Story-Shaped Theology

This morning I came across this beautiful question in a sermon from Randy Newswanger: Are my understandings of God, my understandings of healing and redemption, my understandings of community and celebration large enough to hold the specific details of your story? I think this question is at the heart of church. We base our shared…

Sermon Snippet: Acts 11:1-18

You might think that the church folks would be happy about a bunch of baptisms–but these were Gentiles. They were upset that the Gentiles were being brought into this faith community. There were religious differences between Jews and Gentiles, yes. And also ethnic/racial differences. Jews and Gentiles had different cultural heritages. They did not understand…

Sermon Snippit: Acts 6:1-7

*This is an excerpt from last Sunday’s sermon. You can read the entire sermon text here. Acts 6:1-7 So, did you get what happened here? Some people in the church went to the pastors and said, “Hey. The care, the charity of the church, is not being distributed fairly. You Hebrews aren’t giving our Hellenist…

Acts 4:31-37 Call to Worship

At Peace Mennonite, we are doing a worship series on the book of Acts. I won’t be preaching this coming Sunday. (I’ll be out of town doing a wedding at a winery near Lake of the Ozarks. This pastor thing can be rough.) I am, however, putting together the order of worship. And this is…

On Being Notorious

A couple of years ago at a conference, a mutual friend introduced me to an editor of a denominational magazine. The editor promptly said, “Oh. You’re the notorious pastor.” I did feel like a minor (very minor) celebrity at that conference in the wake of news stories about “the wedding” and “the review.”  That would…

Remember and Remind–Thoughts on Easter

*Below is the last part of my Easter sermon from this past Sunday (Luke 24:1-12). You can find the entire sermon here. I know that Easter sermons usually focus on the women–their faithfulness, their witness. Or maybe on the men and their disbelief. Or, if we preachers just want to go for the obvious, we…