Sermon for the Day of Saint Luke the Physician – October 17, 2021

Amandus J. Derr, Interim Senior Pastor

Isaiah 35:5-8; Psalm 124; 2 Timothy 4:5-11; Saint Luke 1:1-4; 24:44-53 

In nomine Jesu!
We live in a vastly different world than the one we inhabited in 1987, when the ELCA’s Constituting Convention designated the Sunday closest to October 18 as the Day of Saint Luke the Physician and ask congregations to include prayer, anointing and the laying on of hands and anointing for healing in our liturgies on that day. HIV/AIDS, and all who were broken was the issue then.  Today virtually everything and everyone is broken; every environment – this fragile planet, our fractured world, our increasingly fragile nation, too many bodies, our very souls. We’ve begun to think that there’s nothing we can do. We’ve begun to feel paralyzed. In this context, Luke’s message of Jesus as not merely a healer of the sick, but as the mender of every form of brokenness; and of Christ’s Church as not merely a community of wholeness-seekers, but a community of wholeness-makers, in more needed than ever. Continue reading

Sermon for Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Deacon Ben Remmert, Deacon of Children, Youth and Family Ministry  

Amos 5:6-7, 10-15 Hebrew 7:23-28 Mark 10:17-31

How many of you here this morning enjoy shopping? For a lot of us, shopping can be a wonderful experience, especially if you are shopping for stuff you like. When time and money are available for a shopping trip, my family loves going to Target. Once we get there, we see all sorts of things that catch our attention. We look at something that wasn’t on our list and think “hmm…I already have one of those at home, but I could sure use a new one with all the latest features on it!” If you’re like me, sometimes you end up picking up a few things that are not on the list as well. It’s a lot of fun…. until you get to the checkout stand. Continue reading

Sermon for Sunday, October 3, 2021, the 19th Sunday after Pentecost

Sergio Rodriguez, Pastor for Community Ministry

“And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:22 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jesus embraced the children as a sign that God’s love has drawn near. This love draws near to us through the faces of our partners and friends. This love frees us to lift up the lowly and the brokenhearted. We are freed by love to live in love. What are we to do then when that love diminishes day by day and dies slowly right before our eyes? When does the phrase, “You are my beloved and I am his. As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men,” sound yes like anticipation and more like dread? Or what are we to do when we are simply mismatched with our partner and helper? I may be a young unmarried pastor with no kids, but my heart has learned much of love lost. And so has our Lord Jesus has learned much of love lost when he exclaimed, Jerusalem, Jerusalem…. How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling.” Continue reading

Sermon for Harold Joseph Mathis, September 24, 2021

In Memoriam:
Harold Joseph Mathis
(February 10, 1940 – September 19, 2021)

Saturday in the Seventeen Week after Pentecost
September 24, 2021

Job 19:23-27a; Psalm 23; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:9; Saint John 14:1-6 

In nomine Jesu!
This we all know: Harold Joseph Mathis lived an undaunted life.  He never gave up.  Not when he tackled anything in life.  Not when he wrestled with death.  As a baptized and faithful child of God, Harold lived his life and faced his death standing foursquare on the firm foundation expressed by Job: “I know that my redeemer lives!”  In his living and in his dying, Harold took seriously the words of our second reading, he was “always confident; he “walked by faith and not by sight,” and as a result, he was unafraid to take all kind of risks trusting in the promises of God; and trusting in the promises of God, he was unafraid to take those risks with honesty and fairness; and, equally important, he was not afraid to share his gifts, his time, his talented, his undauntable spirit with others in the public, church, and academic realms.  Harold was a member of Rotary International and took its motto “Service above Self” as his own. Continue reading

Sermon for Allan John Dieter, September 24, 2021

In Memoriam:
Allan John Dieter
March 20, 1931-August 15, 2021

Saturday in the Seventeen Week after Pentecost
September 24, 2021

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13; Psalm 84; Romans 8:31-39; Saint John 14: 1-6

In nomine Jesu!
Most people hear these words of Jesus, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places … I go to prepare a place for you,” and “I am the way, the truth and the life,” as only about death and life after death.  Allan John Dieter heard them this way too, but also in another way, as integral to Christ’s call to him, and to all of us, to do as Christ has done; to follow in Christ’s way.  Allan lived with that mission.  Allan died with that sure and certain hope. Continue reading