a sermon by Lia Scholl Last week we talked about John 3:8, and the Holy Spirit, and how she blows where she chooses, and you hear the sound of her, but you do not know where she comes from or where she goes. And I compared the Holy Spirit in our lives to the wind that picks up a kite—and the balance between being tethered to the ground, like a kite must be, but also must be free to fly. If we are too tightly tethered, whether to the past, to conflict, or to control, we will not thrive. But then I found myself asking,Read More →

A sermon on John 8: 1-11. We have been learning about forgiveness… We learned why we should forgive—because resentment is like eating rat poison and hoping the rat will die. And we forgive because we are commanded by God to do so, that in doing so we build a world of forgiveness. And the best reason to forgive is that we, ourselves, need forgiveness. We learned how to forgive (according to The Book of Forgiving by Desmond and Mpho Tutu): tell the story, name the hurt, grant forgiveness, and release or renew the relationship. We also learned about creating a world of forgiveness, and thatRead More →

A sermon based on Hosea 11. A friend asked in a coffee shop recently: How do you reconcile the idea of a loving God with all that happens in the world? It’s the oldest question in the world. And when we look at the stark horror of what has happened this week in Paris, in Beirut, in southern Japan, in the Bosso district of Niger, and in Baghdad It’s hard to start anyplace but disbelief and sorrow. How can we reconcile the idea of a loving God with all that has happened in the world? This is the question, I believe, that the book ofRead More →

A sermon based on 1 Kings 18. I wonder if you all know the composer, Arvo Pärt. He was born in Estonia in 1935. He is a rather prolific composer, which includes choral pieces and orchestral pieces. My favorite is a piece called Spiegel im Spiegel, or Mirror in Mirror, which was written for a piano and violin. In a recent Guardian article Gunter Atteln said, “In order to understand Pärt, one needs to know that he is a religious person. You don’t need to be religious to feel his music, just as you don’t need to be religious to feel the music of Bach.”Read More →

In the new book, Accidental Saints, Finding God in All the Wrong People, Nadia Bolz-Weber, the tattoo-having, curse-word-saying pastor of the Church of All Saints and Sinners, tells of seeking a new saint, one she could model her life after as she began a new church. She found Alma White, who planted a church in 1901. Alma Bridwell White was the founder and a bishop of the Pillar of Fire Church and in 1918, she became the first female bishop in the United States. She was noted for her feminism and “her association with [wait for it…] the Ku Klux Klan, her anti-Catholicism, anti-Semitism, anti-Pentecostalism,Read More →