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Showing posts from July, 2011

CCC Update

I am back in Silver Spring after a three-week vacation. I had a chance to watch my children's end-of-school-year events, reunite with my family after being apart for four months, travel to Tuscany to perform a wedding for some dear friends, and finally move the Braddocks into our new home in Silver Spring. I am eager to be back at CCC -- to settle in here even as my family adjusts into new lives and routines in the community.

Upon my return, I noticed our rainbow banner was no longer next to the church sign on Colesville Road. In June, Outreach and Engagement planted the rainbow banner as a sign of hope and invitation for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people in our church and larger community. The banner recently came down and is awaiting some repairs and will hopefully return in August.

Why would we put this banner up in the first place? Why do we need to single out any particular minority communities for special attention? Haven't we at CCC always offered a spir…

Sermon for July 24, 2011

Six Sacred Stories
Matthew 13:31-33; 44-52

I don’t threaten God too often. I try not to make a habit to tell God what to do, or how to run the universe. I very rarely scribble down a wish, offer it in a prayer and then give God an ultimatum if it doesn’t come true. Recently though, I caught myself doing that as my family moved into our new home.

We live in a quiet, small neighborhood, filled with 1960’s split-level ranches and sidewalks, and people walking their dogs and trimming their grass with old-fashioned mowers. It’s like Norman Rockwell and Mayberry had a baby. (I don’t know how that would work, but looking at this neighborhood it must have.) Baby fawns roam freely through the neighborhood, grazing on the salad bar of hostas in people’s gardens and basking in the sunny meadow otherwise known as my neighbor’s back yard. Some call the deer a nuisance. To my kids, these white-dappled babies are cuties. The fireflies come out at night, inviting children to dance and do cartwheels duri…

Sermon for July 17, 2011

Don’t Pull the Weeds
July 17, 2011

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. The farmer’s workers went to him and said, “Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?”

“An enemy has done this!” the farmer exclaimed.

“Should we pull out the weeds?” they asked.

“No,” he replied, “you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.”

Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the wor…

Sermon for June 5, 2011

Living at Light Speed

Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He said to them, "It is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that a change of hearts and lives and forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations, starting at Jerusalem.You are witnesses of these things. I will send you what my Father has promised, but you must stay in Jerusalem until you have received that power from heaven." Jesus led his followers as far as Bethany, and he raised his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he was separated from them and carried into heaven. They worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem very happy. They stayed in the Temple all the time, praising God. Luke 24:44-53

The Ascension of Jesus is a great story. You can see the action in your mind; like an old Cecil B. DeMille Epic. In my film adaptation of the Ascension, Johnny Depp plays Jesus. He is strong. Dashing. Edgy. Soulful ey…

Sermon for May 29, 2011

The J-Bomb

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe* in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?* And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’* Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know* my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Fath…