. Simeon declares not only the messiah of the kingdom of Israel, but a light to the gentiles. The whole world will be touched by this savior. It’s not just survival and whether or not we’re going to make it through the next frost. This is salvation for everybody. ” (sermon audio February 2, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
January 26, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:12-23
“We each have a story, and the power comes not from the broad generality but from our particular story, our vulnerability and our willingness to share it. That is what Jesus is calling the disciples and calling all of us to do. Think about your story, and how you can share the light coming into the darkness.” (sermon audio January 26, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
January 12, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 3:13-17
“Through God’s grace we have this moment which connects not only our brains and our reason, but our bodies, down to the core of our very being, a moment of connection and union and incorporation with God. We become part of God. We are the body of Christ. That is who we are and what we’re made for.” (sermon audio January 12, 2014)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 29, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:13-23
“It takes a great deal of spiritual maturity to be able to live with this story, and the gospel writer expects that of us. To have a faith that worships the incarnate God as Christ is not easy because, quite frankly, following Jesus is difficult work. It is not easy and it is not always safe. We are entrusted with this story. ” (sermon audio December 29, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 15, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:2-11
“This is where they decided to land, to be good neighbors, to welcome the stranger, and to pray with anyone who asks for their prayers. You could say they chose to plant a church in the wilderness and to baptize anyone who is looking for the messiah…We can all do this. Are you ready to be part of the kingdom? Are you willing to share your story?” (sermon audio December 15, 2013)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
December 8, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 3:1-12
“From whom do you hear what Jean Valjean heard from the bishop, and what the Jews heard from John the Baptist, that this is sin and you are to repent? And a second question: To whom will you be like the bishop and John the Baptist, and issue that call to repent, for God would speak through each of us to bring light to others.” (sermon audio December 8, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
December 1, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 24:36-44
“How do we react, as people of faith, who live in this different world? Do we wag our fingers, or do we accept the reality that there is something powerful in the culture that is pulling people toward this activity? There is something in these folks, churchgoers or not, that needs light in the darkness. ” (sermon audio December 1, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
November 24, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 23:33-43
“The other guy sees the kingdom, and the kingdom is where we do have to be vulnerable. The kingdom is not about a great show of power and strength. The kingdom is about acceptance, grace, mercy, and ultimately, the kingdom is about love. And Jesus says, “You’re gonna be with me in this kingdom.” And that’s not just for him. It’s for everyone, this grace, this mercy, this love. ” (sermon audio November 24, 2013)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
November 17, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 21:5-19
“You can approach the Bible as the story of people like you and me who are caught up in the midst of a difficult world that swirls with forces beyond their control, questions we can’t begin to answer, and say “I’m going to keep on keeping on.” (sermon audio November 17, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
November 3, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 19:1-14
“When I was a kid I was very concerned when things were not fair.  I’m the oldest of four children so you can imagine that quite often things were not fair… ” (sermon audio November 3, 2013)

 

Rev. Sally Harbold
October 27, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:9-14
“I’m always amazed after over 20 years of working in the church to find that this is a place where we want to look our best. We come in our best duds, looking good, with smiles … wanting to connect with others and wanting to feel at home and love and love others. And when something challenging or terrible happens in our lives I’m always surprised when … ” (sermon audio October 27, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
October 13, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 17:11-19
“Why are we here? why do we do this? I don’t think it’s because we’re nice people. I don’t think it’s just because we want to do good. I think there is the powerful and ever present transformative love of God drawing us closer and closer in. What are we going to do with it?” (sermon audio October 13, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 22, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 16:1-13
“I’ve spoken in the past about a web site called Momastery. The blogger on this site works out issues about her faith, about being a mother, about being a wife, about issues of her illness. She realized by putting her life out there that people could identify with each other, and they could support each other. The technology has brought out the desire for people  to help each other …” (sermon audio September 22, 2013)

 

Dan Laird
September 15, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-10
“The Pharisees looked as these people as losers, Jesus looked at them as the lost and the forgotten.  The Pharisees looked at them as a lost cause, and Jesus looked at them as a vital part of God’s community..” (sermon audio September 15, 2013)

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 8, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33
“We’re made and formed and created in God’s image. It is up to us to decide whether we are going to live our lives and make our choices to follow in that mold.” (sermon audio September 8, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
September 1, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1, 7-14
“We are created with two essential needs. The first is survival. The second is relationship. The human condition results from those two essential needs coming into conflict with each other.” (sermon audio September 1, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
August 25, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 13:10-17
“Life is going to knock us down again and again and, as a community of faith, we pick each other up again, help shake it off, and ask, ‘Where is God sending you next?” ” (sermon audio August 25, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
August 18, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:49-56
“A curious, passionate devotion to Jesus as a way of life. That’s why we’re here. We’re not here to maintain the status quo. Why is it that things are the way they are? How do our actions affect other people all over the globe, and what can we do about it? ” (sermon audio August 18, 2013)

 

Rev. Dr. George Clifford
August 11, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-40
“The Hebrew prophets, unique in the history of religion, emphasize that what God wants is not right worship, but right relationships between people.” (sermon audio August 11, 2013)

 

Rev. Ann Burts
August 4, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:13-21
“We build those bigger barns out of fear for the future. Yet our treasures won’t fit in barns. They are stored in ever expanding hearts filled with the love of God.” (sermon audio August 4, 2013)

 

Rev. David Lynch
July 28, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 11:1-13
“One of the challenges that we have, or at least that I have, is in awareness of the presence of God. It doesn’t always come naturally to us. Sometimes we have to work at it.” (sermon audio July 28, 2013)

 

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July 14, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37
“…The Jericho road is anywhere there is the potential for violence and oppression, and where people are robbed of their dignity, their possessions, their freedom, and even their lives… (sermon audio July 14, 2013)

 

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Rev. Stephanie Allen
July 7, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
“This talk about meals and eating … this past week my family and I re-watched the movie adaptation of ‘The Hobbit’. If you don’t know about hobbits, they are creatures and they are small … (sermon  audio July 7, 2013)

 

Rev. Stephanie Allen
June 30, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:51-62
“It’s been quite a week.  These readings are tricky and I got a little hung up this week thinking about this story. First of all it is hysterical to me the way Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. He’s set his face and  walking down the road, nothing is stopping him and they pass by this village …” (sermon audio June 30, 2013)