Sermon for Christmas Eve 2017 -- Wildfire, Hair Salons, and Mangers: Encountering the Word of God

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,* and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
— John 1:1-5.....NRSV
xmas card.jpg

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas.  May love, peace, and joy be yours in the New Year!

Sermon for 4/30/17: Emmaus - A Pattern for our Lives

Luke 24:13-35

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.
— Luke 24:31
Another Templeton Morning  2017

Another Templeton Morning  2017

Sermon Notes: I don't really have any -- I'm sure there are many Bible scholars out there who have written about the liturgical connections in this story.  I don't think I'm saying anything new, but still worth saying nonetheless.  Seeing here the clear sign pointing to Word and Sacrament is a beautiful thing.

I did have some helpers though -- some visual aids and you hear my pointing to them throughout the sermon so thank you for the patience in this second-hand listening experience.

Sermon for 3/27/16: Easter Sunday -- Avoiding Other People's Tombs

Acts 8:26-40 and John 20:19-31

Scripture readings follow the alternative lectionary outlined in Brian McLaren's book We Make the Road by Walking (reference and public library).

A Central Coast Collection

A Central Coast Collection

Question of the Week

When have you found yourself residing in another person's tomb?  When did you come out of it?  What happened immediately before your departure?  What happened after?

Sermon for 3/20/16: Protest and the Soul

Luke 19:29-46 and Psalm 122

Scripture readings follow the alternative lectionary outlined in Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking (reference and public library).

Sermon Notes

A few weeks ago, I scanned the chapter for Palm Sunday in Brian McLaren's book. Chapter Thirty-Two is entitled "Peace March."  I think I've imagined the Palm Sunday processional as protest before, but with that simple McLaren phrase, it became all the more palpable.  It just hit me that much harder.  So thank you, Brian McLaren!  At the same time, I was listening to a Krista Tippett interview with Patrisse Cullors and Robert Ross.  They talk about the soul and protest.  Not my insight, by any stretch.  Turns out, demonstrating even has health benefits.  Anyway, all this swirled around as I thought about North County and our attitudes and the frustration I sometimes experience in teaching about the political Jesus. The historical context I offered regarding Jesus as political person comes from Reza Aslan's book, Zealot (reference and public library).  While I would argue with a number of his interpretations and his biblical analysis in the book, the contextual information he gives is really helpful in understanding the turbulent environment of Jesus' day.  My reflection on a political Jesus also holds a frustration I also have with myself and my commitments. Just sayin'.  And out of the chaos and wondering about ALL of that emerged this sermon.  I hope you feel as challenged by it as I was writing it.  Plus, here's the ever-inspiring Krista Tippett.  It's one of the sanest discussions I've heard about Black Lives Matter.  Thought provoking, challenging personally and professionally.

Question of the Week

What's your protest story?  How did it change you?


Sermon for 2/7/16: Pray with Caution

Exodus 34:29-35 and Luke 9:28-43

This week we break from Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking and dip momentarily into the Revised Common Lectionary to celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord.

February 2016

February 2016

So I'm a little behind in posting my sermons. Got some much needed rest. But I'll be caught up in the next two days.  I will not be posting my Ash Wednesday sermon, but I'll post the sermon from Valentine's Day shortly.  In the meantime, if you need a little Transfiguration rewind now that we are in Lent, take a listen!  

This Week's Sermon: The E Word

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, 4:1-30, 5:1-11

Suggested Scripture Readings from Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking with my own additions.

Sermon Notes
Thank you for having me as your guest last weekend, St. Mary's Episcopal Church of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Although in my sermon, I poke fun at the caricatures of our denominations, I was so glad to be with you for a morning, anonymous and nurtured.  

I used A Shy Person's Guide to the Practice of Evangelism as inspiration for this week's message.  It was published in 2004 by the Massachusetts Diocese of the Episcopal Church.  Want your own copy?  Click here.

My reflections on Christian community are drawn in part from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's classical work,  Life Together.  Click to link.

This Week's Sermon: The Happiest Place in America

Luke 1:5-55

Suggested Scripture Readings from Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking.

November 1999

November 1999

Sermon Notes
For an unbelievably lovely reading of the poem Annunciation by Marie Howe, listen here:

The full report released by the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County detailing the needs of women in this region -- I hope you find the report as surprising as I do.

This Week's Sermon: When the Stars Begin to Fall

Daniel 7:9-28 and Luke 1:67-79

Suggested Scripture Readings from We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren

Boston   1999

Boston   1999

Sermon Notes
Here's a link to a poem by Jane Kenyon.  I read her beautiful words to begin Advent worship.

I did a fair amount of research preparing for this sermon, mostly because talking about apocalyptic literature in the Bible is so complicated especially given recent world events in the Middle East and Europe. Click titles to links. Here's a good introduction to the Book of Daniel in the New American Bible from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Graham Beynon has some useful material as well in his article The Message of Daniel -- thoughtful reflection on the questions the biblical author pushes us toward like our relationships as people of faith and as Americans to foreign nations.  Although, I should say I do not fall into his camp dating the Book of Daniel to the 6th Century BCE.  I'm with the historical-critical school on this one.  And of course, can't leave out the Lutherans.  Although written in the 1990s, this article by Wendell W. Frerichs titled "How Many Weeks until the End?" has helpful language you will hear infusing the sermon.  He very helpfully says that the visibility of violent regimes signals their impending decay, a major talking point near the close of my sermon. Such a great thought for our times! 

Here's a link to the referenced David Brooks op-ed on resilience and storytelling:

I read a passage aloud on the difference between hoping and wishing from We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren to close worship.  It's in Chapter 14.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of resources.  Hope some of it is helpful to you along the way.