Monday, September 26, 2016

Sermon Audio 9/25/2016, 19th Sunday after Pentecost C


19th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year C


Our season of stewardship begins with thankfulness for what we have, rather than with worry about what we lack. 


To hear this podcast: listen here, use this link, or use iTunes or Google Play Music to subscribe or listen by searching "Tengwall."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sermon Audio 9/18/2016, Guest Preacher Rev. Louis Tillman, Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost C


Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year C


Our guest preacher today, Rev. Louis Tillman, is a candidate for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, currently completing his theological studies at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He brings a powerful Word reminding us that two is not better than one. Have you ever been to Jackson, MI? 


To hear this podcast: listen here, use this link, or use iTunes or Google Play Music to subscribe or listen by searching "Tengwall."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sermon Audio 9/11/2016, Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost C


Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year C


Jesus tells his parables about a lost sheep and a lost coin in the midst of two audiences: the tax collectors and sinners with whom he eats, and the grumbling Pharisees and scribes. With which of these audiences do you identify, and how does that change how you hear the parables? 

As a bonus I talk about how "All lives matter" in response to "Black lives matter" is merely the grumbling of jealous Pharisees. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sermon Audio 9/4/2016, Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost C


Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year C



What does it mean to carry your cross? Why does Jesus have such harsh words for the crowds of people who want to follow him? 

To hear this podcast: listen here, use this link, or use iTunes or Google Play Music to subscribe or listen by searching "Tengwall."

Friday, September 2, 2016

Why Stewardship is the Way I Follow Jesus

This week my family has much to celebrate. Today is our fifth wedding anniversary, and the tenth anniversary of our first date (give or take a day). Monday is my 38th birthday. Our son had his first day of preschool. We announced a new pregnancy, to the joy of apparently all our Facebook friends.

In fact, so many people have shared in our joy that we wanted to give an opportunity to celebrate with us. Instead of hosting a party, we created a Facebook event and offered our loved ones an opportunity to support a cause we believe in.

What? Why in the world do we think asking our friends to give money to something they may never have heard of counts as celebrating with us?

If you are reading this, you probably know how much I love generosity, fundraising, and giving money. It brings me joy to live out my values by giving material support to things I say I believe in. Ever since we paid off all our debt last year, we have had the opportunity to give more and think more about what giving means in our lives.


Last September I introduced our annual stewardship campaign with a newsletter article that does a good job of explaining why stewardship is my basic framework for following Jesus.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sermon Audio 8/28/2016, Acts Sermon Series Week 13


Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year C

Acts Sermon Series 2016, Week Thirteen


As we conclude our Summer Sermon Series on the book of Acts, we hear Paul proclaim the risen Christ to the people of Jerusalem. How does the Holy Spirit work through him? 


To hear this podcast: listen here, use this link, or use iTunes or Google Play Music to subscribe or listen by searching "Tengwall."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Actual Blog Post*: What Does It Mean to Be "Religious" in America?

With regard to religion, my cousin and dear friend is a devoutly skeptical and endlessly curious, a combination I hold in high esteem. He posted this article, entitled "Religious Diversity May Be Making America Less Religious," by Daniel Cox for fivethirtyeight.com.

I found this article extremely interesting. Upon reflection, the question that emerged for me was what it means to be "religious." This article points me toward a potential change in what it means to be religious. Is "religious" about belief, as Protestants tend to think? Is it about practice, as Catholic and (more clearly) Buddhist traditions suggest? I think in the US, "religious" has actually tended to mean something else.