Palms, Passion, and Power

How many times have you read or seen or heard the story of Jesus’ last week? Dozens? 50? Hundreds of times?Whatever your answer to that, it is a well-known story. Many of us can likely quote all the lines (as it were) from beginning to end — this year from the gospel of Mark. So …

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Why did it have to be Snakes?!

What happens when we start with a (near) universally beloved scripture verse — quite possibly the most famous verse of all time — and add a story that can only be described as bizarre, disturbing, and kinda icky??What happens? Exactly what you think would happen: people stop being polite and start getting real. As in, …

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Finding Comfort On the Mountaintop and In the Valley

I had to repeatedly reminded myself that this is not Jorie's memorial service. I wrote recently about my turn to preach coming up the same time as a fair number of significant events. But this week was different because our colleague, our teammate, our friend, our sister in Christ, Jorie died suddenly. In those previous …

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One Creed to Unite Us All

This has been, to say the least, a very difficult week. COVID continues to run rampant in our country with daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as high or higher than they’ve ever been. We’re averaging 3500 deaths, the equivalent of a 9/11 attack or more per day now. Then Wednesday we witnessed armed insurrectionists attempt …

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Longest Night Redux

I know, I know. The Winter Solstice was two weeks ago. But with the near-future of our country up for grabs in the Georgia Senate runoff election today and the Electoral College vote count tomorrow, this night feels awfully similar to December 21st. So I thought experiencing our Longest Night service again might help me. …

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The Joy of The Child

Merry Christmas Eve! Most years this one of my biggest work days with multiple worship services to co-preside and a sermon to offer. This year, due to the pandemic, we recorded our indoor Christmas Eve service a couple days ago and we are only gathering outside for a brief time of reading scripture and praying …

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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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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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