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…

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…

Free From Shame; Free to Love (A Sermon for June 16th, 2013)

Luke 7:36-8:3 It’s a beautiful dinner party. Simon is known for these. Everything always comes off perfectly. The table settings sparkle. The flowers are fresh. The cocktails are classy. The food is presented in beautiful courses with garnishes. The guest list is small and select: all people who are model citizens—well-respected leaders—scandal-free. And it’s all…

Walking Forward in Freedom

Here’s a narrative sermon from 2010–the last time Luke 7:36-8:3 came up in the lectionary. I knew exactly how she felt—this woman at Jesus’ feet. She felt free—free to love and be loved; free to care and be cared for. She felt the same way we all did—all we women disciples of Jesus. Women did…

Truth-tellers (sermon for Sunday, April 28th, 2013)

Sermon text is Acts 11:1-18 When you hear the word “Truth,” what comes to mind? Is it a comforting word—something solid and trust-worthy? Is it attached to longing—something you seek for, or yearn for? Or is it suspicious—something that comes with a whole bunch of questions, like who is claiming to know the truth; what…

How will we sing…? (Sermon for 4-21-13)

the Scripture text is Revelation 7:9-17 A tribe of nomads marks a place where God was made known to them. They gather large stones and stack them carefully on top of each other—a painstaking process that results in a kind of tower—a mound. A mark. Every time they pass by it, for generations, they retell…

Feed My Sheep (Sermon for April 14th, 2013)

sermon text is John 21:1-19 There was an article in the LA Times, recently, that circulated around the internet pretty quickly. The authors share a story from when one of them was in the hospital after surgery related to breast cancer. One of her colleagues felt a strong need to visit her in the hospital,…

Proclaim! (A Sermon for April 7, 2013)

Sermon text: John 20:11-18 To start us out this morning, I’m going to say a phrase—a phrase that describes an activity—and I want you to visualize it. Ready? “Proclaim the gospel for the salvation of humankind” What picture came to mind for you? How many of you pictured a TV preacher, or someone like Billy…

Alive–For What? (A Sermon for Easter, 2013)

This week I watched a video where a well-known young-adult novelist, John Green, made the case that most of us—most people—live our lives in a kind of functional nihilism. Now, I’ll admit, I had to go look up nihilism to be sure I understood what he was talking about—my philosopher husband wasn’t home to consult….