Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: October 2014

Living Generously: Systems Matthew 22:34-46 Today we begin a few weeks where we’ll be talking about living generously in worship.  As we’re watching the leaves begin to turn the most beautiful colors outside, as Thanksgiving approaches, as we’re thinking about the stewardship of our community…it seems we have an invitation to do some spiritual work, to think about all we have and what we do with all we have. So, for the… Read More

I recall an elderly congregation member telling me the story of moving to the big city from a small town in the Midwest more than 70 years ago. She came to town a young, single woman, choosing career and adventure over a more traditional course. I knew her to be a longtime and deeply dedicated member of my congregation, and I was curious: “How did you come to be part of this… Read More

No Jacket Required Matthew 22:1-14 This sermon was preached at The Riverside Church in the city of New York on October 12, 2014; listen here. I’ll tell you a little secret about ministers that you might not know.  Most ministers will tell you without hesitation that, given the choice between performing a wedding and performing a funeral, they will choose a funeral every time. Does this surprise you? If the only wedding… Read More

Yesterday I shared this beautiful invitation with my new church family at The Riverside Church–these are words worth hearing again. Today was World Communion Sunday.  As an invitation to the table I used Jan Richardson‘s beautiful poem, And the Table Will Be Wide. I loved it so much I am thinking we should use it every communion Sunday. And the Table Will Be Wide A Blessing for World Communion Sunday And the table… Read More

Invited to Freedom Matthew 21:33-46 Exodus 20:1-14; 7-9; 12-17 It’s good to be together in worship this morning. Today is a special day!  84 years ago on this day the very first worship service of The Riverside Church was celebrated in this beautiful space; later this afternoon we’ll gather again right here, to celebrate our covenant as we mark the beginning of our life together as pastor and congregation; and, today is… Read More

We have a busy installation weekend here at The Riverside Church, so the fine folks over at ABP/RH gave me a break and reposted a column I wrote last year around church budget season.  I believe this now even more than I did before! This is, hands down, the least favorite time of year for pastors everywhere: church budget planning season. Nobody likes budget planning, from the tedious work it entails to… Read More