“How can this be …?”

After declaring that the Christian faith is not a good idea, Pastor Mark goes on to discuss the mysteries and miracle of the virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus. The sermon text is Luke 1:26-38. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“… as soon as the fig’s branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that he is near …”

Pastor Mark reviews the disasters and other significant events of the past year - hurricanes, earthquakes, mass shootings, the growing belligerence of North Korea and its increasing threat of nuclear war. And the same intractable injustices of racism, poverty, and homelessness continue to weigh down on the most vulnerable people in our society. The world continues to run amuck in ways that we cannot repair, fix, or organize ourselves out of.  Given this backdrop, what is the message of Advent? Advent begins with the recognition that we need saving and cannot save ourselves.  We yearn for a megagod that will come in and fix everything in one cosmic stoke. But what God offers in this Advent season is simply life - the bud signalling that life is alive!  New life!  The sermon text is  Mark 13:24-31. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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What We Learned on a Roof

Julia Voss, youth leader, reflects on showing God's love on a roof in the hot, humid summer climate of Joplin, MO. She led a youth mission trip to Joplin, which had been severely damaged by a tornado. The task assigned to Julia and her group of teenage girls was to repair a roof, a task for which they felt totally unprepared. Included in the podcast is a reading based on John 3:16-20. Julia Voss, youth leader, preaching.

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“…and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.”

As we approach Thanksgiving we are reminded of God's creation; it springs forth feelings in us of wonder and awe. It is indeed something to be thankful for; it gives us hope. The sermon text is Mark 4:26-29. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“…looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was before him…”

On this pledge Sunday, Pastor Mark talks not about money, but about reclaiming the joy of our faith.  We have the good news of Jesus Christ. Does that not make you joyful? The sermon text is Hebrews 12:1-2. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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A Word of Reflection

On this Remembrance Sunday, Pastor Mark reflects on the importance of remembering  loved ones who have passed on to the other side. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“Since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

On this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Pastor Mark tells the story of Martin Luther and how he came to his breakthrough concerning guilt and God's grace that led to the Reformation. The sermon text is Romans 3:21-26. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“…for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

On this baptism Sunday, Pastor Mark delivers a refresher course on the meaning of our sacred baptismal vows. The sermon text is Colossians 3:1-5,12. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“I urge Euopedia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also …”

Pastor Mark preaches on the apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians, where he addresses the issue of discord in the church and how to achieve unity. The sermon text is Philippians 4:1-9. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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They say, “Come, let us wipe them out…”

Pastor Mark preaches on the horrific events in Las Vegas where 58 people were murdered in the largest mass shooting in American history. He notes that all of us live in a culture of death, to which we have become assimilated and accustomed. In a culture of death, death becomes an instrument of social purpose. Pastor Mark calls for a time of national mourning and lament - the lifting up of all our pain and grief and turning them and ourselves over to God, that God may heal our pain and we may be shown God's way forward. The sermon text is Psalm 83. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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