Sunday, October 31, 2021

Guest Liturgy: Reformation Sunday 2022

 The following worship service was adapted from one written and graciously offered for free use by the Rev. Carol Holbrook Pritchett. I've copied and pasted the portions of our Confessions and the historical context for those who may not have caught it all during worship!


Today is Reformation Day, a day when we celebrate how the church has grown and changed as it seeks to be Christ's body on earth. This is only the 5th time that Reformation Day has fallen on a Sunday during my lifetime. So to honor this special occasion, I’ve adapted a worship service written by Rev. Carol Holbrook Prickett (who preached here for us this past August).

We stand on the shoulders of countless generations who have sought to love and serve God, interpret the scriptures, and work out their faith in their particular day and time. This service celebrates their legacy by taking a journey through the PC(USA) Book of Confessions. Some of you are very familiar with the confessions, and some of you may know nothing about them. The confessions are, simply, statements of faith; the efforts of various people at various times to make some kind of coherent summary of what Christianity calls us to say and do. These confessions are part of our constitution as Presbyterians, meaning they guide and shape our life together. Pastors and elders vow to be guided by them. They are not scripture, and we do not believe or follow every word they say; but they do witness to the journey our ancestors have taken in gifting us with the church we know today.

Sermon: "The Most Important Word", Deuteronomy 6:1-9/Mark 12:28-34 (Reformation Sunday--October 31, 2021

This sermon was preached to supplement a beautiful Reformation Sunday Worship service written by Rev. Carol Holbrook Prickett that we adapted for use in our congregation.


I frequently hear (and maybe you have, too) a criticism of religion that goes something like this: “Why should I live my life according to outdated documents written by people who lived thousands of years ago?” And I mean, it’s a fair question. Modern society faces issues that our forebearers could never have imagined—healthcare, gun violence, climate change, bodily autonomy, and many more. The world we live in today is very, very different from the world in which people first proclaimed that “the Lord our God is one”.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sermon: “Half Glass Theology”, Psalm 22:1-2, 6-8, 11-18/Psalm 22: 3-5, 9-10, 19-24 (October 10, 2021)


Before I begin, I’d like to acknowledge the irony of the fact that the week after I announce that I don’t like preaching from the Psalms, I preach from the Psalms again. Don’t let anyone tell you that the Holy Spirit doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Having said that, let’s hear what the Psalms have to teach us today.

Would you consider yourself a “glass half-empty” or a “glass half-full” type of person? I probably don’t need to explain what I mean; this proverbial phrase is pretty universally understood as shorthand to describe one’s outlook on life—a generally pessimistic person will describe a glass partially filled with liquid as “half empty”, while a more optimistic person will describe that same glass as “half full”. The idea, of course, is that our attitude colors the way we see our circumstances. A “glass half-empty” person will perceive everything around them with a tinge of gloom while a “glass half-full” person will see everything through rose-tinted glasses.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Sermon: "THOSE PEOPLE", Psalm 26/Mark 2:13-17 (October 3, 2021)


Generally speaking, I don’t like to preach from the psalms. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like *them*; on the contrary, I think they’re a wonderful collection of writings that represent the human side of the divine/mortal relationship very well. But that’s exactly the problem: I love turning to the psalms for empathy and solidarity in my personal faith life, but when it comes to community worship, preaching from the psalms feels like centering the message on humanity instead of God. Preaching from the psalms feels self-indulgent.