Sermon Archives

December 26, 2021

Show and Tell

Show and Tell

Until about the age of six, my family went to the East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church in the city of Lancaster, PA. We children were all given a penny bank that was modeled after the church building as it looked in the 1950s. It was made by one of the pastors who was a pattern […]

August 8, 2021


Some of you may know the name John Dear—no, not the green tractors that used to go put-put—but John Dear [D-e-a-r], a Catholic priest and peace activist from CA. Early in his career John Dear felt obligated to support an inmate on death row, since he opposed the death penalty. He contacted an inmate in […]

May 30, 2021

Freely Bound

March 8, 2020. That was the last Sunday that we had an in-person worship service. Of course, that was the only option that we had way back then. It seems so long ago, doesn’t it? My pre-pandemic memories are all in black and white. March 8, 2020 was the second Sunday of Lent. Like today, […]

April 26, 2020

The Long Slog to Communion

Now, what? Every single one of us asks that question at some point in our lives, several points, probably. Now what? Maybe you are asking that question right now. Maybe those of you with children are being asked that question a lot these days. You see, we ask that question whenever we find ourselves taking […]

January 12, 2020

Where the Dove Went

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all. (Emily Dickinson) Genesis, chapter 1. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of […]

December 29, 2019

The Other Half of the Story

For the last twenty years, I’ve read the New York Times nearly every day. It’s not my only source of news, but it has been my main source of news. I don’t read the whole paper every day because that would take too long. Instead I generally focus on national and international news, along with […]

November 10, 2019

The Spirituality of the Blues

(Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, Bessie Smith)[1] Nobody knows you when you’re down and out. That song is by Bessie Smith, nicknamed The Empress of the Blues, one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920’s and 30’s. I listened to the blues as I prepared this message. That’s because I […]

December 23, 2018

Tell God I Say Yes

Billy was a kid in the neighborhood who had a rough edge, a rowdy kid who pushed other people’s buttons. He hung out with my younger brothers and was in and out of our home. One day when Billy was 10 years old, my Mom got a call from Billy’s mom, a single parent with […]

October 7, 2018

Hope for the Future of the Church

Hope for the Future of the Church

We have a friendship quilt on our bed, given to us by the congregation in Indianapolis. And one of the patches was created by children 3rd through 6th grades and it says: We are NOT the future of the church….We ARE the church! In thinking about why life here in the Berkey Congregation gives me […]

July 1, 2018

Struggle and Joy

I have now stated in a sermon 3 times that I am a pessimist. This puts me at a particular disadvantage when tasked with coming up with a sermon about joy. To defend my fellow pessimists, we are not devoid of joy. I laugh a lot, I’m at a good place in life with a […]

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