Sermons

Seekers recognizes that any member of the community may be called upon by God to give us the Word. Our Guidelines for Preaching help us prepare sermons. This section collects for study and reflection drafts of sermons that happen to have been prepared in electronic form. The most recent sermon is on the top of the page.

“Liminal Space” by Jacqie Wallen

Top, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, 1495-98. Bottom, doctors at a hospital in Paris performing a tableau vivant of the painting.

August 9, 2020

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

I love the story of Peter walking on water.  I picked this date to preach because I wanted to preach about that story even though I’m in Learners and Teachers Mission Group and our traditional time to preach is during the Recommitment Season when Seekers are asked to examine, and hopefully reconfirm, their commitment to Seekers.  Recommitment Season begins in September and this is the beginning of August, so I ask you to consider me as a sort of a John the Baptist.  Remember how he came ahead of Jesus to pave the way?  You can think of me as coming ahead of Recommitment Season to pave the way for the Recommitment Season sermons.  And I will end this sermon by saying a few inspiring things about recommitment.

“Wrestling in the Dark” by Erica Lloyd

Top, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, 1495-98. Bottom, doctors at a hospital in Paris performing a tableau vivant of the painting.

August 2, 2020

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

I’m in a season of my spiritual journey where the Spirit seems to speak loudest to me through scriptures that drive me crazy. When it comes to my favorite verses, the Spirit and I sit in companionable silence like an old married couple. It’s stories like today’s Genesis reading – with a human that annoys me and a God who confounds me – where the Spirit seems bent on conversation. The scripture keeps popping up in my head, plaguing me with questions days later until I finally concede and decide to engage. And so, like Jacob, I wrestle.

First: there is the problem of Jacob. There are a lot of imperfect humans in the Bible that I love – if you heard me preach back in April, you know I’m partial to Thomas, but I also love poor, hapless Peter, and Martha and Mary, and so many others  – but Jacob was just not one of them.

“Training for the Kindom” by Kolya Braun-Greiner

Top, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, 1495-98. Bottom, doctors at a hospital in Paris performing a tableau vivant of the painting.

July 26, 2020

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

OK- I’m going to be blatantly honest. It would be disingenuous for me to barrel around the fact that I am not feeling very comforted these days. In fact, a more apt description would be disturbed, disquieted, troubled and here’s the hardest admission – frightened by recent events. I’m guessing that I am not alone in this — especially this past week as Corona virus numbers soar, people are teetering near the edge of homelessness if they don’t get housing assistance, a rogue president acting like a dictator is implementing what looks like a militarized police state along with a slowing down the postal delivery system, upon which, of course, mail in ballots will depend. What a week!  It is hard for me to admit whenever I feel powerless, uncertain of what to do and where to apply my energy for some degree of positive change. So I struggled for quite some time to find a pastoral or prophetic message to address this volatile situation. My usual modus operandi for preaching is to offer a words of hope and possibility with the aim of leaving you less discouraged than when I began.

And that confession is an affirmation that I am being trained by this community in the ways of kindom. One of the most potent lessons I am learning is through the example of others, the power of vulnerability.  Being preceded by preachers Amy Moffit and Mary Mahala, I am humbled by their openness and deep sharing of personal experience during their sermons. This is a growing edge for me! So there it is, I have broken my own pattern, inspired by others within this community to begin this sermon admitting my own weakness rather than my accustomed soldiering through.

“The Parable of the Weeds” by Mary Mahala

Banner with image of cross, compass rose, and the Seekers plant

July 19, 2020

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Good morning Seekers, thank you for the opportunity to share a word with you this morning. I saw the gospel reading for the week, and thought how difficult it would be in part because Jesus tells us it’s meaning, and I wondered what else could say. But then some things started coming up in my spirit. So, I am going to share.

First, let me start with saying a prayer of thanksgiving. God thank you; you call me to rejoice in all circumstances and to give thanks. Yet, I can’t help but ask, how can I rejoice and give thanks knowing that a battle rages on; in the realm of eternity, and on earth, when there’s so much suffering, strife and division? But I recall that my rejoicing is wrapped up in your goodness, and in who you are, and even when I struggle to trust, I trust anyway. So, I give thanks for this wonderful body of believers that I see today. That we would leave this morning encouraged, empowered, and strengthen in Jesus, knowing in him we are all one. Amen

Even though we come from different parts of the world, region, have different skin colors, personalities, ideologies, beliefs, mannerism, intellectual capacity (you name it), I think we are all the same fundamentally; we’re people and I believe that we are all created by God. And so my spirit is troubled because I know that we’re experiencing the consequences of sin; centuries old thinking that is rooted in lies, established by a religious and political system created by men that categorized, divided, oppressed, killed; spiritually and physically the people of God, the precious creation of the Holy One. And sadly, we are all affected; past, present, and future until the coming of our Lord Jesus. I remember when the girls would argue, and when I walked into the room, they’d stopped arguing. I also recall a dream I had a few years ago, there was a storm and people were running around like crazy, then all of the sudden huge white horses with wings descended from the sky, lined up in two rows, and then a cloud came down, everyone stopped what they were doing, and then we all knew, it was Jesus coming back. So, yea, I believe that all these shenanigans, lawlessness, darkness, will cease immediately when Jesus comes back, but in the meantime my heart breaks, I feel anxious most days, I am stressed out, tired, and in the midst of it all, I am strengthened, and in the end I seem to always find my way in God. I guess that’s the sweet paradox of God, tired, yet strengthened.

“Wear Your Mask and Keep Praying” by Amy Moffitt

Banner with image of cross, compass rose, and the Seekers plant

July 12, 2020

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Good morning, Seekers!  As Peter said, my name is Amy Moffitt, and I am both honored and terrified by the opportunity to preach today at Seekers.  As I think most of you know, I visited Seekers once years ago, but I hadn’t been back and wasn’t a part of this community until life circumstances –most notably the global pandemic—had me looking for a community of faith online.  I’ve really enjoyed worshipping with you all, and I count this experience as one of the surprising silver linings of this season.

Since I put it out there that I have a degree from Wesley Seminary, I want to caveat that my emphasis was in pastoral counseling and that I’ve never taken a preaching class.  As for my exegetical approach, I’d like to dignify it by calling it midrash, but essentially it’s just me struggling with and reacting to scripture.  If I am a theologian of any sort, it’s probably more in the school of Woody Allen than Wesley.

Peter mentioned that I put Presby-Cathlo-Episcopa-Mennonite under “denomination” on my seminary application.  Like many of you, my faith journey has taken me down many different paths and exposed me to different kinds of people, different faiths, different perspectives.  I know, as do you all, that there is more than one way to approach any given scripture, and that some of those ways do harm.  I also know that there are ways of doing church that bring an incredible amount of harm, and there are ways of doing church that end up feeling not much like “church” at all.

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