Sermon given by Rev. Frank Clarkson, October 20, 2019.
Sermon given by Sophia Lyons, October 13, 2019
Yesterday following the memorial service for Diane Brokvist, a couple of different people came up to me and said something like, “I could use a church like this.” We just had given Diane a good sendoff, and from what people shared in the service it was clear that she had found a spiritual home here; that this church was a place that invited Diane to bring her whole self, it had been a place of healing and growth for her. had changed her life for the better, helping make her into a spiritual leader who helped others find their own healing and liberation too.
A year ago, Diane Brokvist gave me this book of essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates about the experience of black people in America, and our history of racism and white supremacy. I read it this summer, and when I did, the thought came to me: I could preach about racism and white supremacy every month here.
Because this book shook me up; it opened my eyes wider to the vast racial divide in America; the many ways the deck is stacked against people of color. Especially against African Americans, who were brought here as slaves starting in 1619 and even after emancipation, suffered from Jim Crow segregation in the south, and racist laws in the north.
What wondrous love is this that takes away the pain of my soul? What love is this that our poet Pesha Gertler holds for her untended wounds her no places her wrong streets to call them Holy, holy, holy? What wonderous love is this?
At the beginning of September Rev. Frank introduced us to our theme this month of Deepening Understanding. I don’t know if you remember but at one point during his homily entitled Deep Calls to Deep, he asked our kids if they had ever taken swimming lessons. He reminded us all of how scary it can at first be at the shallow end when we are beginners, but what a difference it makes to get to that Deep End–the place where you can dive and plunge and cultivate a kind of unbridled joy. It’s worth it, even if it is scary, right?
Some of you are familiar with Anne Lamott’s story about why she made her son go to church, when he was young and didn’t want to go. But she made him, she says, because, “I want to give him what I have found in the world, which is to say a path and a little light to see by.”
It’s as good a description as I know for what we are about here: helping you find a path, and a little light to see by. My question for you today is this: have you found it? And if not, are you looking?
I am one who’s drawn to water, especially to moving water. There’s something compelling about the fact that a whole unseen world is right there, under the surface. Sometimes it seems that there is nothing down there, that there are no fish anywhere! The invitation is to have faith; to trust that there is something there, under the surface, even you see no sign or evidence to reassure you. It’s like the spiritual life—if you keep showing up, if you keep seeking, in time you do get glimpses of that Mystery, it does reveal itself, from time to time, like a fish quietly appearing out of the deep.
Sermon given by Joshua Goulet, September 1, 2019.
A couple of weeks ago, on a Tuesday morning here, the worship committee was meeting. We were gathered around a table, and Bo had made coffee, which made me glad. We lit the chalice, and I felt compelled to say a few words in response to the killings that had just happened in El Paso and Dayton.
There were no words that could make things better, of course, so after I said a few, there was an unplanned silence. We just sat there for a bit. Then we had a brief check-in and we started in on our work. It was good to there, gathered together, to see those faces around the table, to have time for conversation about things that matter.
A theme arose from our check-in, and it was this: trying to be happy, in spite of all the _____, all the pain and trouble in our world. Trying to find joy, even when things seem to be going to hell. We are living in a time when white supremacy is on the rise. When some white people, threatened by growing diversity, and emboldened by some of our leaders, are trying to intimidate and harm people of color. How do we live in these times? How do you dare to be happy, when you know that people are hurting or at risk? How do you live with the knowledge that we are on the brink of environmental disaster? When you fear for the lives of our children and grandchildren?
Sermon given by Zan Spaihts-Mohns, August 11, 2019.