Love God and Love Your Neighbor with Your Vote

I just got back from voting. It is a beautiful day -- sunny and not too cold -- and our polling place is close by, so I walked over. It is also a beautiful day for democracy in USAmerica. Or at least it should be. Republicans in many parts of the country have been up …

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Meet Him Inside

Our sermon series, “Privilege and Promise: This is America” concluded a few weeks back with a powerful sermon from Pastor Danita and an insightful special guest on the Zoom chat following worship. By the end of that Zoom call, I felt encouraged and hopeful about the leader of the Woodridge Police Department, the culture that …

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One more question

Sometimes the pieces fall into place. Look, I know there are plenty of reasons to be infuriated with a whole lot of Christian churches and people: White supremacy and nationalism; spreading QAnon nonsense; supporting Trump, to name three of the worst. But at Woodridge UMC we are doing our very best to be as open, …

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Questions abound

Sermon time! Boy, if that doesn't get you excited, what will?? This was one of those weeks that I suspect happen to all preachers at some point: "Still trying to find that spark for the sermon," I texted my colleague Saturday afternoon. Did I find it eventually? That, dear reader, is up to you. The …

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‘This is America’

We said from the beginning that our sermon series, “Privilege and Promise: This is America,” would make us all uncomfortable. We said from the beginning that this series would make us incensed and mournful. We said from the beginning that this series would challenge us but also, we hoped, teach us. We said from the …

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Inescapable Intersectionality

Attempting a deep dive into the history, and reality, of racism in USAmerica and in Christianity -- while also forging a path toward becoming actively anti-racist -- via a sermon series could very easily go awry. But at Woodridge UMC, with the Rev. Danita R. Anderson as our Lead Pastor, it very much did not …

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How Dare You?!

My sermon from Sunday based on the Lectionary texts from this week: Jonah 3:10-4:11 and Matthew 20:1-16. Both texts offer a parable, though Jonah is a much more extended story...and not always recognized for the tall tale that it is. Jonah is also my favorite book (other than the Gospel of Luke), as I've shared …

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Are you tired? I bet you’re tired

How about a Labor Day-themed sermon? That's what I offered on Sunday. Inspirations this week: Scripture texts from Romans 13 and the Gospel of Matthew 16. Local broadcaster and Chicago treasure, Laurence Holmes has long been my favorite radio show host. He is fantastic at interviews and I enjoy a good origin story, so his …

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‘Privilege and Promise: This is America — Complacent, Complicit, or Converted?’

Sermons are inherently weird. They are speeches, but not just that. They are reflections on scripture, but not just that. They are commentary on the state of the world, but not just that. They are autobiographical, but not just that. They are aspirational, but not just that. They are monologues and they are conversations. Sermons …

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March into Good Trouble

Last Sunday my wonderful colleague, Rev. Danita Anderson, gave us a powerful sermon about a legit American hero: Rep. John Lewis. I’ve written previously about how, shamefully, I was in my 30s before I really knew who John Lewis was and why he was so important to our country’s history — and present. As I’ve …

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