Sermons

The Polar Plunge I’ve never done this myself, but I was there in person a few years ago, when several of our church pastors and staff took the plunge. The Polar Plunge. Into a giant hole cut in the ice of Lake Mendota, our church team...

Star of Wonder On December 21, the winter solstice, my book group took a sunset walk in the Dane County section of Pheasant Branch Conservancy.  We had a good hike in the warm winter evening.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy with drizzle, so like the rest of...

Acolyte Adventures The first time I was asked to take on the role of acolyte was on Christmas Eve when I was 12.  My family was often assigned as the ushers for that service at my church and it made sense for me to light the...

God Speaks I know most of us aren’t taking any or many road trips in these "Covid" times. But one person’s writing recently reminded of some roadside billboards that were placed along freeways 20 years ago. (“‘If I Was to Speak What Might I Say’ –...

Earlier this week we had some new wood-looking vinyl flooring installed at my house. It replaces old flooring in nearly every room on our main level; kitchen, eat-in area, family room. We had to prepare the way for the installers, so for several hours last...

Giving Thanks in All Circumstances Well here we are—about to celebrate another holiday in a way we never expected. Tomorrow we will eat a meal alone or perhaps together with a smaller than usual number of family members. I’m sorry if it’s different for you this year,...

“We do not grieve as those who have no hope,” Paul says to the Thessalonians. Yet we still grieve. I saw it with my own eyes and felt it in my own heart within the last couple days as I officiated several small funerals for...

One Predictable Change As of this morning, we set our clocks back correctly and gained an hour of sleep. As I say this aloud, I hope it occurs to you, as it does to me, that at least one predictable thing happened in 2020—we have changed...

Did you catch today’s Gospel reading (John 8:31-36)? It was short. Just four verses. Barely enough characters to fill up two “Tweets” on Twitter. Allow me to read it again. Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in...

A Variety of Denominations We’ve started confirmation for our church’s Middle Schoolers recently. We’re Zooming with about 25 6th graders on Tuesday nights and around 75 7th & 8th graders on Wednesdays. It’s their weekly mid-week Christian education time. This year, our young people will be learning...

A Sense of Urgency This parable about a wedding banquet gone wrong is a bizarre story (Matthew 22:1-14). Matthew, our gospel writer, extends Jesus’ parable, adding even more dire twists and turns because, scholars believe, Matthew is trying to convey to his audience, and to us,...

Change your Mind The ability of human beings to change our minds forms the basis of how we live our lives together. It is a noble and somewhat comforting thing to know that just because we have proclaimed an opinion, there still exists the possibility that ...

Chilly Mornings, Warm Beds The weather in these last couple days and nights has shifted. Its chilly out there! I’ve quickly transitioned to snuggling under the covers for my night’s sleep. And I’m already finding it more difficult to crawl out of my cozy blankets in...

Living in Harmony? I don’t know about you, but I am someone who hates disagreement and conflict. About 6 years ago, our church staff took personality inventories and I learned that my number one strength is “HARMONY." That means I want everyone to get along and...