The Great Pentecost Struggle… Then, and Now

Ken Cuthbertson: ‘It should not come as a surprise that the story of Peter and Cornelius means a lot to those of us who have struggled long and hard over the last forty years, seeking the full inclusion of LGBTQ Christians in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Many of us see the story of Cornelius, his family and friends, as paralleling our own. We know we aren’t kosher, but we love God, and feel called to be part of this ever-emerging thing called church. And, thankfully, there are friends and advocates who, like Peter, keep saying to the church: “If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” (Acts 11: 17)’

Acts Then and Now

Jay McKell reflects on Pentecost, the Council of Jerusalem, and the 221st General Assembly: “God’s welcome is wide. Ancient and outdated barriers are cast aside and grace abounds.”

Welcome Home

A Sermon on Acts 8:26-39 by the Rev. Chris Henry: “…All the preventative barriers and exclusive restrictions are no match for the Spirit’s radical acceptance. Who are we to say no when it is so clear that God has already said yes? Can we ever overestimate the love of God?…”

On Churches Disaffiliating from the PCUSA

A Sermon on Acts 10:9-16, 15:1-11, by Thomas C. Willadsen: “Peter had to give up his concept of what God wanted from him. He gave that up when he saw what the Holy Spirit was doing among different people. I do not think this was easy for Peter to do. The Holy Spirit pushed Peter to broaden his understanding of religion, faith and tradition, the very things that had told him who he was and who God was. I don’t think it was easy for Peter to do this.”

Build Up the Body of Christ in Love

A sermon by the Rev. Sara Hayden: “So, they recalled his way of life. How Jesus went to the margins and borders of the cities, lakes and called to people who were hungry, outcast, forgotten, and otherwise lost. His ears and eyes were attentive as people called to him. Sometimes for healing, sometimes for money, sometimes for attention. Jesus went to them. He learned their needs. He developed their gifts. He recognized the spiritual gifts of exceptional people – many, like Martha and Mary – who had never been encouraged before to use them. Not merely for themselves, but for the world.”

The Trouble with the Church

A Sermon by Dr. Mark Achtemeier: “The trouble with inviting Jesus into your home is you don’t just get Jesus, you get the friends who show up with him.”