The Danger of Building Bigger Barns – Sermon for August 4, 2013

Every UCC pastor participates in the pension fund for our denomination. The idea is that years from now when we retire we’ll have enough put away so that we can live. When I came here three years ago I had to get set up in the pension program and we called the UCC offices and had them send me a registration packet. It arrived and it was, literally, about an inch thick. There were brochures about all sorts of different funds and investment strategies. I was lost. I had no clue whether I was supposed to have an aggressive approach … Continue reading The Danger of Building Bigger Barns – Sermon for August 4, 2013

Unlikely Disciples and the Roadmap of Grace: Sermon for June 16, 2013

Soon after I moved to Massachusetts, I met a friend whose Christian life really impressed me. She was involved heavily in her church and she did a lot of outside ministry work too And she carried herself with a humility but also a quiet certainty of who God was and who she belonged to. I attributed it to the fact that she had grown up with a parent who was in the clergy. I thought surely that was what had shaped her faith and her interests. And one night we were talking and she was telling me about some of … Continue reading Unlikely Disciples and the Roadmap of Grace: Sermon for June 16, 2013

Rise: A Sermon on Everyday Resurrections – June 9, 2013

When I was a kid, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: I really wanted to be a pilot. I was convinced that I was going to go to one of the service academies and then I was going to learn to fly. My bedroom had pictures of airplanes on the walls, and I even was a Civil Air Patrol cadet. I knew that flying was going to be my life. But one day, when I was about 12, I went to the eye doctor. And he was asking me about school and what I … Continue reading Rise: A Sermon on Everyday Resurrections – June 9, 2013

No Longer Lost in Translation: A Sermon for Pentecost, May 19, 2013

A few years ago, when I was working as a hospice chaplain on the South Shore of Massachusetts, I had one patient down near New Bedford. And whenever I went to see them at their nursing home, this other resident on her unit would see me in the lobby and start shouting at me in a foreign language. I had no clue what she was saying, but it was obvious to me that she was upset, and so I always just apologized and got out of there as quickly as possible. One day I went back and the same thing … Continue reading No Longer Lost in Translation: A Sermon for Pentecost, May 19, 2013