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July 5, 2020

Zechariah 9:9-12; Romans 7:15-25a; Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

(The sermon begins with Elizabeth singing a song from Rigoletto.)

That song is from the 1993 film Rigoletto, which is loosely based on the opera, a classic twist on Beauty and the Be...

June 29, 2020

Gen 22:1-14; Rom 6:12-23

In the Kena Upanishad, we read a story that isn’t about what it’s about on the surface, but about a major theological shift happening in the ancient Hindu community. Here’s the story:

Brahman, the one God, had just seen to it that Indra and the o...

March 31, 2020

Icon by Robert Lentz

Song: “I Shall Not Want”

I love that song. I chose to sing it for today’s sermon a long while ago, before I knew either that COVID-19 would break out, or that last week's reading was Psalm 23....

August 12, 2019

A famous psychological study in 1999 asked participants to watch a brief video of two groups of people passing basketballs —some dressed in white, some in black. The participants were instructed to count the passes among the players dressed in white. The correct answer...

April 21, 2019

Maundy Thursday 2019 | Exodus 12:1-13, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Egyptian Book of the Dead spell 42

Last year I stayed at an Airbnb managed by an elderly woman who, when she found out I was a Christian, eagerly said that she was too. I quickly figured out that what she me...

March 19, 2019

LENT 2 | Gen 15:1-18; Phil 3:17-4:1; Lk 13:31-35

The letter from St. Paul that we just read a portion of was written to the Christians in the city of Phillipi. It is clear from this letter that Paul has a lot of affection for Philippi, where one of the earliest gentile...

October 28, 2018

REFORMATION SUNDAY | Ps 46; Rom 3:19-28; Jn 8:31-36

I’ve been teaching spiritual direction for more than fifteen years, now. Most of my students arrive on their first day thinking they’ll learn a set of skills, then they’ll go forth and use those skills. And…they’re not...

October 14, 2018

REMEMBRANCETIDE 3 | Heb 4:12-16; Mk 10:17-31

In the Chuang Tzu, the second-most important book in Taoism, we read the story of Prince Wen Hui’s cook:

The cook was cutting up an ox. Out went a hand, down went a shoulder. He planted a foot, he pressed with a knee, the ox f...

October 7, 2018

It was 1540 the first time members of the Cherokee Nation saw Europeans, an expedition commanded by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. Luckily for the tribe, the expedition was just passing through.

But as the years passed, they and other Cherokee tribes did not fare as...

September 23, 2018

PENTECOST 18 | James 3:13-4:3, 7-8; Mk 9:30-37

One of my greatest heroes is Charles Williams—I’ve preached about him before, and no doubt will again. I never visit Oxford without visiting his grave. He was a ground-breaking writer who single-handedly invented the urban...

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Grace North Church is affiliated with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches

and is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. "God is still speaking...."