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Harvard-Epworth Church

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Considering All the Facts - Sermon

Harvard-Epworth ChurchSep 20, 2023

Considering All the Facts - Sermon

Considering All the Facts - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Hebrew Scriptures Exodus 14:5-7, 10-11, 19-25; 15:19-21

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds of Pharaoh and his officials were changed toward the people, and they said, “What have we done, letting Israel leave our service?” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him; he took six hundred elite chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them.

As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt?

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. YHWH drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch, YHWH, in the pillar of fire and cloud, looked down on the Egyptian army and threw the Egyptian army into a panic. God clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for YHWH is fighting for them against Egypt.”

When the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his chariot drivers went into the sea, YHWH brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.

Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron's [and Moses’] sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to YHWH, for God has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider God has thrown into the sea.”

Sep 20, 202314:17
Love, with Interest - Sermon

Love, with Interest - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitch Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Hebrew Scriptures Exodus 12:1–4, 7, 11–14

(Note: The Exodus passage tells the story of the preparations for the original Passover, as the enslaved Hebrew people made ready to leave their oppression behind. What do you hear in these words? What piques your interest? What makes you cringe?)

YHWH said to Aaron and Moses in the land of Egypt,“This month will be the first of all months to you. You will count it as the first month of the year. Say this to the whole community of Israel: On the tenth day of this month, every family in Israel will take an animal from the flock, one for each household. If your household is too small for a whole animal, join with your next door neighbor, and divide the animal as the number of persons requires.

"Some of the blood must then be taken and applied to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house where the animal is eaten.

"This is how you are to eat it: with your belt buckled, your sandals on your feet, and a staff in your hand; you will eat it in haste. It is the Passover of YHWH. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both humans and animals. I will execute this judgment on all the gods of Egypt: I am YHWH. The blood will mark the houses where you live. When I see the blood I will pass over you, and no harm will come to you when I strike the land of Egypt. This day will be for you a memorial day, and you must celebrate it as a feast to YHWH. All generations are to observe it forever as a feast day."

Epistle Romans 13:8-14

Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings. The commandments, “Never commit adultery; never murder; never steal; never have wrong desires,” and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love never does anything that is harmful to a neighbor. Therefore, love fulfills Moses’ Teachings.

You know the times in which we are living. It’s time for you to wake up. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first became believers. The night is almost over, and the day is near. So we should get rid of the things that belong to the dark and take up the weapons that belong to the light. We should live decently, as people who live in the light of day. Wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and jealousy cannot be part of our lives. Instead, live like the Lord Jesus Christ did, and forget about satisfying the desires of our corrupt nature.

Sep 12, 202319:30
On Fire But Not Consumed - Sermon

On Fire But Not Consumed - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitch Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Hebrew Scriptures Exodus 3:1-15

Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. Leading the flock deep into the wilderness, Moses came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The messenger of YHWH appeared to Moses in a blazing fire from the midst of a thorn bush. Moses saw— "The bush is ablaze with fire, and yet it isn’t consumed!” Moses said, “Let me turn aside and look at this remarkable sight—and see why the bush doesn’t burn up!”

When YHWH saw Moses coming to look more closely, God called out to him from the midst of the bush: “Moses, Moses!” Moses answered, “I am here.” God said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from our feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground! I am the God of your ancestors,” the voice continued, “the God of Sarah and Abraham, the God of Rebecca and Isaac, and the God of Leah and Rachel and Jacob!” Moses hid his face, afraid to look at the Holy One.

Then YHWH said, “I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt; I have heard their cries under those who oppress them; I have felt their sufferings. Now I have come down to rescue them from the hand of Egypt, out of their place of suffering and bring them to a place that is wide and fertile, a land flowing with milk and honey—the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and Jebusites. The cry of the children of Israel has reached me, and I have watched how the Egyptians are oppressing them. Now go! I will send you to Pharaoh, to bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you, and this is the sign by which you will know that it is I who have sent you: after you bring my people out of Egypt, you will all worship at this vast mountain.”

“But,” Moses said, “when I go to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is this god’s name?’ What am I to tell them?” God replied, “I am as I am. This is what you will tell the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God spoke further to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘YHWH, the I AM, the God of your ancestors, the God of Sarah and Abraham, the God of Rebecca and Isaac, and the God of Leah and Rachel and Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my Name forever; this is the name you are to remember for all generations.”

