helping

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July 2018

“Grace Is Not In Vain”/7/15/18/Scripture: 2 Cor. 5:11-6:2; Isaiah 11:1-2, 6-10/by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |July 18th, 2018|Sermons|

           A lawyer, newly relocated to a village, went duck hunting on his property.  He shot a duck and it fell not on his property but on his farmer neighbor’s property, specifically in his garden.  The lawyer started to climb the fence between their two properties and the farmer came over to his garden and picked up the dead duck saying, “No, no, the duck is no longer yours because it fell onto my property.”  The lawyer incredulously stated, “Do you know who I am?  I’m a lawyer and I’ll sue you.”  To which the farmer calmly replied, “You are new to this village and we settle disputes with the three-kick rule.  The one who has the complaint gets on the ground and is kicked first and if that one can then stand, he kicks the other and that goes on until one can’t stand.  In this case, if it is you standing, you will get this duck back.”  So the lawyer lies down on the ground and the farmer gives him three quick kicks in the leg, side, and shoulder. The lawyer then stands up and exclaims, “ok, now it is your turn.”  And the farmer states, “That’s ok, you can have the duck!”  […]

June 2018

“So, Who Really Cares” 6/3/18 Scripture: Jn 4:5-26, 28-30; Mk 2:23-3:6 by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |June 5th, 2018|Sermons|

          A couple weeks ago, I watched a speech for seminary graduates online by Rev. Dr. Jonathan L Walton who is “an acclaimed author, social ethicist and religious scholar.  He is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals” and a minister at Harvard University.  He was giving sermon to the 2018 graduates of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.  I got my first master’s degree there at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education which is now part of Union Seminary, so I am interested in what happens there.  I scribbled down notes while he was speaking so that I could share some of it with you.  The title of his message to those graduating was “Who Cares” and he used the John 4 passage, much of which Rodger and I read to you, about Jesus in Samaria and the women at the well.  [Whoever created these stain glass windows found this story important too as it is gorgeously memorialized here in our sanctuary.]   […]

March 2018

“Mark’s Jesus: 2. The Healer” Rev. Rodger Allen/ Mk. 2: 1-12; Mark 5: 21-42, 3-4-18

By |March 8th, 2018|Sermons|

              Today we continue our Lenten worship series on the various roles of Jesus, as presented in the Gospel of Mark: What does Jesus do in his ministry? What does he consider most important? Last Sunday we looked at “Jesus the Teacher,” discovering that teaching was one of Jesus’ first priorities, and discussing what his teachings were, to whom he delivered them, and how. In future weeks we’ll consider such themes as “Jesus the Reformer,” and “Savior,” and “Victor.” And today we consider Jesus the Healer. There are many healings in the Gospel of Mark; what does he wish us to learn from them? Why does he present them? Why does he present the ones he does, and not others? What do they mean? […]

Icing, Deck Chairs, Whitewashed Tombs Rev. Rodger Allen 2-4-18 I Samuel 8:1-6a, 19-22, II Samuel 7:1-13, II Chronicles 36: 11-21

By |March 5th, 2018|Sermons|

Have you ever set out to bake a cake and, despite all your best efforts to spread the batter in the pan evenly, and not tip the pan, and set the pan in the oven so that it’s level . . . the cake comes out of the oven not level? Slanted? One end of the cake two inches high and the other end only 1 ½ inches high? What do you do? You try to disguise the unevenness with the icing, right? You spread the icing on thicker at the thin end of the cake, and thinner at the thick end of the cake, to try to even out the height, so no one will ever know. And it usually works, especially when you give the thick-icing pieces to people whose favorite part of the cake is the icing. Icing can cover up all sorts of “cake errors.” […]

October 2017

“Bold Peace for Reconciliation” 10/1/17 World Wide Communion Sunday Scripture: Mt 5:38-45a; Ex 1 Rev. Laurie Williams

By |October 5th, 2017|Sermons|

            Our Gospel passage is part of what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount.  Many scholars see a connection between the Law of Moses in Exodus and Jesus’ teachings in this particular Sermon.  Jesus was teaching his disciples and, as was often the case, a large crowd of people joined them and listened to Jesus who was becoming known as a wise rabbi.  Before our passage, in chapter 4, Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”  ‘What Jesus meant by “Repent” was:  Do away with your shallowness and your sinful ways and turn to God who is solely good so that by this you will be reconciled to the Lord. […]