First person plural: the Lord’s prayer and liberation

This is a reconstructed version of the sermon I preached as my last sermon as pastor of First Christian Church of Oakland, July 1, 2013.   The “scripture reading” for the morning was actually this skit.   How many people in the congregation knew that the Lord’s Prayer is actually in the bible? (Most handsContinue reading “First person plural: the Lord’s prayer and liberation”

Singing a new story—God, Oakland, and hope amidst change

(The theme of the June 2013 Michigan Disciples of Christ Women’s Retreat was “Our Stories, God’s Story.” This was the sermon I offered on the last day of the retreat, after two days of workshops that invited us to go deeply in sharing our personal journeys, our connection to scripture, our experiences of being peopleContinue reading “Singing a new story—God, Oakland, and hope amidst change”

Righteousness in Complex Times

I have attempted to convert my sermon notes from yesterday into a sermon. By means of explanation, this sermon is part of a series our church is doing on the beatitudes, or the sermon where Jesus lists different groups of people who are blessed, although their lives are hard. We are using an accompanying children’sContinue reading “Righteousness in Complex Times”

Longfellow, Belafonte and the dream of peace on earth at Christmas

It is VERY unusual for me to manuscript a sermon these days. Usually, I only do so if the sermon’s going to be translated. My style borders on folksy with occasional gospel-preaching ramp-ups, neither of which is well served by tightly managed wording or the temptation to glance down at the paper on the lectern.Continue reading “Longfellow, Belafonte and the dream of peace on earth at Christmas”

A dead young man + an outpouring of rage = rules to limit public speech at city council meetings? A pastor’s response to city council

You may know the story of Alan Blueford, shot by police for the crime of running away and then falsely framed by his assailant (currently on paid suspension).   You may know the story of his family and supporters taking over a city council meeting last night to demand an unredacted report about the shooting.Continue reading “A dead young man + an outpouring of rage = rules to limit public speech at city council meetings? A pastor’s response to city council”

Youtube videos I used at church camp (if you weren’t there, I swear they made more sense at the time)

Last week, I keynoted youth camp at Community of the Great Commission in the Sierras. Several youth wanted links to the videos I used at camp. Providing the links here does not mean I endorse every single word or image–sometimes the video was just used for effect. And I certainly don’t endorse the music ofContinue reading “Youtube videos I used at church camp (if you weren’t there, I swear they made more sense at the time)”

Drunken international reconciliation–how do we stop the fighting?

I was riding Muni (San Francisco’s public transportation) back from the Landmark communication course I’m taking to a friend’s place where I’m couch-surfing during the weekend-long course. I was riding with another woman from the course, who also lives in the Castro (the neighborhood where my friend lives). During the ride, I discovered she wasContinue reading “Drunken international reconciliation–how do we stop the fighting?”

Finding home (or, A million different Occupies)

I attended my very first Occupy the Hood meeting tonight. It’s not like I was unaware of the movement–my co-pastor and I expressed enthusiasm and concern about Occupy Oakland almost simultaneously almost from the beginning, and when we read this article http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/10/occupy_the_hood.php in October, we were pretty sure this was where we belonged. But thenContinue reading “Finding home (or, A million different Occupies)”