Sep 12, 202320:12
Shiphrah & Puah: Midwives of Liberation - Sermon

Shiphrah & Puah: Midwives of Liberation - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Hebrew Scriptures Exodus 1:8-21

Now a new Pharaoh arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”

Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Ra'amses, for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. The Egyptians subjected the Israelites to hard servitude and made their lives bitter with hard servitude in mortar and bricks and in every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.

The king of Egypt said to the midwives to the Hebrews, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.”

But the midwives were God-fearing women; they disobeyed the king of Egypt's commands, but let the boys live. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this and allowed the boys to live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “These Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

So God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very strong. And because the midwives were God-fearers, God gave them families of their own.

Sep 01, 202324:31
Kyrie Eleison - Sermon

Kyrie Eleison - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Gospel Lesson Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that moment.

Sep 01, 202318:33
Where Are the Women? - Sermon

Where Are the Women? - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Grace Killian.

New Testament Lesson Acts 16:11-15

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the Sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

Aug 11, 202310:13
What, Then, Are We to Say about These Things? - Sermon

What, Then, Are We to Say about These Things? - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Epistle Romans 8:26-39

The Spirit, too, comes to help us in our weakness. For we don’t know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit expresses our plea with groaning too deep for words. And God, who knows everything in our hearts, knows perfectly well what the Spirit is saying, because her intercessions for God’s holy people are made according to the mind of God.

We know that God makes everything work together for the good of those who love God and have been called according to God’s purpose. They are the ones God chose long ago, predestined to share the image of the Only Begotten, in order that Christ might be the firstborn of many. Those God predestined have likewise been called; those God called have also been justified; and those God justified have, in turn, been glorified.

What should be our response? Simply this: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Since God did not spare the Only Begotten but gave Christ up for the sake of us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that God will freely give us everything. Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones? Since God is the One who justifies, who has the power to condemn? Only Christ Jesus, who died—or rather, was raised—and sits at the right hand of God, and who now intercedes for us!

What will separate us from the love of Christ? Trouble? Calamity? Persecution? Hunger? Nakedness? Danger? Violence? As scripture says, "For your sake we're being killed all day long; we're looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered."

Yet in all this we are more than conquerors because of God who has loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither heights nor depths—nor anything else in all creation—will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Gospel Matthew 13:31-33

Jesus put before them another parable: “The kin-dom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Jesus told them another parable: “The kin-dom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened."

Aug 01, 202323:14
Creation Groans - Sermon

Creation Groans - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Epistle Romans 8:14-25

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. For the Spirit that God has given you does not enslave you and trap you in fear; instead, through the Spirit God has adopted you as children, and by that Spirit we cry out, “Abba!” God’s Spirit joins with our spirit to declare that we are God’s children. And if we are children, we are heirs as well; heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing in Christ’s suffering; and sharing in Christ’s glory.

Indeed, I consider the sufferings of the present to be nothing compared with the glory that will be revealed in us. All creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the children of God. Creation was subjected to transience and futility, not of its own accord, but because of the One who subjected it—in the hope that creation itself would be freed from its slavery to corruption and would come to share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that from the beginning until now, all of creation has been groaning in one great act of giving birth. And not only creation, but all of us who possess the first fruits of the Spirit—we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free.

In hope we were saved. But hope is not hope if its object is seen; why does one hope for what one sees? And hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it with patient endurance.

Gospel Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus presented another parable to those gathered: “The kin-dom of heaven is like a farmer who sowed good seed in a field. While everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed darnel-weed among the wheat and then made off. When the crop began to mature and yield grain, the darnel-weed became evident as well.

“The farmer’s workers came and asked, ‘Did you not sow good seed in your field? Where is the darnel-weed coming from?’

“The farmer replied, ‘I see an enemy’s hand in this.’

“They in turn asked, ‘Do you want us to go out and pull them up?”

“‘No,’ replied the farmer, ‘if you pull up the darnel-weed, you might take the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until the harvest, then at harvest time I will order the harvesters first to collect the darnel-weed and bundle them up to burn, then to gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Jul 24, 202317:45
Whoever Has Hears to Hear - Sermon

Whoever Has Hears to Hear - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay.

