Building the Beloved Community: The Church of Gifted Learners

This sermon was first preached at Kalamazoo First Congregational Church on March 24, 2019. You can listen to the audio here. Text: I Corinthians 13:1-13 When I was in seminary, the church where I did my internship began using the Young Children in Worship curriculum for Sunday School. This is the same curriculum we use…

Access to Living Water

This sermon was first preached at Kalamazoo First Congregational Church on February 24, 2019. You can listen to the recording here. Text: John 4:7-15 This month, Pastor Nathan and I have both chosen to write our sermons in conversation with African American theologians and this week, I have focused on learning from the Rev. Dr….

Finding God in the Wilderness with Hagar and Delores S. Williams

This sermon was first preached at Kalamazoo First Congregational Church on February 10, 2019. You can listen here. Text: Genesis 16:1-16 Throughout the month of February, Pastor Nathan and I will be preaching in dialogue with significant African American theologians and biblical scholars. In preparation for this morning, I’ve had the chance to read and…

Called Out of Comfort

This sermon was given at First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo on January 27, 2019. You can listen here. Text: Luke 4:16-30 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul. Aren’t there sometimes words or songs…

The Home of God is Among Mortals

This sermon was originally preached at First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo on November 4, 2018. You can listen here. Revelation 21:1-6 Yesterday would have been my grandfather’s 90th birthday. He died almost 14 years ago—a few months after my wedding, which was the last time I saw him. Bob Ingram was the child of two…

Following Home

This sermon was first preached at the First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, MI on October 28, 2018. You can listen to the recording here. Mark 10:46-52 When I moved to Vancouver to attend seminary, I began what I assumed would be a long process of finding a church to attend regularly. I did research and…

Give Me Jesus

This sermon was first preached on October 21, 2018 at First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo MI. Listen here Mark 10:35-45 One of my pet peeves is when Christians use Jesus to try to control or manipulate other people. This is a trap that preachers especially can fall into, and it’s one of the reasons I fully…

Rehumanizing Ethics

This sermon was first preached on October 23rd, 2017 at the First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo. (catching up on some old material, folks!) Listen here Matthew 22:23-33 There are not many things I hate in this world. There’s plenty I don’t like, but I tend to have a pretty positive outlook and be patient and…

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…