Monday, June 29, 2015

Sermon Audio 6/27/2015, Day of Repentance for Racism and Mourning for Charleston Victims




In response to the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, we heeded the words of our Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton with a Day of Repentance and Mourning. The alleged shooter is a member of an ELCA congregation, and two of the victims, Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney and Rev. Daniel Simmons, were graduates of the ELCA seminary in South Carolina. It should not take these ELCA connections for our churches to rise up for racial justice, and that it did is one of the realities of which we repent. 

Thanks to Rozella White, ELCA Director of Young Adult Ministries; Rev. Meghan Johnston Aelabouni; and President Obama. Each brought us a necessary Word this morning. Links are to the full texts quoted in part in this sermon. 

As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sermon Audio 6/14/2015 - Acts Sermon Series Week Two


Acts Sermon Series, Week Two / Third Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year B



At my recent continuing education event, I learned about generosity, one of the core values of Lutheran Church of the Savior. What is generosity, and how does it flourish among us?

As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sermon Audio 6/7/2015 - Acts Sermon Series Week One


Acts Sermon Series, Week One


Our sermon series on Acts begins with three things we need to know about the Holy Spirit as we prepare for Pentecost to come to Lutheran Church of the Savior. We begin with Jesus' final promise to his friends, that the Holy Spirit would empower them to do more than they had ever imagined.

As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sermon Audio 5/31/2015 Holy Trinity Sunday


The Holy Trinity, Lectionary Year B


The Holy Trinity helps us to understand how God tries to relate to us. 


As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sermon Audio 5/24/2015, Day of Pentecost B

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

Day of Pentecost, Lectionary Year B

Acts 2:1-21

Do not let years of hearing this story domesticate it. The Holy Spirit transformed the lives of Jesus' apostles that day, and seeks to transform us today. Here at Lutheran Church of the Savior, we are beginning a two-year period of preparation for the Holy Spirit to transform us as individuals and as a congregation. We will celebrate our 50 years of ministry in 2017 not as an anniversary, but as a Pentecost. Prepare to be made new by the Holy Spirit.


As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."


Sermon Text May 17th 2015

I was away on May 10th, so no sermon audio for that day. Then May 17th my phone (recording device) completely malfunctioned and my sermon audio did not record. This is the second time that a sermon did not record, and the second time it was a roller derby-themed sermon that I thought people would want to listen to. Oh well. Instead I will post the text from which I preached that sermon. It contains much of what I said, though as always the audio is the real sermon and the text is merely my guide. In particular, I suspect there was more to points 3 and 4 below, but oh well.

Sermon Sunday May 17th, Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo


1.    It’s still the season of Easter, so one more time I’ll begin my sermon with the Good News: Jesus died and rose again for us, to forgive our sin and set us free to love God and love one another.
2.    Our first lesson from Acts today is one of my all-time favorite examples of the freedom we have in Christ, freedom to love God and love one another. The Ethiopian eunuch is the most outside of outsiders – foreign, dark-skinned, fabulously wealthy and powerful (which wouldn’t make him an outsider except that by that time Jesus’ followers had all given their money and possessions to the church and become poor), and a eunuch, a sexual minority explicitly excluded from worshiping God by the Law of Moses.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sermon Audio 5/3/2015 Fifth Sunday after Easter B



After celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus over Holy Week and Easter, and after recent events in Baltimore sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, we remember this important fact. We don't get to talk about Jesus without talking about state-sponsored violence.

Based on responses from the congregation, as well as my own impressions, I think this sermon was important enough that I will also share my prepared text below. Of course, the actual sermon as preached varied from the text, and each is its own entity. Unlike most of my sermons I believe there is value in sharing this text alongside the audio of the preached sermon. 

I'd also like to link to an important source for my reflections, as I quoted two of the essays at this link in the sermon. Preaching Reflections of Freddie Gray and Baltimore


Listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."