Christ the King Sermon: Bossy and Beautiful

momBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
November 26, 2017, at Day House Catholic Worker in Detroit

“Let me show you how to fold this, Grandpa,” Isaac said after he picked up a dish rag off my dad’s kitchen floor. He carefully folded it just as he had learned at school. At night, we’ve been reading The BFG and it is slowed down by the fact that Isaac pauses regularly to point out all the words he can read on each page. It’s incredible! I love watching all these incredible things he is learning and knowing that I am not responsible for it. I just get to delight it in. Continue reading

Sermon: She was not: The Bible’s most vividly brutal story, and why we must read and remember it

 

concubine in Judges 19Ken Sehested, Circle of Mercy, 9.19.05
Judges 19:1-30

There have been two special occasions in my life when I have become agonizingly aware of the special fear women feel over the threat of sexual assault.

The first happened when Nancy and I were counting the days before our wedding in 1973. Every couple weeks she came in from where she went to school in New Jersey to meet me in a chaplain’s office in New York City. We were doing a series of premarital counseling sessions. Continue reading

Sermon: Fig Cakes, Tamales, and a Heap of Raisins

tamalesBy Joyce Hollyday
Circle of Mercy: October 1, 2017, World Communion Sunday
1 Samuel 25

We held a sheep-shearing day every spring at Swan Mountain Farm, where I used to live. Mark, the chief shearer, always started with the rams because, he explained, they “come with handles.” Mark grabbed Charlie by the horns and wrestled him over on his side. Charlie, like all the sheep, began that morning as a massive ball of fluff, as wide as he was tall, his wool discolored a dingy brown by dirt. By the time the clipping was done, he was a skinny thing, and the thin layer of wool left on him was shockingly white. As soon as he could get his feet under him, Charlie escaped into the pasture. Mark then repeated the process with Chip. And when he ran into the pasture, the two rams, not recognizing each other with their new haircuts, aimed their horns, charged at each other, and butted heads repeatedly. Continue reading

Sermon: It’s Like Burning Fire Shut Up in my Bones

roseBy Rose Berger, preached at St. Stephen’s & The Incarnation Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.)
June 25, 2017

Jeremiah 20:7-13, Psalm 69: 8-11, (12-17), 18-20, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39

[Piscataway people on whose land this church stands. Bishop Budde, Pastor Sam, Rev. Linda. The Beloved Community that gathers at St. Stephen’s and the Incarnation.]

The prophet Jeremiah was asked to carry out one of the most difficult tasks ever assigned to any servant of God.[1]

During the last years of the kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah was to prophesy to King and Congress that because of their sin their fragile nation would be subsumed by the Babylonian Empire and they would all forcibly removed to the capital city of Babylon. Continue reading

Sermon: Power of Names

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My Grandma Bea, me, my mom, and my sister Lucy

Preached by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann at the Day House Catholic Worker
August 27, 2017

Exodus 1:8-2:10
Matthew 16:13-20

As I read the opening piece of the text from Exodus, it feels like I am reading a script from the white men who marched on Charlottesville two weeks ago.

It begins with the Pharaoh naming his fear that the Israelites are becoming too numerous and powerful. He is scared they will out-number and over-take him. He orders that they be forced into labor and when that doesn’t work, he orders murder.

It echoes of the treacherous low-wage labor forced on undocumented folks living in constant fear.

It echoes of a prison industrial complex holding captive more black men today than were enslaved in the south. Continue reading

Sermon: On Charlottesville

index.jpgBy Ross M. Reddick, Pastor
A gospel message delivered to Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church
8/13/2017
Text: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Today’s scripture lesson is about hatred, and the results of hatred. Joseph’s brothers hated him. The reasons why, while they are important for a full understanding, seem to fade in importance today.

As our session met yesterday in the fellowship hall, as we were laughing together, making plans, praying and visioning, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia…erupted. Violently. As of last night, dozens of serious injuries are being dealt with by the medical community there, and at least three have died–two police officers (in the line of duty), and a 32 year old woman…crushed to death as a car intentionally rammed through a crowd of people.  Continue reading