Oh friends - I am not even sure where to begin following Sunday night's senseless acts of violence in Las Vegas. We held a prayer service at the church on Monday night and I continue to discern what God is calling me to say this weekend.
Monday morning I posted the following to Facebook:
I am at a loss for words. I went to sleep last night so grateful for the unity we celebrated yesterday on World Communion Sunday, for the opportunity to remind my congregation that around the communion table light shines, love wins and grace comes alive.
And just like that ... 50 people are dead in Vegas.
I still believe in the promises I preached yesterday. Maybe even more so now. But our brokenness is real, raw and undeniable right now. There is still so much work that needs to be done.
Vegas, my prayers are worth you.
Here is my sermon from this past weekend. I think it speaks even more powerfully now. The full text is available at my blog, preachinginpumps.com.
Have a great week, everyone. <3
Hi all! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. It kind of feels like summer came back around for one final hurrah - we were debating robing this morning! Not that I'm wanting it to snow or anything, but I'm definitely ready for fall.
Here is my sermon from this morning. This was not an easy text to preach on! I am always grateful for the opportunity to use preaching as a way of deepening my own faith and listening to the bold and radical call of God in my life.
You'll see in my sermon that I gave my church a charge this week to go into fellowship after worship and talk to someone they had never talked to before. I wasn't sure how it would go, but it was awesome! I posted this on Facebook on Sunday night:
During my sermon this morning, I charged everyone to go into fellowship after worship and talk to someone they had never talked to before. Not necessarily someone new - just someone they didn't know. We all know how easy it is to just get comfortable in our little groups and social circles but are never sure how to break the cycle. Might as well all give it a shot together, right? I told everyone if they needed an ice breaker, they could either talk about the weather OR use the opening line, "Can you believe Sarah is making us do this?" And seriously - by the time I went downstairs to my office to drop off my robe and walked into fellowship, I literally NOTICED a difference in conversation in the room. I saw people I know didn't know each other talking and laughing. The only people who came over to talk to me were people who wanted to introduce me to someone who had worshipped with us for the first time. People left and called to me, "I talked to two new people today! I talked to three!" I'm so grateful for my people who humor me and follow along with my crazy ideas. Praise be to God for hospitality, new friendships and a community strengthened by fellowship. ❤️ #rccstrong
I have nothing else to say! Here's my sermon - enjoy!
Oh my goodness, y'all I am SO sorry I am so delayed in posting this. I keep asking veteran mamas what ages their kids were when they managed to pull themselves back together and they all just laugh at me. Ha! So I'm doing the best I can, but definitely still working out the kinks of my new schedule.
Anyway, here is my sermon from last week. I think this is a message we all need to hear - a reminder that so much of the Gospel boils down to the simple commandment to love one another.
- Rev. Sarah
Oh friends, I told Bruce last night that "everything is changing this week!" I am back to work full time, my sweet Baby Harrison started daycare and we have two new staff members starting on Sunday. This past Sunday was Jordan's last Sunday and we sent him off with love and music! If you follow us on Facebook, you saw that we sang Piano Man with re-written lyrics, complete with a harmonica, solos for everyone and a singalong at the end. It really was incredible!
I hope you enjoy my sermon. It really was a tribute to the work Jordan has put in at the church over the past 4 1/2 and the impact he's had on all of us.
Good luck in Austin, Jordan! They don't know how lucky they are.
See y'all next week. On to new beginnings ...
So sorry for the horrible eclipse joke that didn't even make any sense! I think the sleep deprivation is starting to get to me. Regardless, this is one of my favorite passages to preach on - I love thinking about how the Body of Christ comes alive in local churches!
- Rev. Sarah
Hi friends ... I don't know about the rest of you, but I am humbled by the inadequacy of words right now. I don't know how to reflect on what happened in Charlottesville this weekend and yet I know my silence is deafening and part of the problem right now.
I thought about scrapping my sermon and starting over last night, but ultimately I decided to address what happened in Charlottesville at the beginning of the service and in my pastoral prayer. Next week is Beatles Sunday at church and Jordan and I are planning weaving the theme of Love Wins throughout the service. It won't change anything that happened, but maybe it will inspire us all to continue to fight to resist the evil, hatred and racism in the world.
Have a great week, everyone.
It felt so great to be back in the pulpit yesterday after nine weeks of maternity leave! I preached on the feeding of the multitude, filled the altar with bread and we feasted on it afterwards. As always, the full text is available on my blog, www.preachinginpumps.com.
- Rev. Sarah
Good afternoon! Sorry for the delay in posting this week. I have no other excuse other than I am two weeks away from my due date and we are busily getting ready for my maternity leave at church and the baby at home. And holy cow, spring is in full swing and things are BUSY at church! I think I have something going on every night this week - all good things, but I've been trying to keep track of everything and I keep thinking I'm going to miss something.
I won't be preaching this weekend, so I won't post another sermon until Memorial Day weekend. Our Children's Day & Choir Sunday is this Sunday, so the children are leading worship and we have some special music planned. We're looking forward to a great celebration with the theme, It Takes A (Church In The) Village!
Have a great week, everyone!
