“… the kingdom of God, … is like a grain of mustard seed, …”

Pastor Mark begins with the assertion that Jesus has no idea who God is, and then confesses that he also has no idea who God is. If we open our eyes and minds to God's creation, we discover a sense of awe, wonder, and mystery. We find a God who creates, who loves, who sustains, who transforms. The sermon text is Mark 4:26-34. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“… my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning …”

Pastor Mark focuses on the beautiful, powerful poetry of Psalm 130 and reflects on what it means to "wait for the Lord". The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching. The reading of Psalm 130 is included in the podcast.

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“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord.”

Pastor Jason leads the congregation in a discussion of what we have, as a church and as individuals, to be thankful for. The sermon text is 2 Chronicles 5:11-14. The Rev. Jason Mack preaching.

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“And immediately they followed…”

Using the story of the the disciples responding to Jesus' call to follow him, Pastor Mark offers some advice to the congregation as it discerns how to respond to Mark's announcement of his impending retirement. The sermon text is Mark 1:16-20.  The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“… God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams …”

On this Pentecost Sunday, Pastor Mark asks the question, "Are you on fire?"  When we catch fire, the younger among us see visions, and the older dream dreams. And the Church requires both!  The Church is being continuously reborn at every moment in these ways. The sermon text is Acts 2:2-4 and 2:14-21. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“… they were gazing up to heaven …”

On this Ascension Day, Pastor Mark preaches on the ascension of Jesus. The apostles responded to it by gazing into heaven, but they were told to lower their gaze to the earth and to wait in prayer for the power of the Holy Spirit . The sermon text is Acts 1:1-11. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“…even on the Gentiles …”

Pastor Mark preaches on drawing lines - boundaries between countries, states, nationalities, races, etc. In Jesus' time, the Jewish faith was great at drawing lines about what was clean and unclean, what was work and what was not. But Jesus seemed to be blind to lines; he ignored them. Pastor Mark points out that lines are not real; they are things we make up. And having made them up, we start to believe they are real, creating all kinds of problems. Thinking that our lines are real, we come to live in an increasingly distorted and untrue world. Drawing lines is a response to our deepest insecurities, and somehow we feel safer if we can draw a line. Drawing lines creates differences and otherness. We see in Jesus what it is to live an unlined life and to approach another person as they are. The Holy Spirit blows across every boundary as if it is not there - because it is not there. In God's world, you can't draw a line anywhere. The sermon text is Acts 10:44-48. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“I am the vine; you are the branches.”

Using the image of a vine and its branches, Jesus does not make a declaration of our independence. Jesus makes a declaration of our interdependence, an intimate reliance not only on God, but also a reliance on the rest of the vine. We are part of a network of mutuality - a network of not just people, but also creation itself.  Just as surely as the branch must connect to the vine, and the vine to the root if it is to thrive, so also we must make all of life's fundamental connections. The current environmental crisis is not a crisis of the environment, it is a crisis of our "ego systems" and is a spiritual crisis at heart. The sermon text is John 15:1-8. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“Love”

The writer of John's letter calls for us to love each other in the Christian community. Pastor Jason points out how this love is different from love for one's partner or family or for those in need. He asks the congregation two questions: (1) When was the last time you felt loved in the church?, and (2) When was the last time you felt judged in the church?  He calls for us to do more of the former and less of the latter. The sermon text is 1 John 3:16-18. The reading of the scripture and the response of the congregation to the first question are included in the podcast.  The Rev. Jason Mack preaching.

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“Then he opened their minds to understand the scripture …”

Pastor Mark preaches on the importance of reading scripture and its urgency to the vitality of faith and vitality of church. Mark asks the question: "How will we have a conversation with Jesus, and how will he be able to interpret scripture for us, if we are not acquainted with it?"  The sermon text is Luke 24:36b-48. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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