July 2018

“Bringing All We Are to The Table”/Rev. Rodger Allen/Psalm 100; Psalm 88: 1-5, 8-9, 14/7.29.18

By |July 31st, 2018|Sermons|

When we invite someone we don’t know very well over to our homes for dinner for the first time, we expect that their behavior will be fairly formal or proper, don’t we? Imagine having your child’s fiancé’s parents over, for example, as the first time you ever meet. If they had been quarreling in the car on the way over, we wouldn’t expect them to continue the argument in front of us relative strangers over dinner. If they were worried about something we wouldn’t expect them to cry in front of us. If they felt high-spirited and mischievous, we wouldn’t expect them to start playfully tossing dinner rolls at each other – not with new acquaintances, not at a first meeting. There’s a certain standard of restrained, proper behavior. […]

March 2018

“Joy and Laughter Comes from the Divine” 2/18/18 Scripture: Gen 18:1-4, 9-15; Proverbs selected passages on love, joy, laughter/by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |March 8th, 2018|Sermons|

          Last week I preached my first sermon of a two-part series about the Theology of Humor.  Its title is “Humor that Is Divine.”  I talked about Ali Kay Wood’s experience of her mother driving them to a wedding with the two-tiered wedding cake on her lap that ended up smashing into the dashboard with icing flying everywhere, when her mother made a turn that was too sharp.  After the initial horror and shock at the situation, they both began to laugh uncontrollably.  Ms. Wood found that laughter cathartic as it freed them from the anxiety over the situation.  She explained that the laughter came from God, deep within her soul.           I mentioned a 2011 University of Oxford study that discovered laughter releases mood-boosting endorphins, increase pain tolerance by as much as 10%, increases blood flow by 22% and protects you against the ill effects of stress.  We heard “a laugh or two a day keeps the doctor away!”  […]

March 2016

“A Joy-Filled Spiritual House” 3/27/16 1 Peter 2:1-10; John 20:1-18 by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |March 28th, 2016|Sermons|

           “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”  That is a perfect verse for our resurrection day.  We recited it together in our responsive Psalm 118 reading a few minutes ago.  Rejoice as in be joyful or joy-filled.  Glad, as in the happiest day of all days for Christ died for us and rose again so that we will have eternal life with God, now and beyond our earthly existence.  Biblically speaking, joy and happiness are joined.  Sometimes Christians are taught that joy in the Lord is right and good but that happiness is a worldly pursuit.  Yet, there are several places in scripture that join those two emotions, such as in Jeremiah chapter 31: “I will turn their mourning into joy. . . and bring happiness out of grief.”  The two are also found together in the Old Testament book of Esther: “For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.”    […]

October 2015

Little People: God Speaks His Love to Broken Hearts

By |October 26th, 2015|Devotional Articles|

by Jeanette Levellie I’d had one of those days that you don’t even wish on your grumpy landlord. My computer wasn’t talking to my printer. After two hours on the phone, they were friends again, but then the printer jammed. And the phone wasn't working right. Yep, one of those days. And those days seemed [...]

July 2015

Two Love Stories

By |July 9th, 2015|Sermons|

By Reverend Rodger Allen Luke 15: 11-32; Luke 10: 25-37 The Gospel of Luke, in the order in which the New Testament is arranged, is the third of four gospels. Four accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Some material in the gospels is common to all four accounts; some material you find [...]