Hope for the future

Working on my sermon for tomorrow’s services at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, I wonder how folks who consistently preach without notes deal with the waiting period between sermon prep and sermon delivery. When I was writing manuscripts, I would stop when I hit the right note and then do another two rounds of edits on Sunday morning (one at home and one in the pulpit before church). Now, when I find the right note and tone, I want to stop and have that be my last memory from prep. So I have my road map for tomorrow, but I can’t be sure I’ll be starting in the same place when I stand up to preach tomorrow. I imagine this is the skill I would have learned taking Peter Gomes’s preaching class instead of Charles Adams’s preaching class.

A New Light for a New Year

In my third year in Divinity School, I was given the wonderful opportunity to work with Rev. Alan Froggatt, Rev. Angie Menke Ballou, Mary Jane Clark, Bob Lague and Karen Mouton at Second Congregational Church of Beverly . This church does a wonderful job of honoring tradition while making space for new forms of worship, and I found the congregation up for pretty much anything. So in this sermon, I tried to stretch a little, and had people go diving for bibles in the midst of things. Turns out I’m not Rob Bell. 🙂 I also think this sermon probably could have been broken up into a two-part series very easily, but it was my first sermon at the church and I didn’t know how many opportunities to preach I would get.

The context for this sermon was both the start of the church year and the introduction of the new church vision for adoption.

Main text is Luke 21:25-36, though also some reference to the prologue of John and Jeremiah 33:14-16

A New Light for a New Year

You are Not Dismissed

As part of my ongoing re-organization of life and blog, I decided to put my sermons up. I’m currently loading up the PDFs, but could be persuaded to put in the full text behind cuts.

This sermon was delivered 12/28/08, making it my second third sermon prepared for a church.

You are Not Dismissed

Texts were Isaiah 61:10-62:3, Luke 2:22-40, Psalm 148

Billings Prize 2010


An interesting day. A massive showing by the MDiv class of 2010, as there was no daylight between the three finalists (Karen Bray, Taylor Lewis Guthrie and me). Scott Dickison, also from 2010, brought it strong in the ordained category and Molly Housh (Gordon) gave us her scripture-reading stylings.

I, again, went last. On a homiletical note, I actually preferred my preliminaries delivery. See what you think:


Billings Prize 2009 finals


It was a marathon day, but well worth it. I went last of the folks who were available to preach on the day of the finals (scheduling it during passover meant that one contestant had to pre-record).

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