Recent Sermons


The Lord of New Songs

Rev. Dr. Robert Carlson
August 25, 2019, Luke 13:10-21 “The Lord of New Songs” by Rev. Dr. Rob Carlson This sermon is an audio file. Click the arrow to hear the sermon.

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God’s Steadfast Love Endures Forever

July 28, 2019 Psalm 138 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley The website said the museum we spotted closed at 5:00pm, and it was 4:30pm.  If we hurried, maybe we could skim through it.  As we rushed into the Menno-Hoff Mennonite Museum in Shipshewana, we were greeted by a man with a long white beard and wire rim glasses.  Our host welcomed and told us what we would see and do and just how long it would take. We stepped across time and space with each room, into the manger where Jesus was born, to a courtyard in Zurich, Switzerland in 1525 where the  Anabaptist faith ...

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Continuing the Conversation

July 21, 2019 Luke 10:38-42 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley At this year’s graduation of refugee students at the Global Institute in Lansing (GIL), one of the speakers was State Representative Sarah Anthony.  Representative Anthony is articulate, wise and vibrant.  She is also young, female, and African American. She says she has worries and naysayers and sometimes a nagging sense of inadequacy.  When she looks around at a meeting table, she is often the only person like herself.  That feeling can be intimidating and silencing.  And so, on the top of each paper ...

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Elijah’s Flight

June 23, 2019 I Kings 19:1-15a Rev. Alice Fleming Townley Have you ever poured yourself into something courageous, only to find in your exhaustion that your opposition had gained zeal?  Elijah found himself in just this predicament.  After years of trading and cooperation between their two countries, the Israelite King Omri and the Pheonician King Ith-baal had decided that the next step was for their children, Prince Ahab and Princess Jezebel to marry.  Only, when Jezebel became Queen of Israel, she made the worship of the Phoenician god Baal mandatory and ...

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Entertaining Angels

June 16, 2019 Genesis 18:1-18 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley  The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. 3 He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that ...

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The Possibility of Reconciliation

April 28, 2019 John 20:19-31 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley When Padraig O Tuama worked as a school chaplain in Belfast, Ireland, one day a young girl asked him, “God loves us, right?”  He could tell she was leading somewhere, “Ok,” he said, “I’m with you.” And she continued, “And God made us, right?” “Ok.” “Then answer me this: Why did God make Protestants?” “Tell me more about your question.” He replied. “Well, they hate us.” And because Paraig knew she was brilliant at soccer, he said, “I ...

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Prophetic Abundance

April 7, 2019 John 12:1-8 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley They gathered that night around the table, and it wasn’t just any table or any place.         It was the table of dear friends in Bethany.  There was Martha, who had first welcomed Jesus into their home.  And Mary, who had wanted nothing but to sit at Jesus feet and study.  These sisters had sent a message to Jesus when their brother Lazarus was ill. “Come, quickly.”   But by the time he arrived, Lazarus had been dead for days and a stench filled the air. “Lazarus, come out,” Jesus said, and ...

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Peace… For The One Who Is Far Off And The One Who Is Near

Lent IV Luke 15:11-32 Rev. Dr. Robert T. Carlson, Jr. March 31, 2019 “No man is an island.”  So wrote the English Poet, John Donne, a man who was quite a paradox in his own lifetime. Donne was raised Roman Catholic—so Catholic that he  married a relative of Sir Thomas More, who you may remember lost his head because he chose the Pope over his king, Henry the 8th.  Yet later in life, John Donne served as the Dean of St. Paul’s Protestant Cathedral in London. He was a man who wrote biting political satire, yet also served as a member of Parliament. He was a ...

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Lost And Found, Repented And Renewed

Lent III Luke 13:1-9 Rev. Dr. Robert T. Carlson, Jr. March 24, 2019 Some came to Jesus at that very time who told him about Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the sacrifices. Jesus answered them, “Do you think that those Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered thus? I tell you, No! But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those 18 upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed—do you think they were worse debtors than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No! But unless you repent, you will ...

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Nurtured in Prayer

March 10, 2019 Luke 4: 1-13 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley In Luke, Jesus was baptized just before his time in the wilderness. After his baptism, Jesus was praying and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and a voice from Heaven came saying, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3: 21-22). And then Luke inserted for us Jesus’ genealogy, starting with Joseph, going back to Boaz, Jesse, and David, and back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the way to Adam.  We hear these names and remember God’s activity in their lives.  These are ...

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