Dig In

Preached on August 12, 2018 at First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo Listen here Text: John 6:35, 41-51 If you’re one of those faithful who have been attending church every week through these summer months, you might have noticed that there has been a lot of bread lately. And we’re not done, yet! There’s are two more…

Meeting God in the Real World

Preached at First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo on July 18, 2018. Text: Mark 6:14-29 My spouse and I began dating almost 15 years ago. We were young! But we were pretty solidly embedded in an evangelical Christian culture that discouraged casual dating and put some pressure on young adults to figure out quickly whether or…

Biblical Families

Text: Ruth 1:1-17 Preached at the First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan on May 13th, 2018. You can listen to the recording here As some of you know, I grew up in Japan where my parents were missionaries with the Presbyterian church. Because we only visited the U.S. about every other year, there were certain developments…

Biblical Womanhood

Preached at First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo on April 29, 2018. You can listen to the recording here. Text: John 20:11-18 My nine year old daughter attends many Sundays at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, since my spouse attends there. Her Faith Formation director there is a good friend of mine and has shared with me a…

Desert

Listen to me read the poem here I stood at home and wept. I wept at the sight of hostas and Queen Anne’s lace    and petunias and lambs’ ears    that grew    while I was in the desert. I wept in gratitude for rain I did not see or hear    or feel on…

Do We Believe It is Good News?

A sermon delivered to the Presbytery of Lake Michigan on March 11, 2017 by the Rev. Sarah Schmidt-Lee Scripture: John 3:1-17 Good morning all! It’s good to be with you today. I’ve had a friend from college visiting with me this week, and it’s been delightful to catch up with her–to find out what has…

Blessed are You

A few weeks ago my spouse went to get a haircut at one of the chains in town that welcomes walk-in customers. His stylist was a woman wearing a headcovering, which he assumed indicated she was Muslim, but when she saw his clergy collar, she shared that she was a member of the Armenian Orthodox…

Lent Photo-a-Day Challenge

Humility Gardening helps me understand the balance between right action and humility about the results. I don’t get lettuce if I don’t plant seeds and tend them with water and weeding, but even when I do everything “right” I have little control over which seeds germinate, how fast or slowly they grow, whether or not…

Lent Photo-a-Day Challenge

Truth Inner Peace begins with honest self-reflection. I cannot experience peace within myself until I accept the truth about myself. The truth of my wounds; the truth of my beauty; the truth of my flaws; the truth of my limits; the truth of my strength; the truth of my courage.

Lent Photo-a-Day Challenge

For Week 1 of Lent, all of our prompts are connected to the theme of Inner Peace. Beloved Knowing that we are beloved by God may not lead to comfort or security. Like Jesus, our very next steps may lead into the wilderness. What does it mean to you to be beloved? Does it give…

Lent Photo-a-Day Challenge

Known How does Jesus make God known to you? In my experience, it is usually through the love of other people. Here’s the crazy part. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the other people believe in God or not. When I have friends committed to knowing and caring for each other, I experience God there….

Lent Photo-a-Day Challenge

Rejoice It is easy for me to rejoice on warm sunny days. As I ponder what it means to rejoice in the Lord always, I think of my seven-year-old daughter who lost a tooth this morning. Finding joy in the small events of every day is a start. Last night I had an intergenerational prayer…