- Rev. Sarah
Sorry for the delay in posting this week. The church hosted a baby shower for Bruce and me after worship on Sunday and we spent a lot of the day organizing everything! We were truly overwhelmed and humbled by everyone's generosity.
There were heavy shepherding themes this week - both the 23rd psalm and the parable of Jesus as the Good Shepherd were included in the lectionary. I preached on them both and talked about what it means to ground our lives in the teachings of the Gospel and truly allow that to shepherd us every day.
Hi friends - here is this week's sermon. Those of you who follow me on social media may have seen that my college chaplain, the Rev. Charles Rice, passed away very unexpectedly this week. It did not feel right to preach, business as usual, without acknowledging not only this loss, but also the impact he had on my life. In a moment of grace unexpected, the lectionary had us on the Road to Emmaus this week. I could not have picked a more perfect scripture to preach on as I talked about the ways Rev. Rice embodied the incarnational love of God throughout his life and ministry.
Please keep the friends and family of Rev. Rice in your prayers, as well as the entire Ursinus College community. As I post this sermon, they are preparing for his funeral in Collegeville, PA. I so wish I could be there, but at this point in my pregnancy I just can't travel that far by myself.
- Rev. Sarah
I know a lot of clergy celebrate the Sunday after Easter as Holy Humor Sunday, but, if I'm being honest, I'm really just not that funny. So rather than force something that just won't work for me, this past Sunday we stuck to the things that I am good at in worship -integrating special music into the service, bringing the community together to bless a new batch of prayer shawls and gathering around the living waters of baptism as we baptized our very own Baby Jesus (or at least, he played him in the Christmas pageant last year!). It was a wonderful Sunday and I was thrilled to see so many people come out, considering it was the end of school vacation and there is often a low after Easter Sunday, anyway.
Enjoy today's sermon! Felt a little strange to be out of our sermon series, but it's always nice to just read the scripture at the beginning of the week and then see where my mind takes me.
Hello and Happy Easter!
I usually post my sermons on Sunday evening, but I figured everyone would be celebrating the Easter holiday and not waiting with baited breath for my sermon to post.
A few weeks ago, Jon and I went to see The Lion King when it came to PPAC and as I was watching, I had an idea for this year's Easter Sermon. After watching April the Giraffe give birth on Saturday morning (yes, I was totally sucked in!), I thought about going in a different direction, but really wanted to stick with this message. So stay tuned for an April sermon illustration! :)
I preached out of Matthew this year. I tend to bounce back and forth between John and wherever we are in the lectionary cycle, but have preached on John for the past few years and really was looking for something different so I turned to Matthew this year.
I hope you all had a blessed Easter celebration!
- Rev. Sarah
Happy Palm Sunday!
It is week six of our Lenten sermon series, Boot Camp for the Soul and the theme for this morning is Celebrate & Wait. I had a great time preaching through this series and I look forward to taking a look at some of the other series in the future.
I have always struggled with the paradox of preaching Palm Sunday when I know Maundy Thursday & Good Friday are coming. In light of everything that happened in Syria last week, I think I lived out that paradox as I was preparing my sermon this week. It's always so hard to find a balance.
We really had a really wonderful worship this morning at RCC this morning, which was exactly what I needed after a challenging sermon writing week and just the icing on the cake of a great weekend that started with our Easter Egg Hunt yesterday.
- Rev. Sarah
I am on week 5 of the Lenten Sermon Series, Boot Camp for the Soul. This week the theme is Dead Ends. The scriptures are Ezekiel 37:1-14 & John 11:1-45.
If you are interested in learning more about the sermon series, take a look at the book, A Preacher's Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series. It's been a really great series!
The full text is available at my blog, www.preachinginpumps.com.
Have a great week!
- Rev. Sarah
This morning, I am continuing our Lenten Sermon Series, Boot Camp for the Soul and the theme is redefined. I didn't record the entire scripture, because it was quite lengthy to read and I think as long as you know what stories I am talking about, the sermon will make sense. If you are interested in looking them up, the two scriptures are 1 Samuel 16:1-15 & John 9:1-41. It is the story of the anointing of King David and the healing of the blind man (the children and I made mud during the children's sermon!).
- Rev. Sarah
This is week two of the Lenten sermon series, Boot Camp for the Soul and the topic is, reset. In this sermon, Rev. Sarah uses the call of Abraham and the dialogue between Nicodemus and Jesus about being born of the spirit to talk about what it means to start over and for God to give us second chances (and sometimes third, fourth and fiftieth chances, if we need them!). She encourages people to hit the reset button and find changes (both big and small) in their lives that will strengthen their faith and draw them closer to God.
This morning I began a sermon series from the book, A Preacher's Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series, which was edited by Amy Butler. The sermon series is called Boot Camp for the Soul and this week's topic is The Need for Change.
In this special mid-week episode of the Preaching in Pumps podcast, Rev. Sarah shares her reflection from RCC's Ash Wednesday service. She also talks about her first ever "Ashes to Go" experience at a nearby train station. Happy Lent, everyone!
Today is Transfiguration Sunday! In her sermon, Rev. Sarah talked about the change that happened in Jesus at the transfiguration and how God can change us, as well.