Recent Sermons


Being Seeds

Mark 4:26-34 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley June 17, 2018 Naomi Shibah Nye’s father came to America as a refugee from Palestine.  She wrote this poem reflecting on his life: “Refugee Not Always” Our father who was always our father not always our father Refugee not always once a confident schoolboy strolling Jerusalem streets He knew the alleyways spoke to stones All his life he would pick up stones and pocket them On some he drew faces What do we say in the wake of one who was always homesick? Are you home now? Is Palestine peaceful in ...

Read More


In The Year That King Uzziah Died….

Isaiah 6:1-8 Rev. Dr. Robert T. Carlson, Jr. May 27, 2018 Trinity Sunday Every so often, this life can surprise us with its eloquence. You go along from day to day not noticing very much—just the same old one thing after another. Then all of the sudden, when you are not necessarily looking for it, something speaks to you with such power that it catches you off guard, makes you listen whether you want to or not. Something speaks to you out of your own life with such directness that it is as if you have been called by name and forced to look where you have not ...

Read More


Whispering Torah

Psalm 1:1-6 Rev. Dr. Robert T. Carlson, Jr. May 13, 2018 Easter 7 There is a willow tree in my back yard. Barbara and I planted it shortly after we moved here to provide shelter and shade. Our house sits on corner so there is no “back yard.” The front of the house faces the street and a group of neighbors, and so too, does the back of the house. So we lined the yard with trees of different varieties, sizes and shapes to remind ourselves—and our neighbors of the variety that is God’s creation. When our first grand child was born, this willow tree became ...

Read More


An Impartial God

Acts 10:34-48 Rev. Dr. Robert T. Carlson, Jr. May 6, 2018 6th Eastertide Last weekend, I learned that I was in complete remission from the cancer that I had been diagnosed with last November. We had already planned a family get-together on Sunday evening—the first in more than 6 months. While I was undergoing chemotherapy, my children were very good about telling the grandsons to take it easy around me. But Sunday evening, the gloves were off. The boys were ready to run. We have invented a game that is a variation on freeze tag where the boys can only be ...

Read More


Witnesses to These Things

Luke 24:35-48 Rev. Alice Fleming Townley April 15, 2018 Rumors, yes, but what they knew for certain was Jesus crucified.  His friends huddled together, with dashed dreams, crushed hope, and their own lives crucified.  Uncertainty stretched endlessly before them. And then, Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  And as Luke wrote, ‘they were terrified.’ Jesus continued, “Look . . .touch . . . see . . .” and he opened his hands and his feet.  What would they have gazed upon?  Smooth, untouched skin?  I don’t think so.  They ...

Read More


Uprising

John 20:1-2, 11-18 Rev. Dr. Robert T. Carlson, Jr. Easter, April 1, 2018 My father died this last September. His Memorial Service was an occasion for something of a family reunion. My brother and sister and I are scattered across the country and we had not been in the same place at the same time for more than ten years. In fact, my sister had never met any of my grandchildren, and all of them and their parents had made the trip to Iowa for the funeral. There was a pot-luck supper on Friday night. My sister and her husband were sitting at a table and in a short ...

Read More