Gospel Matthew 13:1-9, 19-23, Barnstone translation

On that day Yeshua went out of the house and sat by the sea. And a great multitude gathered before him, so that he got into a boat and sat there, and all the crowd stood on the shore. And he told them many things in parables. He said:

Look, a sower went out to sow

and as the seed was scattered,

some of the grain fell on the path

and some birds came and ate it.

Other seed fell on stony ground

where there was not much soil

and the grain sprang up quickly,

for the soil had no depth.

But when the sun came up

the seedlings were parched

and, having no roots, withered.

Some fell among the thorns

and the thorns grew and choked them.

But some fell on good earth and bore fruit.

A hundredfold and sixty and thirty.

Whoever has ears to hear, hear . . .

Now listen to the parable of the sower.

When someone hears the word of the kingdom

and does not understand it,

the evil one comes and seizes what was sown in the heart.

That is what was scattered on the path.

The one who received seed dropped into the stony ground is the one

who hears the word and at once accepts it with joy.

But since that one has no internal roots,

all is brief and transitory,

and when affliction or persecution comes because of the word,

that one weakens and falls away.

Now the seed dropped among the thorns is the one

who hears the word, but the worries of the age

and the lure of riches choke the word, and it gives no fruit.

But the seed sown in the good earth is the one

who hears the word and understands

and who bears fruit a hundredfold and sixty and thirty.

Jul 19, 202319:37
When Love Disrupts? - Sermon

When Love Disrupts? - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Gospel Matthew 10:24-39

"A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

"So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops!

“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from Abba God. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

"Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before Abba in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before Abba in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a son against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

["Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God.” -The Message paraphrase]

Whoever loves parents more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves children more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Jun 27, 202316:23
Harassed and Helpless - Sermon

Harassed and Helpless - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitch Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Epistle Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Gospel Matthew 9:35-38

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kin-dom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Jun 27, 202320:25
Connection Points - Sermon

Connection Points - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Hebrew Scripture Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have radah [caretaking authority] over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

Gospel Matthew 9:9-17

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax-collection station, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are ruined, but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Jun 15, 202318:09
Ubuntu - Sermon

Ubuntu - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay

Hebrew Scripture Genesis 1:1-5

At the beginning of God’s creating

of the skies and the earth

when earth was wild and waste (tohu va bohu),

darkness over the face of Ocean,

rushing-spirit (ruach) of God (elohim)

hovering over the face of the waters--

God said: Let there be Light! And there was light.

God saw the light: that it was good.

God separated the light from the darkness.

God called the light: Day! and the darkness God called: Night!

There was setting, there was dawning: one day.

Epistle 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Finally, friends, farewell. Be restored; listen to my appeal; agree with one another; live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Gospel Matthew 28:16-20

The Eleven made their way to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had summoned them. At the sight of the risen Christ they fell down in homage, though some doubted what they were seeing. Jesus came forward and addressed them in these words:

“All authority has been given me both in heaven and on earth; go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of Abba God, and of the Only Begotten, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, even unto the end of the age!”

Jun 06, 202319:05
What Language Shall I Borrow? - Sermon

What Language Shall I Borrow? - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

New Testament Lesson Acts 2:1-18

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they all met in one room. Suddenly they heard what sounded like a violent, rushing wind from heaven; the noise filled the entire house in which they were sitting. Something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each one. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as she enabled them.

Now there were devout people living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled. But they were bewildered to hear their native languages being spoken.

They were amazed and astonished: “Surely all of these people speaking are Galileans! How does it happen that each of us hears these words in our native tongue? We are Parthians, Medes and Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, as well as visitors from Rome – all Jews, or converts to Judaism – Cretans and Arabs, too; we hear them preaching, each in our own language, about the marvels of God!”

All were amazed and disturbed. They asked each other, “What does this mean?” But others said mockingly, “They’ve drunk too much new wine.”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd: “Women and men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem! Listen to what I have to say! These people are not drunk as you think – it’s only nine o’clock in the morning! No, it’s what Joel the prophet spoke of:

In the days to come – it is our God who speaks –

I will pour out my Spirit on all humankind.

Your daughters and sons will prophesy.

Your young people will see visions,

and your elders will dream dreams.

On all my people, both women and men,

I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy.

