Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sermon: “Silent and Unsettled", Acts 14:8-18 (April 30, 2023)


[Before I begin, I want to acknowledge that this sermon is going to touch on some tough subjects, like sexuality and abortion. If you need to step away because these topics are too personal for you, I encourage you to do so. But if you find yourself squirming in your seat just because these topics make you uncomfortable, I encourage you to try and stick it out.]

I find this to be an unsetting passage. Do you? I don’t find it unsettling because it’s especially disturbing; it doesn’t contain anything particularly sad or violent or dangerous, as some Bible stories do. No, I find it unsettling in the literal sense – it just ends without any sort of satisfying resolution; it’s unsettled. Paul and Barnabas aren’t able to convince the crowd of their own humanity, there’s no successful conversions recorded, no minds or hearts changed. Just a failed attempt at evangelism. Especially after last week’s wonderful example of living out the Great Commission from Acts 10, this story is more disheartening than anything. Where’s the good news?

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Liturgy: Paul's Mission - Acts 14:8-18 (April 30, 2023)

*You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*

Call to Worship (based on Acts 14:13)

Leader: Worshipers of Zeus and Hermes bring bulls and wreaths as sacrifices.
People: But the Lord takes no delight in burnt offerings and worthless gifts.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sermon: "I Am Learning...", Acts 10 (April 23, 2023)


On Easter, we completed our journey through Matthew’s gospel, finishing the story of Jesus’ life with the account of his resurrection appearances to his followers. Last Sunday, we punctuated that narrative sentence by focusing on Jesus’ very last earthly words, what we’ve come to call “The Great Commission”: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you.” This week, the Narrative lectionary offers a story about one of the disciples’ earliest attempts to do exactly that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Liturgy: Peter's Vision - Acts 10:1-17, 34-48 (April 23, 2023)

*You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*

Call to Worship (based on Acts 10:36-43)

Leader: The message of peace God has sent to us is this:
People: Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Sermon: "Unlocking Salvation" (Easter Sunday), Matthew 28 (April 9, 2023)


Christ is risen! [He is risen, indeed!]

I just had to get that out of the way up front. There’s a common anxiety among pastors that arises every single year – “What on EARTH can I say about this story that hasn’t been said before?” The prevailing wisdom, of course, is that we don’t HAVE to say something new; our job is to preach the good news as it’s been given to us, just as the women did on that first Easter morning so many years ago. So, again, I proclaim: Christ is risen! [He is risen, indeed!]

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Liturgy: Maundy Thursday, Matthew 24:1-26:46 (Lessons and Carols; April 6, 2023)

 (Palm Sunday Liturgy here)

As we did last year, Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, ID, will spend this Lent reading straight through a gospel from beginning to end: this year, Matthew. We will NOT have sermons during Lent, instead structuring worship around a "lessons and carols" model. All hymns are from the PC(USA)'s "Glory to God" hymnal.

The theme that will accompany this project is "Unlocking Salvation". As we work our way through Matthew's gospel, we will make note of the things standing between God and humanity (and specifically each of us) and how Jesus "unlocks" the doors that separate us. 

I will post the liturgies for ensuing weeks as I write them. I'm happy for anyone to use any part(s) of this series in their own worship contexts with proper attribution, but I would request that you let me know in the comments that you're doing so.

*NB: If there is nothing written under the heading, it's a portion of worship that I do extemporaneously.*


Maundy Thursday Worship Service (Liturgy by Rev. Katey Schwind Williams)
(Bold words are to be read aloud in unison, * indicates an invitation to stand)