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Sermons

It’s Time: Naming (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30)

Last week, we were waiting. As we reflected on Jesus’ words, we heard that it was time. It was time—it is time—for heaven to break forth on earth. Yet we look around we see that heaven is not yet. Twenty-one hundred years after the birth of Jesus, we are… still… waiting. Waiting for justice to pour forth. For love to overcome fear. For those that are on the margins to be comforted. To be seen. To be heard. This week, it is still time. Time for waiting. But it is also time to name. For this week, it is hard to get away. Hard to get away from the challenging image of a punishing, overbeari...
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It’s Time: Waiting (Psalm 78:107 Matthew 25:1-13)

It’s time. I would ask you to hold sacred space. A space in which it is time to talk about potentially challenging topics: Earworms. Fools. And waiting. Did I capture your attention? I love the squishy disquieting idea that the word “earworm” invokes. Do you know what an earworm is? It is one of those songs that gets stuck in your mind. You might suddenly realize that you have been humming a tune that you heard earlier in the day on the radio. This week, Bryan Sirchio’s song God Says It’s Time got stuck in my head. You may, or may not, know the tune. We will sing it together at the end of w...
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Knotted Together – Part II (1 Thessalonians 2:9-13: Matthew 23:1-12)

We are a people of God’s story. That never ending narrative of God’s creative presence. Last week (Oct. 29), gathered in worship, we were each given a piece of rope. A section of cord that was separate, apart from, everyone else’s. We then talked about covenant. About the ways in which we are not members of this faith community, but covenanted partners. Covenanted with God. Covenanted with each other. Covenanted with the wider church. We physically responded to our covenant with one another by tying our threads together, remembering how we are connected. Today, strung before us in the sanct...
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Knotted Together (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46)

Following the scripture readings and before the sermon, the youth handed out rope to each person in the sanctuary. The rope tied into the Word and was used for visually representing our covenant together as a church community. Courage to proclaim the Gospel. The Good News of God With Us. That eternal, ever present, extravagant Divine Love that weaves throughout time. Today we pause, noting that this October 31 will be… yes, Halloween… but also the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s radical act—publicly nailing 95 theses onto the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. The United Church of ...
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THIS is Church! (1 Thessalonians 1:1-19)

As we officially kick-off Memorial UCC’s Stewardship Campaign today, I am going to take a risk and delve into the question: Just what is “stewardship” in the life of the church? The Merrium-Webster Dictionary defines stewardship as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care." However, I encountered one of the best responses to the question “what is stewardship” here, at church, earlier this week—and the answer came from a 3 year-old. Here is your invitation into the story. I invite you to take a moment today, and each Sunday over the next four weeks, to loo...
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Another Parable…

This week's reflection from Pastor Kris delves into the parable of the wedding banquet in the gospel of Matthew, which includes challenging images for our time- as it did for the early followers of Jesus.  Today’s texts – Philippians 4:1-9 and Matthew 22:1-14 Prayer: God, we come before you in this sacred space to rejoice in your Word. May your Love, Grace, and Peace, which surpass all understanding, guide our hearts and our meditations this day. Amen.   We as human creatures learn through repetition. So hear again the story. Remember the context in which today’s reading from ...
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Voices Heard

Prayer: May the words of my mouth and the meditation or our hearts be acceptable unto you, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer. Last Sunday afternoon, I stood at the front of the sanctuary at the McFarland United Church of Christ and looked out across the amazing number of family, friends, and clergy gathered for my ordination. Everyone had been encouraged to wear something red – and everywhere I glanced the room was packed with the sense of the Spirit bursting forth. People from the faith communities that have shaped God’s call in my life were all represented: Plymouth UCC in Dodgeville, McF...
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