May 31, 202314:29
Ascension Deficit Disorder - Sermon

Ascension Deficit Disorder - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Hebrew Scripture Jeremiah 29, excerpts

These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon . . .

The letter read: "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and husbands for your daughters, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.

"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare . . . For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."

New Testament Lesson Acts 1:1-11

In my earlier account, Theophilus, I dealt with everything that Jesus had done and taught, from the beginning until the day he was taken up, after he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

After the Passion, Jesus appeared alive to the apostles — confirmed through many convincing words — over the course of forty days, and spoke to them about the reign of God.

On one occasion, Jesus told them not to leave Jerusalem. “Wait, rather, for what God has promised, of which you have heard me speak,” Jesus said. “John baptized with water, but within a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

While meeting together, they asked, “Has the time come, Rabbi? Are you going to restore sovereignty to Israel?” Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know times or dates that Abba God has decided. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down upon you; then you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”

Having said this, Jesus was lifted up in a cloud before their eyes and taken from their sight. They were still gazing into the heavens when two messengers dressed in white stood beside them. “You Galileans — why are you standing here looking up at the skies?” they asked. “Jesus, who has been taken from you — this same Jesus will return, in the same way you watched him go into heaven.”

May 31, 202322:02
Help. Thanks. Wow. - Sermon

Help. Thanks. Wow. - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Epistle 1 Peter 3:13-18a

Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect. Maintain a good conscience so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.

Gospel Lesson John 14:15-20, 25-27

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

And I will ask Abba, and God will give you another Advocate

to be with you forever.

This is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive,

because it neither sees nor knows her.

You know the Spirit, because she abides with you, and will be in you.

I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.

In a little while the world will no longer see me,

but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.

On that day you will know that I am in Abba,

and you in me, and I in you. …

I have said these things to you while I am still with you.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom Abba will send in my name,

will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

May 31, 202318:07
Living Stones - Sermon

Living Stones - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Epistle                                                                          1 Peter 2:2-5, 10

Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Once you were no people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


Gospel Lesson                                                             John 14:1-9, 11a

Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God, trust also in me.

In Abba’s house there are many dwelling places.

If it were not so, would I have told you

that I go to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again and will take you to myself,

so that where I am, there you may be also.

And you know the way to the place where I am going.

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him,

I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

No one comes to Abba except through me.

If you know me, you will know Abba also.

From now on you do know God and have seen God.

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us God, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him,

Have I been with you all this time, Philip,

and you still do not know me?

Whoever has seen me has seen Abba.

Trust that I am in Abba and Abba is in me.

May 31, 202323:28
Drawn Together - Sermon

Drawn Together - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay.

Acts Lesson                                                                   Acts 2:42-47

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.

And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Gospel Lesson                                                                   John 10:1-10

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

May 05, 202320:43
The Story We Live Into - Sermon

The Story We Live Into - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Gospel Lesson                                                                Luke 24:13-35

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.

Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.”

Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.

They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while  he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Apr 25, 202322:55
Being Christopher - Sermon

Being Christopher - Sermon

A sermon by Rev Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay

Gospel Lesson                                                    Matthew 21:1-11

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet:

            Tell the daughter of Zion,
         Look, your king is coming to you,
            humble and mounted on a donkey,
            and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Apr 04, 202317:24
Take Away the Stone - Sermon

Take Away the Stone - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay.

Gospel Lesson                               John 11: 1–3, 5–6, 17–41a, 43b–44

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” . . .  Though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  …

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many friends had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The neighbors who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the neighbors who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”

Jesus began to weep. So the neighbors said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone.  …

[Jesus] cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Mar 27, 202322:01
Digging Deeper - Sermon

Digging Deeper - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitch Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Gospel Lesson                                                                   John 4, selected verses

So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’

The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’

Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’ …

The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you.’

Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you speaking with her?’ Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’ They left the city and were on their way to him. …

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I have ever done.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.’

Mar 14, 202320:09
Running on Empty - Sermon

Running on Empty - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Gospel Lesson                                                          Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”

Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Mar 02, 202318:34
A Dream of What's Possible - Sermon

A Dream of What's Possible - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel.

