Sermon: Touch and Know

photoBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, Homily given at the Day House Mass, the Detroit Catholic Worker House, April 23, 2017

John 20:19-31

The vigil continued behind us with honks, signs and a host of elders calling for love and welcome of immigrants and refugees. We had migrated into the trees and grass of the park delighting in the spring sunshine. My sister sat against a tree nursing my nephew and my kids ran in circles around the old oak. Continue reading

Sermon: “Save Us!”

palm sunday.pngBy Joyce Hollyday, April 9, 2017, Palm Sunday: Circle of Mercy

Our text tonight is Luke 19:29-41. I’m reading from the New Revised American Version:

When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his billionaire cronies, saying, “Go into the town ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a stallion that has been ridden many times in war. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord wants it. And what the Lord wants, the Lord gets.’ If necessary, pay off its owners with a bribe. Close the deal with whatever it takes.” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them.  Continue reading

Sermon:On Practicing a Mystical Anarchist Ethic

joanna shenk.jpgBy Joanna Shenk, February 5, 2017, First Mennonite Church of San Francisco

Isaiah 58:1-12

When my older brother went to college, I remember being taken aback when he said his roommate’s mom was an anarchist. I felt so sorry for his roommate and figured he probably had a terrible childhood. In my mind, being an anarchist meant something related to the anti-christ. It was all one category to me because I thought it was all related to the same word. Continue reading

Sermon: Stories of Salt and Light

Anneke_jans.jpg

Anna Jansz

By Katerina Friesen, February 5th, 2017, Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church

Matthew 5:13-20

In recent sermons and reflections here at Fellowship of Hope, we’ve pondered how Jesus’ wisdom teachings and the way of the cross are foolishness to the world. Foolishness, to love our enemies. Foolishness, to be persecuted and blessed. Foolishness, that those who hunger and thirst are the highly favored ones. Yet this foolishness is the wisdom of God that we are given to chew on, the bread of life. Today, we draw our attention to a crucial ingredient in bread baking, the seasoning of our dough: salt. Continue reading

Sermon: Grounded in the Bedrock of Faith

beatitutudesBy Joyce Hollyday. January 29, 2017,
Circle of Mercy, Asheville, NC

Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:1-12

On the night of January 19th, the eve of the inauguration, several of us from Circle of Mercy’s immigration mission group gathered at the home that Bill and I share. We kept a vigil in the tradition of the Watch Night Service.

Watch Night is typically traced back to New Year’s Eve of 1862, when enslaved communities stayed up all night waiting for the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect on January 1st. When I was collecting oral histories among African-American UCC churches during my time as an associate conference minister, I was told that the custom is actually much older—that enslaved families stayed up every New Year’s Eve, because January 1st was when masters decided whom they would sell off. Families facing the imminent threat of separation spent all night singing and praying and hoping that they would be together for another year. Continue reading

Sermon: Born to Be a Light

homrich-9

Trial for the Homrich 9. Activists blocked trucks from turning off Detroiters’ water.

By Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Saint Peter’s Episcopal Detroit, Epiphany 2, January 15, 2017

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 40:1-11
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

Our readings for today echo those of last week. Again we have reference to John, to the baptism of Jesus, the dove alighting upon him, AND again beside it a Servant song from Isaiah.

There is a striking commonality of Second Isaiah and John: both have central figures whose identity is hard to pin down. In the gospel of John it is the “beloved disciple,” identified only by that name. Is this a cipher for John himself, for his beloved community? Is there an historical referent? Even another character in the story? Or is this a narrative figure with which we, as readers, may identify, a call to discipleship by another name? Continue reading