Sermon: That’s Me In the Corner

Galatians 1:13-17; 2:15-21 and Luke 18:9-14 Sixth Sunday of Easter Losing My Religion Sermon Series May 21, 2016 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN Click here to listen to the audio. It’s been about two years since our congregation voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation, meaning that we openly welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered persons into the life of our church.  I think that’s a good thing, but over the years even long before our vote, I’ve been wondering about the quality of the pro-inclusion argument.  Whenever I’ve seen people argue in favor of LGBT inclusion, the main … Continue reading Sermon: That’s Me In the Corner

Sermon: “When the President Comes to Church”

Luke 4:14-30 Mission First: Gathered Series Second Sunday of Epiphany January 15, 2017 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN If Donald Trump showed up at the door of this church, would you let him in? Just hold that thought for a bit. A few years ago, I was involved in helping the church I was at in sponsoring a refugee family.  We worked with the Minnesota Council of Churches which has a good record of helping people from around the world settle here in Minnesota.  We learned that we were going to sponsor a family coming from Somalia.  This is not … Continue reading Sermon: “When the President Comes to Church”

Adventures In Church Planting: 2013 (REPOST)

Originally posted on The Clockwork Pastor:
As most of you know, I’ve been the head of a new church ministry in my Region.  There have been some good and not so good developments in the area of church planting last year, though for the most part it was a down year in many ways.  The good news is that our group got bigger as a few more people expressed interest in being involved.  The so-so news is how I’m leading.  I want to give people the chance to step up and take part, but I have to balance that with… Continue reading Adventures In Church Planting: 2013 (REPOST)

The Landscape for Mission (and Theology)

One of the things that my denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is trying to do better is helping people understand the context in which they are to be church.  An initiative, the  Landscape for Mission has come out that helps people explain the changing society that we find ourselves in and insight on what we can do.  I like the production value and I like that the four videos tell some hard truths about the denomination, something that a number of Disciples refuse to admit. Where I think it falls short is in the area of theology.  I … Continue reading The Landscape for Mission (and Theology)

Yet Another Post on Church Planting

It’s been a bittersweet time for me. On the one hand, I am excited of being pastor at First Christian.  There are a lot of challenges; the church is down a faithful few and we are starting to find ways to grow numerically and spiritually as well.  Most churches that are down to a handful would just close and that was suggested to the folks at First.  But they decided to stick together and keep on keeping on.  I am amazed at their faith and feel honored to journey with them as First-St. Paul becomes something new and yet the … Continue reading Yet Another Post on Church Planting

Sermon: “The Interactive Church”

I preached this on the Fourth Sunday of Easter in 2008, which is also called Good Shepherd Sunday. Acts 2:42-47, John 10:1-10 April 13, 2008 (Good Shepherd Sunday) Lake Harriet Christian Church Minneapolis, MN I’ll admit it; I’m a geek. Some of you know I wrote the main article in this month’s church newsletter. It’s called “Church 2.0.” I talked about how my job as a communications specialist for the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area has used my knowledge of blogs, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace has changed how we communicate with each other. I’ve been working … Continue reading Sermon: “The Interactive Church”

What Does It Mean to Be Prophetic, Part Three

It was two years ago, that I wondered aloud what it meant to be prophetic.  I’ve heard that phrase a lot in many of the progressive circles I’ve been in, but I’ve always wondered if what is called prophetic is nothing more than espousing your ideology and wrapping it up in God-language. What does it mean to be prophetic?  The reason I ask is that I think a lot of folks have an idea what it means to be prophetic that I think is a bit wrong.  I will see a pastor who will get up and talk about some … Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be Prophetic, Part Three

The Intolerable Thing

It’s quite common in Progressive Christian circles to talk about the importance of justice or doing things for others over belief.  There is a reason for this; that being the sad history of people who had solid beliefs in Christianity and yet their lives did not reflect what they were saying.  I am reminded of Frederick Douglass’ autobiography of being a slave where he shares a cases where he was being whipped by his master who was quoting Bible verses all the while. What we do in our daily lives is a witness of our walk with God.  If we … Continue reading The Intolerable Thing

What Does It Mean to Be Prophetic?

I stumbled across a post by Methodist blogger Allan Bevere on the prophetic nature of the church.  He ends to post like this: As I continue to say– when Christians hear the word “politics” they should not think state; they should think church. For Christians, our politic is church. But that clearly is not what it has been and both the Christian right and the left are guilty of making the church somehow beside the point. Because we have reduced the “political” to partisan politics we have reduced the church to one more social agency and one more culturally acceptable … Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be Prophetic?