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Why I Still Go

Psalm 84 Hebrews 10:19-25 Sermon by Rev. J. Barrie Shepherd Before we pray, let me say a word of thanks to Cindy for the privilege of this distinguished pulpit. I must confess that, as a Presbyterian moving to Maine a couple of years ago, I have felt quite at home here. I was actually baptized […]

A la carte

  Mark 12:38-44 As most of you know, the lectionary is a three-year cycle of readings used in many churches. So this passage, often referred to as the story of “the widow’s mite” comes up every three years, always during November, which means that, for many churches, it’s smack dab in the middle of stewardship […]

Determined Willing

Ruth 1:1-8   As I read the scripture, I am guessing that two things came to mind: weddings and Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey was allegedly named for the other daughter-in-law in our story, Ruth’s counterpart. But a mistake on the birth certificate resulted in the name of Oprah rather than Orpah. Setting aside that little […]

Gifts from the Margins

Mark 10:46-52 Whenever a Bible story includes someone being healed from a disability, progressive preachers get a wee bit antsy. We have to be careful because we don’t want to imply that being blind or deaf or lame makes someone “less than” others who are not. We don’t want to imply that people with disabilities […]

Be Bold

Hebrews 4:12-16 One of the beautiful things about our holy text is the variety of names for God, the diversity of metaphors for our relationship with the Divine. Some of us can relate to God as father and some cannot. That’s one of the reasons we use inclusive language. Some of us find the Good […]

Who am I?

Mark 8:27-26 One of the reasons I enjoy teaching Confirmation class is that I like kids that age. Oh, I love the little ones, and especially the hugs I get from them on Sunday mornings. But I also love the conversations I can have with the older ones. Thirteen and fourteen year-olds are starting to […]

A Sermon in Two Voices

  by Rev. Cindy Maddox & Jackie McNeil — July 12, 2015 C: When I was five years old, I thought I was going to hell. J: When I was five years old, I had already been there. C: I thought I was going to hell because I hadn’t gotten saved yet, and my Heavenly […]

A Land of Giants

1 Samuel 17:37-49 Our passage for today is an excerpt from a long story so let me summarize a bit before I read part of it. The Israelites and the Philistines were at battle. Each army was camped in the mountains, with a valley between them. But neither could approach the other without crossing the […]

Don’t You Care?

Mark 4:35-41   It was hard to know what to preach this week. On Mother’s Day I spoke about the difficulty of such holidays. People came to worship today with different needs, with both positive and negative experiences of their own father, and with both positive and negative experiences as a parent (or lack thereof). […]

Are we Pentecostal?

Acts 2:1-21 The word “Pentecostal” typically refers to a particular brand of Christianity. Pentecostal Christians are those who believe that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit results in the gift of tongues (speaking in an unknown language) or the interpretation of tongues (being able to interpret this unknown language for others to understand). The terms […]

Mother Hen

Luke 13:31-35 Most pastors, if they are honest, will admit that Mother’s Day is not an easy day for preaching. The trend within progressive churches is a sharp move away from celebrating Mother’s Day in worship, and with good reason. First, it is not a liturgical holiday. Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost – […]

A Pound of Prevention

Acts 8:26-40 The main character in our story today is so different from us that it can be hard for us to relate. We are not positive about his religion. He was possibly a Gentile, given the demographics of his geographic location. But since he traveled all the way to Jerusalem to worship, many scholars […]

Unless I See the Wounds

John 20:19-31 There are many characters in the Bible with whom I can easily relate, and Thomas is definitely one of them. In fact, Thomas is probably in the top five. I grew up calling him Doubting Thomas. “Don’t be a doubting Thomas” we sang as children. The hand motions even had us shaking our […]

The Bandwagon of Uncertainty?

John 20:1-18 Taylor Mali is a wonderful poet in the genre of spoken word poetry, sometimes called slam poetry. This means that his work is intended to be performed, not read. So although I cannot do it as well as he does, I want to share with you his poem about speaking. In case you […]

The Coat

Mark 11:1-11 (This sermon is from the point of view of a fictional character. She is not in the Bible, but I think she has some things to say to us today.) My father was a wealthy merchant. Of course, the Roman government took a large portion of his profits in taxes, not to mention […]

Selfies with Jesus

John 12:20-33 Young people today have been called the “selfie generation.” Selfies are, of course, photos that people take of themselves, typically with their phones, and then post online. The word “selfie” was Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2013. There are trends within the selfie genre, if you will. For example, certain faces […]

  • A Christian Family: Loving, Welcoming, Serving

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