Sermon on the mount, detail face

Sermon on the Beatitudes (preached at Greenbelt)

I recently talked to a woman who, when her young brother died tragically, her church said irretrievably stupid things to her like “it must have been God’s will” as though that is a comfort, as though pawning suffering off on God is doing anybody any favors whatsoever. To be honest, and call me a heretic, but this is a concept in theology that’s always bugged me. It’s called “the sovereignty of God” it’s the idea that everything that happens happens because it’s the will of God. Everything. The pr … [Read More...]

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Sermon on Grace, Dogs, and Sass-Mouthed Women

  Click above to listen along!Years ago a couple friends of mine, who are both stand-up comics, decided that for the Valentine’s Day season, they would try and get in on the chocolate heart business.Only, their chocolate hearts were special. Because their chocolate hearts were anatomically correct. Complete with 4 chambers and a red aorta. They even came packaged in a little white box with a handle that looked just like the igloo coolers in which organ donations are … [Read More...]

The last 2 verses of our closing hymn and a blessing for a departing seminarian

2 facts about House for All Sinners and Saints:1. We are a cappella and love, love, love old hymns2. We are a bit of a seminarian factory. Emily is #6 for us. … [Read More...]

the jokes my parishioners put on the attendance board and half the reason to show up.

Sermon on Lembas Bread, the Feeding of the 5,000 and Why I Hated Pastoral Care Classes,

Click here to listen along. (sermons are spoken events!) You know what classes I really hated in seminary? Pastoral care. Oh my gosh – way too touchy-feely for me. Role-playing and talking about feelings and lots of mushy language. It was awful.Bible classes, Theology courses, preaching seminars I was fine with. But, Pastoral Care? No thank you.I was sure the problem was that I just didn't have a warm, pastoral, slightly co-dependent, c … [Read More...]

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Sermon on How Hard It Is Being Spiritual Without You

Click here to listen along.I’ve heard that a lot of Pastors, when they go on sabbatical, do something really spiritual. They take a religious pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago or they spend time in the Taize community in France or they go and study the medieval mystics. And for them it’s a time of real spiritual renewal, which sounds amazing. And totally not what I did. I basically traveled around several countries doing Crossfit, eating with my friends and hanging out with my family. I on … [Read More...]

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Stop Saying the Church is Dying (a sermon for the Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly)

 A week ago I was fortunate enough to be standing near a cliff in Cappadocia, Turkey taking in the view of hundreds of caves carved from volcanic rock in an alien looking valley. My friend Sara asked what I was thinking about. When I confessed that I was worrying about preaching at my Synod’s assembly next week, Sara didn’t hesitate to remind me sarcastically,  “Oh, you mean that little text on how Jesus tells us not to worry?”So, yeah, nothing like worrying about preaching a sermon … [Read More...]

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Maundy Thursday Sermon on Loving One Another and Why That Can Sting

2014 Maundy Thurs NBW Hfass Podcast - 41814, 8.06 AM<----click here to listen along.In our Gospel reading for today, which, oddly, you will hear AFTER the sermon, Jesus had his final meal, his last supper with his friends, then he washed their feet and said Little children, I am with you only a little longer. I say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.' 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you 35By this everyone will know that you are my … [Read More...]

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Sermon on Empty Tombs and the Suddenness of Dawn

2014-04-06 HFASS Podcast NBW Sermon(1) <---- click here to listen alongYears ago, when I was faced with preaching this text about the raising of Lazarus, I was struggling with what to say about it, so instead of writing my sermon, I went that week and got this tattoo of Lazarus. And then, the next day, I finally came up with a sermon. It was like magic. Don't know what to say about a Bible story? Easy. Go sit under a tattoo needle for a few hours and it will come to you.But this week, … [Read More...]

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Sermon on earthly things, wombs and the resurrection of the dead

 2014-03-16 NBW Sermon<----click here to listen along.When I first re-entered the Christian faith as an adult, I took a catechumenate class (like an adult confirmation program) at the Lutheran church Matthew and I attended.  This is where I learned about and fell in love with Lutheran theology. It just made sense to me. Mostly. Pastor Ross grew quickly accustomed to my raised hand in the back row as I waited to ask clarifying, and at times, belligerent questions.  The week he … [Read More...]

Phyllis and I. (photo by Courtney Perry)

Happy 80th Birthday to Phyllis Tickle

Happy 80th birthday to you, Phyllis Tickle.You are simply one of the smartest, most beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  In you I have found inspiration to pray, to write, to love God, to cherish the sacraments, to think historically, to age gracefully and to, when necessary, swap clothing and die laughing.Yesterday when I spoke to you, the first thing you said was “kiddo, I pray for you every single day”.  I’m certain you do.  You’re just like that, and I am grateful … [Read More...]


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