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

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

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 [Read More...]

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 [Read More...]

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 [Read More...]

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 [Read More...]

Sermon on Empty Tombs and the Suddenness of Dawn


2014-04-06 HFASS Podcast NBW Sermon(1) <—- click here to listen along Years 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, [Read More...]

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

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

  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. [Read More...]

Happy 80th Birthday to Phyllis Tickle

Phyllis and I. (photo by Courtney Perry)

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 [Read More...]

Ash Wednesday Sermon on Truth, Dust, Babies, and Funerals


2014 Ash Weds NBW Sermon<— click here to listen along. People who think Ash Wednesday is depressing totally don’t get it.  I mean, I understand why confessing our sins, marking ourselves with ashes and reminding each other that we are all going to die isn’t exactly Disney on Ice, but it’s not depressing.  If anything [Read More...]

Sermon on Jesus Rolling His Eyes (and also divorce)

Jesus-Facepalm is licensed by CC BY 2.0

2014-02-16 NBW Sermon<—–click here to listen along (sermons are spoken events. So much of the meaning comes from the hearing of it.) Years ago there was a project undertaken by Bible scholars whereby they were trying to ascertain what was really knowable about Jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure.  The scholars would take the [Read More...]

Sermon on that special class of salty, light-bearing people to whom Jesus preaches

Salt by Salt Shaker   Original Filename: 6507-000073.jpg

2014-02-09 NBW Sermon – 2_12_14, 10.42 AM <—-click here to listen along If you are able to hear that you are the salt of the earth reading from today and NOT have a song from the musical Godspell worm through your head, then more power to ya.  But I am not that mentally strong and I [Read More...]