Gospel Lesson                                         Matthew 6:24-34

“No one can serve two masters, for a servant will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Abba feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will God not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the gentiles who seek all these things, and indeed your heavenly Abba knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kin-dom of God and God's righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Gospel Lesson                                        Matthew 17:1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.

Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Choir                     This Is My Beloved Son                    Knut Nystedt

He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them,

and a voice from the cloud said: "This is my beloved Son, with whom

I am well pleased; hear ye him.

When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Feb 22, 202318:57
Dance Me to the End of Love - Sermon

Dance Me to the End of Love - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay.

Gospel Lesson Matthew 5:38-48, New Jerusalem Bible

“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you: don’t use violence to resist evil! Instead, when someone hits you on the right cheek, turn the other one toward him. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of Abba in heaven; for God makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

“You must therefore set no bounds to your love, just as your heavenly Abba sets none.”

Feb 16, 202326:52
A Third Way - Sermon

A Third Way - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitch Hay and Rev. Barb Lemmel

Gospel Lesson                                                         Matthew 5:21-24, 27-37

As you know, our ancestors were told, ‘You must not kill’, and ‘Whoever kills will be subject to judgment’. But I tell you: Those who are angry with a companion will be brought before a tribunal. And those who say to the companion, ‘You moron,’ will be subject to the sentence of the court. And whoever says, ‘You idiot,’ deserves the fires of Gehenna.

So, even if you happen to be offering your gift at the altar and recall that your friend has some claim against you, leave your gift there at the altar. First go and be reconciled with your friend, and only then return and offer your gift…

As you know, we once were told, ‘You are not to commit adultery.’ But I tell you: Those who leer at a woman and objectify her have already committed adultery with her in their hearts.

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into Gehenna.

We were once told, ‘Whoever divorces his wife should give her a bill of divorce.’ But I tell you: Everyone who divorces his wife (except in the case of infidelity) makes her the victim of adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Again, as you know, our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break an oath,’ and ‘Oaths sworn in the name of God must be kept.’ But I tell you: Don’t swear at all.  Don’t invoke heaven, because it is God’s footstool, and don’t invoke Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great king. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the Evil One.”

Feb 07, 202318:28
The Truman Challenge - Sermon

The Truman Challenge - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel

Hebrew Scripture                                             Isaiah 58:6-10

Is not this the fast that I choose:
 to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke,
 to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
 and bring the homeless poor into your house;
 when you see the naked, to cover them,
 and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
 and your healing shall spring up quickly;
 your vindicator shall go before you,
 the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
 you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,
 the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
 if you offer your food to the hungry
 and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
 then your light shall rise in the darkness
 and your gloom be like the noonday.

Gospel Lesson                                                  Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Abba in heaven.

Jan 30, 202322:44
Dual Citizenship - Sermon

Dual Citizenship - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitchell Hay and Rev. Barbara Lemmel

Gospel Lesson                                               Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain;

and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.

Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you

and utter all kinds of evil against you

falsely on my account;

rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven,

for in the same way they persecuted

the prophets who were before you.”

Jan 30, 202322:48
What Are You Looking For? - Sermon

What Are You Looking For? - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barb Lemmel

Gospel Lesson                                                John 1:35-46

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’

He said to them, ‘Come and see.’

They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’

Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’

Jan 17, 202315:47
Happy New Day! - Sermon

Happy New Day! - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. We Chang

Gospel Lesson                                          Matthew 3:13-17

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John tried to dissuade Jesus, saying, I should be baptized by you, and yet you come to me!”

But Jesus replied, “Leave it this way for now. We must do this to completely fulfill God’s justice. So John reluctantly agreed.

Immediately after Jesus had been baptized and was coming up out of the water, the sky suddenly opened up and Jesus saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and hovering over him. With that, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my Own, my Beloved, on whom my favor rests.”

Hebrew Scripture                                   Lamentations 3:19-24

(TIB translators' note: "The Hebrew name of this book, 'ekah, is an expletive, a cry of anguish . . . A contemporary English equivalent might be to call the book 'Aaugh!' The first four chapters are acrostic poems: the first word of each stanza begins with a subsequent letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.")


I remember my woes and wanderings—

The wormwood and the gall.

Those memories are so clear to me,

And they fill me with despair.

Yet it is because I remember all this

that I have hope.


YHWH’s favor is not exhausted,

Nor has God’s compassion failed.

