The Commands of Jesus: Take Up Your Cross – July 23, 2017 – Mark 8: 27 – 9: 1

I made my confession of faith in August of 2004. I remember what I was wearing. I remember which friend went to church with me that day. I remember where I was sitting in the church. I remember taking communion for the first time.

I affirmed my confession of faith at my ordination and again when I was installed on my first Sunday here. I asked Matt to affirm his confession of faith when he joined this church. A confession of faith may seem a simple act but it is the confession that Jesus is the Christ that binds us as a fellowship to one another. The Disciples of Christ believe “No creed but Christ”. We may differ on many things, but we agree on Christ. Continue reading

The Commands of Jesus: Forgive and You Will Be Forgiven – July 16, 2017 – Luke 6: 37 – 42

Thank you for sending me to General Assembly. I had a great time connecting with old friends, making new friends, making some contacts for our ministry, and renewing my call. We elected and installed a new General Minister and President to a 6-year term. If you follow me on Facebook, you saw pictures of Flat Sally and Flat Jesus participating in business, worship and fellowship. You also saw articles about the historic moment of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) electing a leader who is the first black female to preside a Mainline Christian denomination.

I had the opportunity to participate on a panel with 4 other clergy with mental health illness. The workshop was standing room only as clergy and lay leaders from across the nation wanted to know more about mental health in the church. We talked about the stigma of mental health illness in our culture and context and what the church can do to respond to and be welcoming of those with mental health illness.

On Wednesday, I went to Panera for lunch. It was a God thing that I had lunch alone that day, because I needed to be quiet to listen to an important conversation relevant to today’s message. As I was standing in line for lunch, I overheard 2 women talking behind me. One woman said she was ready for a divorce, like yesterday. She said she had tried to make it work but she was just done. The other woman said I’m concerned he might kill you. The woman wanting a divorce said me too. The woman wanting the divorce went on to talk about writing a will and what stipulations she wanted in it. She told her friend, “I’m telling you this in case something happens before I get my wishes documented.” Continue reading

The Commands of Jesus: Do Not Be Afraid – July 9, 2017 – Luke 5: 1 – 11

I’d like to share with you the story of a lifeboat station. This lifeboat station was on a dangerous section of the sea coast where there were often shipwrecks. The lifeboat station was a rough little building, just a hut, really, with only one boat. The lifeboat station had a few devoted members who kept constant watch of the sea. With no thought for their own safety, they went out night and day to search for those lost at sea.

Some of those who had been saved by their effort wanted to become associated with the lifeboat station. Others in the surrounding area who heard about the work the little lifeboat station was doing also wanted to be associated with the station. These new people gave their time, their money and their talents to support the work of the station. They bought new boats and trained new crew members. The little lifeboat station was growing. Continue reading