Recently, a friend recommended that I put all my sermons into one document, as a way to mark my upcoming 10th anniversary as an ordained minister. I did that, and I was quite shocked to discover that over the years I’d written almost 1,000 pages of sermons in ten years.
Trying to choose just a couple of them to share with you was a bit daunting. I really didn’t think it fair to ask you to read all 1,000 pages, of course. And I didn’t want to only offer you what I think of my best sermons, because after all, we’re both trying to get an accurate picture of the other party, and I want to be as honest as I’m able.
After some thought, I’ve decided to offer you an early sermon, and then two more recent sermons:
The Divine Chocolate Chip Cookie (2009),
Every 500 Years, Something Happens (2017) and
I hope that three sermons will give you a flavor of what my writing style is like and how it has evolved over time. Of course, you’re perfectly able to go to the website of the congregation I’m currently serving to see all of our services since March, 2020, too. There you can poke about and see the good, the bad, the awkward and the hopefully inspiring. Here is the link to the YouTube Channel of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland by clicking on their logo here:
In conversation with another minister, we were talking about how different services are now from when we met in person with our congregations. He was looking for an element of a service from last year, which had been video recorded, to reuse for this year (it’s a piece that leads up to Christmas.) He told me he got very sad watching the video, because what is missing from our current video offerings is the live interaction, the exchange of energy between worship leaders and the congregation in our current state.
I’m well aware that this search cycle is unlike what most of us were hoping for. There won’t be the weekend visits, or maybe even the 10 day long candidate week in the way it used to be. I feel a little sad about this, and I wonder if you’re also feeling this loss.
In the end, I guess we do what we always can do: do our best in the situation, be diligent in our discernment and have faith in our fellow humans.