A Sermon on Luke 7:1-10 by Brian Ellison, at Southminster Presbyterian Church, Boise, ID, June 2, 2013: “But this is the world. And this is where God is. When Jesus shows up we might like every story to be like a magic wand being waved. The leper is touched and the healing occurs. The mud is put on the eyes and sight is restored. But the world we live in is a Luke Chapter 7 world, and healing rarely happens that way. Justice is rarely a matter of a single spoken word. Every problem is not healed by each just action. The day you or I offer a cold cup of water to an overheated stranger, he will be better and a thousand more will still thirst. But the witness of the scriptures and the promise of the gospel is that it still matters. That, in fact, it couldn’t possibly matter any more. That this is the kingdom of God.”
The Rev. Dr. K.C. Ptomey, Jr., a former member of the Covenant Network Board, joined the Church Triumphant on May 9, 2013. K.C. was Zbinden Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, having retired as Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville.
A Service of Witness to the Resurrection was held at Westminster Church on Saturday, May 18. The preachers, Ted Wardlaw and Jon Walton, have graciously granted permission to share their sermons here.
Keynote Address by Doug Nave at the Covenant Network of Presbyterians Regional Conference, First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, May 11, 2013: “So the church should care about same-sex marriage – and not simply in a censorious, exclusionary way, but in a supportive and celebratory one – because in marriage a couple can seek the guidance of the church and find the resources needed to model their lives around the covenantal fidelity that is so central to all of Christian faith. What could be more worthwhile than that? What could be more gracious and generous and loving? What, indeed, could be more Christ-like?”
A Sermon on Song of Solomon 2:8-13 by Sarah Segal McCaslin: “And while many would say, by way of conclusion or assessment, that way too much time is spent in our denomination talking about what other people do in the bedroom, I think now, truly, that not enough time is spent talking about what goes on in the bedroom. If what goes on behind closed doors has the capacity to be the most faithful and exuberant worship of God that we can imagine, and also one of the places where our bodies are celebrated as God intended, then the church needs to protect against the threat that this beautiful aspect of our God-given humanity might be forced into hiding and become inaccessible to those who might be most in need of a positive word and a grace-filled moment.”
A Sermon on Acts 11:1-18 by Drew M. Henry, La Placitas Presbyterian Church, NM, April 28, 2013: “My home church, the First Presbyterian Church of Selma, Alabama, has been on my heart and mind over recent months. That is the congregation that raised me in the faith and profoundly shaped who I am today. I would like to share with you a letter that I have written to them, and I ask you to join with me in holding them in prayer… I understand that much of the current conflict in the church there is focused on our denomination’s growing acceptance and support of people who are homosexual and their families in the life of the church. Please allow me to share a bit of my story…”
A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 and Isaiah 43:16-21 by David Bartlett, for the Atlanta Regional Conference, April 19, 2013: “… there may be just a little danger as you in your church and I in mine face the possibility of schism and the fights over property and budgets and pensions – there may be just a little danger that we will move beyond what we have every right to say: “I disagree with you entirely” – to what we have no place in Christ’s body to say: “Good riddance; we have no need of you.”
Is there some way that we can stand fast for justice and still work toward reconciliation?”