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Showing posts from September, 2011

Sermon for September 18, 2011

Patrons, Peasants and Pastors

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Let’s begin with a quiz. Are you ready? We’ll begin with a practice question:
Q. How many animals of each type did Moses take on the ark?
A. Zero. Moses didn’t have a boat, Noah did!

OK, how did you do? Are you ready for the real test?
Q. Is there a Fourth of July in England?
A. Yes, it comes after the third of July!
Q. Some months have 31 days; how many have 28?
A. 12, all of them!
Q. Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow’s sister?
A. No - because he is dead!
Q. A rooster sits on the VERY TOP of a barn roof. If he lays an egg, which side will it roll off?
A. Roosters don't lay eggs.
Q. You have a match and you go into a house and there is an oil lamp, a stove, and a fireplace all ready to be started. What do you light first?
A. The Match!

And now for the math portion of our quiz:
Q. Divide 30 by 1/2 and add 10. What is the answer?
A. 70, (30 divided by 1/2 equals 60! Takes some thinking . . .)
Q. If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, h…

9/11 Remarks

I made the following remarks at the Islamic Society of the Washington Area for their 9/11 commemoration event. Thanks to the 30 or so CCCers who attended!

Imam Khan and members of the Islamic Society of the Washington Area, Honored Guests, and fellow citizens, on behalf of the members and friends of Christ Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Silver Spring, I thank you for the invitation to be with you here today. I appreciate the invitation and hospitality shown to each of us. I bring greetings and prayers for peace from the members and friends of Christ Congregational Church. Our church endeavors to be a faith community that embodies God’s love for all people by laboring for the progress of knowledge, the promotion of justice, and the reign of peace.

This is a big calling, especially in the 10 years since September 11th 2001. On 9/11 we saw the shadows of darkness fall upon us as we woke up to that achingly beautiful morning sun. I do not think the darkness has dissipated…
The Art and Science of Forgiveness
Here is my sermon, along with some prayers from our 10 Am September 11th remembrance liturgy. --mbb

Prayer of Illumination
How do we praise God on a day as difficult as this, when we may still be angry and sad, when we know that terrorists still lurk? Where do we find comfort? Our tradition tells us that we derive spiritual healing from God. We find it in words of comfort. We hear it in our songs of faith. We see it in our works of mercy and justice. And on this day, we listen for it in our scriptures.
Into our darkness send your Light, Eternal Spirit. Open our eyes that we may see you shining among us in the world today. Open our ears that we may hear you speak among all our faltering words and among the words of scripture, that, hearing and seeing, we may rise up and follow your Way to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

Call to Prayer
Occasionally during the daytime, there is great darkness. Sometimes this darkness is caused by a natural event like an ec…

Sermon for September 4, 2011

Conflict and Communication
I only kind of preached this sermon. I lost my notes and made up the second half, but this is essential what I said. -- mbb

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:15-2…