Category Worship

What Do You Treasure?

The last time I saw many of my college students in person was Ash Wednesday. During the day, the Episcopal Campus Minister, Lutheran Campus Minister, and I hosted Ashes to Go at the Free Expression Tunnel on campus. Some were thrilled to see us; others murmured that we shouldn’t be there. One refused to take […]

The Hospitality of Peace

A homily given at Winnetka Presbyterian Church on November 22, 2015 Isaiah 11:1-5 (NRSV) The Peaceful Kingdom A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might,the spirit of knowledge […]

Some Lady Holding A Baby

A few days before Christmas two years ago I was standing in a grocery store check-out line when the customer in front of me asked the clerk if she had any Christmas stamps. The conversation went like so: Customer: “Do you have Christmas stamps?” Clerk: “No. We just have Liberty Bell and some lady holding […]

Blue Christmas

This time last December 13, I crafted two prayers for Church Health Reader’s winter edition featuring Blue Christmas and Longest Night Services while I sat in a surgical waiting room. My mom had a liter of fluid in her right lung, so a surgical oncologist inserted a chest tube to remove the fluid. This is a […]

No Longer Taboo

Two weeks ago my spouse was installed as the new head pastor of the church he now serves. For you non churchy types (I sure hope there are non-churchy types who read my blog) it was an additional worship service with questions, vows, and charges to the newly installed, thus making the new gig officially […]

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

A sermon preached on August 11, 2013 at Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, IL Psalm 139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even […]

Joy in the Mourning

A sermon preached prior to communion at Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, IL July 7, 2013 Psalm 30 I exalt you, Lord, because you pulled me up; you didn’t let my enemies celebrate over me. Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help and you healed me. Lord, you brought me up from […]

Community of Healing

A Sermon Preached at Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, IL on June 9, 2013.  Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was […]

Why I Need the Resurrection

In response to the prompt: In 100 words or less, write “Why I Need the Resurrection.” I need the resurrection because a father didn’t live to see his son’s wedding because I pushed the “code” button myself when my Mom was unresponsive in the hospital because many still wonder if their stones will ever be […]

Joy of Every Longing Heart

Yesterday during the “announcements” segment of worship, there were comments about upcoming cookie baking, intergenerational Advent crafts, and other such holiday activities. Then a child raised his hand, and when the pastor acknowledged him asked, “Is Christmas about joy?” The pastor thanked him for his question and said that it was a perfect transition to […]