Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sermon: “Laying Down the Law”, Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9/James 1:19-27 (August 29, 2021)


We in the reformed tradition don’t generally seem to spend a lot of time with the book of James. As far as I can tell, there are two reasons for this, the first being that if something isn’t either written by Paul or a gospel, we tend to dismiss it as “less important scripture”. That line of thinking is problematic enough, but the second reason is arguably even more distressing: we tend to ignore James because he, more than any other New Testament writer, places a heavy emphasis on obedience to the Torah, God’s holy Law, within the Christian community.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Guest Sermon: "The Curious Case of the Descending Tricolon Crescendo", Isaiah 55:10-13/Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 (August 15, 2021)

Preached by the Rev. Carol Holbrook Prickett:

I only had to participate in the school science fair once.

It was required of all sixth-graders, optional after that. I chose for my project what has to be one of the most common experiments out there, right alongside the standard baking soda volcano: I planted seeds in different kinds of soil to test how they grew.

One of my pots had regular soil in it. Into one I mixed the kind of things you put into compost—banana peels, mostly. The third I added trash to—bits of Styrofoam and candy wrappers. I was pretty sure that that the trash plants wouldn’t grow, and the regular soil ones would, and the compost ones would do the best.

Between Ms. Frizzle and Bill Nye, I thought I understood the basics of horticulture.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Sermon: “I’m Hungry, God!” 1 Kings 19:2-8 /John 6:26-27, 33-35, 41-51 (August 8, 2021)


Human beings have a pretty tentative grasp on knowing exactly what it is what we need. All too often, we assume we need one thing when we actually need something else entirely. How many times have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m hungry; I need a snack,” only to open up the (fully-stocked) fridge or pantry and decide that there’s “nothing to eat”? It turns out you weren’t hungry after all; maybe you were thirsty instead, or just bored. Some things are universal, and this is one of them: one of my favorite passages of scripture is in Numbers, where the people complain to Moses, “There’s no food or water [here in the desert], and also we detest this miserable bread!” Some things never change.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Sermon: "Biblical Gymnastics", 2 Samuel 11:26-12:9/Ephesians 4:1-6, 12-16 (August 1, 2021)


I have to admit; I’ve never quite understood the appeal of watching sports. I guess I’m just not all that interested in who can make the ball go in the goal the most times. But even I get caught up in the excitement of the Olympic games. I’m not as interested in the superlative competitions regarding who can be “faster, stronger, closer, ” (the races, weightlifting, shooting events, and that sort of thing) as I am in the ones where competitors demonstrate the incredible ways that they can make their bodies move. As someone who considers herself fairly uncoordinated and is extremely out of touch with her own body, THESE are the sports that leave me in awe. The events like synchronized swimming, diving, and, of course, gymnastics.