Recent Sermons

Below are excerpts from some recent sermons.  You can also explore the full list since June 2015.  Some sermons include the podcast at the bottom of the page, with older podcasts from 2013-2015 still available. 

Our Pastors’ Preachings

What is It?

August 2, 2015
Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15, John 6:24-35     Time After Pentecost – Lectionary 18   My husband, who is from Rocky Mount, NC, moved to Philadelphia, where I had been born and raised. Out for breakfast one morning, before I became a vegetarian, I ordered scrapple. Griff asked, “What is it?” He has since determined that scrapple is made from the sweepings from a butcher shop floor. When we took a trip south, he ordered grits and I asked, “What is it?” Grits, well, I suppose they are better for you than floor sweepings, but I never quite acquired a taste for…

Trusting God, Watching for What God is Doing, Cooperating with What God is Doing

July 26, 2015
Time After Pentecost – Lectionary 17     John 6:1-21    July 26, 2015   Jesus presents Philip with an insoluble problem.  We’re six chapters into the story of Jesus, in John’s gospel.  Jesus has been doing some miraculous things.  At a wedding, in the town of Cana, Jesus turned water into wine![1]  He healed a royal official’s son just by saying some words, without even laying his eyes on the boy![2]  And there must be even more healings that Jesus has been performing, because: A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for…

R & R

July 19, 2015
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56  Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 16        July 19, 2015    “Come, all by yourselves, and rest for a while.” Jesus was responding to the disciples after they had told him all that they had done. When have you gone away for vacation? This week, I was on the beach for a day and a half in Duck, NC, researching our texts for today. Does that qualify? According to an article I read recently, a survey by the U.S. Travel Association found that Americans take fewer vacation days than they did 15 years ago.…

What Is The Work God Wants You To Do?

July 12, 2015
 Amos 7:7-15     Time After Pentecost – Lectionary 15    July 12, 2015   Amos is plaintive in his protest!  Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, is confronting Amos because Amos’ prophecies are upsetting the comfortable status quo.  Amaziah is saying that Amos needs to go away from there, to upset people in some other place.  Amos says, in reply, “I can’t.  And, just to let you know, I don’t want to be doing this!  God is making me do it!”  Or, as we actually read in the text: Then Amos answered Amaziah, "I am no prophet, nor a…

Belief and Unbelief, Repentance and Rejection

July 5, 2015
Time After Pentecost – Lectionary 14 Mark 6:1-13 July 5, 2015 It’s always interesting to read what’s actually in the Bible. In this morning’s stories from the gospel of Mark, do you notice what’s going on? These are stories of rejection! Nearly everyone rejects Jesus in his hometown, and Jesus has to prepare his missionaries to deal with rejection when they go out into the surrounding villages. As the gospel writer of Mark tells the story, Jesus has been teaching and healing and performing miracles. He has even stilled a storm! Now Jesus has come back home. Here’s the…

Homily for the Wedding of Sarah Harms and Ray Beatty

June 28, 2015
Colossians 3:12-17     June 28, 2015 What is God like?  How does God want us to live?  Does the Bible give us any guidance that would be helpful in the context of what we’re celebrating today? Here’s the thing.  The Bible presents many views of what God is like, and how God wants us to live, and some of these views contradict others, in other places of the Bible!  I guess that’s understandable, when you consider that the Bible is a library of books, produced by writers from different ancient near Eastern cultures over a period of 1,300…

Mourning into Dancing

June 28, 2015
Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 30, Mark 5:21-43     Time after Pentecost--Lectionary 13      June 28, 2015 I will exalt you, O Lord, because you have lifted me up and have not let my enemies triumph over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to you, and you restored me to health. You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead; you restored my life as I was going down to the grave. So writes the Psalmist. This Psalm is engraved in my memory. It was Sunday, September 17, 2005, right here in this worship space that Bishop Mauney spoke…

A Sleepless Night?

June 21, 2015
Job 38:1-11, Mark 4:35-41    Time after Pentecost -- Lectionary 12   June 21, 2015 What disturbs your sleep? I hope my sermon isn’t interrupting your morning nap. What is it that wakes you up in the middle of the night? Those nights in which you are tossing and turning and twisting the sheets into a knot, what is it that is preventing you from sleeping soundly? Maybe your restful peace is disturbed by a 21 year-old hate-filled racist murdering 9 people as they were faithfully studying God’s word. Maybe your sense of peace is disrupted to learn that two…

Working, Waiting, Trusting, Watching

June 14, 2015
 Time After Pentecost – Lectionary 11     Mark 4:26-34     June 14, 2015 I might have become a monk – if it hadn’t been for that darn vow of celibacy,.  I find that my day-to-day spiritual practice is Benedictine.  St. Benedict lived in the 6th century and all monasteries live according to his Rule for monastic life together.  A basic practice in the Rule is to stop several times during the day for prayer.  Many Benedictine monasteries gather for prayer four times each day: first thing in the morning, at noon, at the end of the afternoon, and just…