They rise up anew each morning,

So great is God’s faithfulness.

“YHWH is all I have,” I cry.

“So I will wait in patience.”

Jan 10, 202322:33
Waiting Still - Sermon

Waiting Still - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay

Gospel Lesson                                                             John 1 

In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. 

Everything that was created received its life from the Word,  and its life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark,  and darkness has never put it out. The true light that shines on everyone  was coming into the world. The Word was in the world, but no one knew him,  though God had made the world with the Word. He came into his own world, but the nations  did not welcome him. Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him.  So he gavethem the right to bethe children of God. 

They were not God's children by nature  or because of any human desires. God’s own self made them children of God. 

The Word became a human being  and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son  of Abba God. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.

Jan 10, 202313:43
Reflection for Christmas Eve

Reflection for Christmas Eve

A recorded reflection by Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay

Jan 10, 202316:40
Mary, Did You Know? - Sermon

Mary, Did You Know? - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Barb Lemmel and Rev. Mitch Hay.

Gospel Lesson                                                  Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth to a young woman named Mary; she was engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. Upon arriving, the angel said to Mary, “Rejoice, highly favored one! God is with you! Blessed are you among women!”

Mary was deeply troubled by these words and wondered what the angel’s greeting meant. The angel went on to say to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You’ll conceive and bear a son, and give him the name Jesus—‘Deliverance.’ His dignity will be great, and he will be called the Only Begotten of God. God will give Jesus the judgment seat of David, his ancestor, to rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his reign will never end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have never been with a man?”

The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you–hence the child to be born will be called the Holy One of God. Know too that Elizabeth, your kinswoman, has conceived a child in her old age; she who was thought to be barren is now in her sixth month. Nothing is impossible with God.”

Mary said, “I am the servant of God. Let it be done to me as you say.”

With that, the angel left her.

Gospel Lesson                                                Luke 1:46-55

Mary said:

My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

who has looked with favor on me, a lowly servant girl.

From this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me:

holy the name of the Lord,

whose mercy is on the God-fearing

from generation to generation.

The arm of the Lord is filled with strength,

scattering the proudhearted.

God cast the mighty from their thrones,

lifting up the lowly.

God filled the hungry with good things,

sending the rich away empty.

God has come to the help of Israel,

the Lord's servant, remembering mercy,

the mercy promised to our ancestors

to Sarah and Abraham and their descendants forever.

Dec 12, 202215:48
Second Thoughts and Third - Sermon

Second Thoughts and Third - Sermon

A sermon by Rev. Mitch Hay

Hebrew Scripture                                                         Isaiah 11:1-2

Then a shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse; from Jesse’s roots, a branch will blossom: The spirit of God will rest on you—

a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and reverence for God.

Gospel Lesson                                                               Matthew 3:1-8

At this time John the Baptizer appeared in the desert of Judea, proclaiming, “Change your hearts and minds, for the reign of heaven is about to break in upon you!”

It was John that the prophet Isaiah described when he said, “A herald’s voice cries in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of our God, make straight the paths of God!’”

John was clothed in a garment of camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist. Grasshoppers and wild honey were his food. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him.

When he saw that many of the Pharisees and Sadducees were coming to be baptized, John said to them, “You pack of snakes! Who told you to flee from the coming wrath? Give some evidence that you mean to reform!

Gospel Lesson                                                               Matthew 11:2-6

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you The One who is to come, or do we wait for another?”

Jesus answered them, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see:

those who are blind recover their sight;

those who cannot walk are able to walk;

those with leprosy are cured;

those who are deaf hear;

the dead are raised to life;

and the anawim-- the 'have-nots'--

have the Good News preached to them;

blessed is the one who finds no stumbling block in me."

Dec 06, 202223:19
Get Ready! - Sermon

Get Ready! - Sermon

Sermon by Rev. Barb Lemmel

Hebrew Scripture                                                               Isaiah 2:1-5

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In days to come
 the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains
 and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
 Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
 to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
 and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction
 and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations
 and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares
 and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation;
 neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob,
 come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!

Epistle                                                                                   Romans 13:11-14

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is already the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone; the day is near. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us walk decently as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in illicit sex and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Nov 29, 202217:22
A Season of Thanks Giving - Sermon