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 […]

May 9, 2021

A Boundary-Breaking God

“What is patriotism but the love of the food you ate as a child?” so asked a 20th-century Chinese philosopher named Lin Yutang. If patriotism is love of the foods I ate as a child, then I’m very patriotic: shoo-fly pie, chocolate shakes, meatloaf, graham cracker pudding, egg and olive salad, chocolate chip cookies, potato […]

July 14, 2019

The Lord of Hosts

The great trees of Mamre. This is a significant place in the life of Israel.  There is a tradition, cited by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, that the trees of Mamre are as old as the world itself and another tradition that says these trees mark the spot where the Temple would eventually stand. But […]

May 12, 2019

Enemies, Shepherds, and Divine Promises

One of the first passages from the Bible that children learn is the 23rd Psalm. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. This Psalm stays with us through adulthood. For many, this is a passage chosen for memorial services. But why this Psalm? What makes it so important to us that we take […]

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 […]

September 9, 2018

Plenty Good Room?

William Sloan Coffin Jr. says: “For Christians the problem is NOT how to reconcile homosexuality with Scripture passages that condemn it, but how to reconcile the rejection of homosexuals with the LOVE OF CHRIST.” YET… for many in the Church the problem HAS been how to reconcile an open door to LGBTQ folks with a […]

June 25, 2017

An Act of Resistance

When I was a child, we sang a song about Zacchaeus in Sunday school. Perhaps you know the song: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he. . . .” One detail about that song puzzled me. Why did the songwriter emphasize Zacchaeus’s height? Yes, I know Luke 19 says […]

June 18, 2017

Practicing God’s Presence at the Table

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Perhaps it is fitting, that in the midst of this series on hospitality, and on the Sunday in which we say […]

May 7, 2017

The Fountain of Hospitality

Four weeks ago today, on April 9, United Airlines in Chicago removed a doctor, David Dao, from a plane by forcibly dragging him out of his seat. Other passengers filmed the incident on their smart phones and uploaded the video to social media. On the video you can hear the doctor screaming that he doesn’t […]