What Belongs to Me

Matthew 20:1-16 I believe that fifth grade was my favorite year of school ever. And that’s saying something, when you’re someone who basically went to school nonstop until age forty. I loved that particular year of school, though, because every single day for several months we spent an hour in the afternoon playing the game The Oregon Trail.  I’ve learned that The Oregon Trail is now a computer game, but way back in the day, we played it old school. … Read more

Forgiveness, a Prayer

Today in worship we talked about forgiveness.  Rev. Michael Livingston preached an amazing sermon on Jesus’ direction to forgive; you can watch the service here.  Here’s the pastoral prayer: As we turn our minds and hearts now toward the work of response, we gather the courage to ask God for what God has asked of us: forgiveness.  The work of reconciliation requires soft and open hearts, ready to give more than we thought we could and receive more than we… Read more

A Prayer for Sunday

by Michael Livingston, Executive Minister   God of wind and rain, sun and moon, peaks and valleys, frozen tundra and arid plains, God of all creation: Some of us are in Texas recovering from the worst storm the state has ever seen rain and rising waters flooded lives washed out fortunes futures great and meager; some of us are in Florida at this very moment huddling in homes in shelters fleeing in cars as a natural disaster aided by human… Read more

All We Need Is Love

Matthew 18:15-20 Our world is literally swirling around us, and so many of us are preoccupied both with the daily rush of life and now our worries about friends and family in the path of hurricanes…and earthquakes…and fires…and deportation…and lost healthcare…and so many things.  As we begin the sermon today, I want to ask you to join me in just a few moments of silence, time in which you can perhaps take a deep breath, still your rushing thoughts, and… Read more

I Have Decided

Matthew 16:21-28 Whenever I read our gospel lesson from the sixteenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel or even hear the words read as we did this morning, it always reminds me of an experience I had about ten years ago in a big, suburban grocery store. I was then the mother of a 13-year-old boy, so no matter how hard I tried, I could not keep enough food in my house, and we were out of milk…so I just thought I’d… Read more

He Wasn’t Who I Thought

In that moment I felt we stepped onto a small piece of ground that was shared, where each of us moved over to make room for the other and where we understood each other in ways that surprised both of us. And where I was jarred by, well, his humanity. His personhood. Read the full article about my conversation with a gun rights advocate at USA Today. Read more

Hysterical

Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7 Some of you may recall back in 2015 when the New York Times ran an obituary of Adele Morales.  Morales was a gifted painter and actress who during her lifetime enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts.  She was also the mother of two daughters and two granddaughters, and she lived to be 90 years old. However, the first line of her obituary read: “[She was the woman] “who made headlines in 1960 when [her husband, novelist Norman… Read more

The End and the Beginning (Trinity Sunday)

Matthew 28:16-20 “And some doubted.” This may just be my favorite Bible verse of all time. Recall that as they gathered up on the mountaintop that day, the disciples had been through three years of Jesus’ teaching and leadership, his arrest, the betrayal of some of their closest friends, and Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. The way Matthew tells the resurrection story, the women were at the tomb that morning.  At the direction of an angel they ran to give… Read more

You Can Never Go Home Again

You know the saying that goes, “You can never go home again”? The phrase was running through my mind as I drove the four hours from New York to Washington, DC last weekend to attend the installation of Rev. Maria Swearingen and Rev. Sally Sarratt at Calvary Baptist Church. I’m so delighted for that amazing congregation and their two wonderful new pastors, and I felt excited about being there for such a celebration. As I drove and thought about never… Read more

Learning to Listen (Pentecost Sunday)

Genesis 11:1-11 I know that extra room in a Manhattan apartment is unusual, so I’m well aware of how fortunate I am to live in a space with a little study that turns into a guest room. Of late, this has been more of a guest room than a study.  Several friends and a sister have visited this month, and I’ve spent hours showing my guests around my amazing neighborhood.  On many of these beautiful Spring evenings my visitors and… Read more

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