Sermons

Seekers recognizes that any member of the community may be called upon by God to give us the Word, and thus we have an open pulpit with a different preacher each week. Sermons preached at Seekers, as well as sermons preached by Seekers at other churches or events, are posted here, beginning with the most recent.

Click here for an archive of our sermons.

Feel free to use what is helpful from these sermons. We only ask that when substantial portions are abstracted or used in a written work, please credit Seekers Church and the author, and cite the URL.

“Our Responsibility for Repair” by Erica Lloyd

Jubilee

October 30, 2022

Note: Lucy Slater’s prayer for Peace and Justice follows Erica’s sermon text.

Over the last year and a half I have seen how speaking a truth can give it a life of its own. A word becomes flesh, if you will. And so I hold that power with care and hope as I stand here this morning.

Eighteen months ago, in April of 2021, I scrapped a sermon I had been working on for three months and instead preached about Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd and the need to do something about the epidemic of police violence against people of color in this country. I didn’t know what that something was, and so I stood here and asked for help. Shortly thereafter, Sallie Holmes, Lucy Slater, Amy Moffatt and I, AKA “the SEAL team”- preached together to ask this community what we ought to be doing to dismantle white supremacy.

Now, a year and a half later, what began as my desperate cry for help will officially be recognized and blessed as the Racial and Ethnic Justice Ministry Team following this sermon. The words that we spoke that Sunday have become: another 65 (plus or minus a few) weekly vigils, nearly 600 letters written for the Vote Forward campaign, a new statement on our website sharing our commitment to dismantling white supremacy, a tour educating us on the history of racism in this city, and maybe most importantly, a few hard conversations and opportunities to look inwards at our own shortcomings, misunderstandings, and blindspots. We hope this is just the beginning.

Jeanne Marcus on Solitary Confinement

Jubilee

October 23, 2022

The seeds for this sermon were planted in 2019, shortly after I became a covenant member of Bread of Life Church, a sister church in tradition of Church of the Saviour. At the time, another member of the church was sounding a call to a new mission group there. The vision of this group was to welcome and accompany people coming home from incarceration; specifically at a residential facility that was slated to start construction in Adams Morgan neighborhood in early 2020.  But Covid became pandemic in March 2020; and D.C., fearing that tax revenues would plummet, cancelled funding for all projects like ours. 

As a way to stay with the mission while sheltering from Covid, I thought to write men who were in prison. I contacted the Interfaith Action for Human Rights, who I knew set people up with pen pals and provided initial training.  I  began writing Jason 2.5 years ago, when he was in a maximum security federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, in his 20th year of a 72 year prison term, a ridiculously long sentence handed down under a distortion of the provisions of the punitive excesses of the 1990s so-called War on Drugs. I continue to write him as he’s moved down to a medium security prison in Tucson, Arizona.

“Preaching Commitment” by Deborah Sokolove

Recommitment altar with commitment book and candles

Recommitment Sunday

October 16, 2022

Throughout this recommitment season, the Hebrew Scripture readings have been filled with lament, with prophets relaying God’s disappointment with a people who have turned away from love, from just and merciful dealings with one another, and instead become filled with hatred, violence, and taking advantage of everyone who is lower than themselves on society’s ladder. In this time of ugly rhetoric, corruption, and exploitation of every disadvantaged group I can think of, all this has been sounding way too familiar. Jeremiah and the other prophets might as well have been writing yesterday, rather than nearly three thousand years ago.

In Jeremiah 29, however, the prophet turns away from lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem and the difficulties of the people who remained. Instead of haranguing the false prophets who persuaded the nation to trust in lies about God’s word, as in the previous chapter, Jeremiah decides to write a letter those who had been taken into captivity in Babylon.

“Continuity and Change” by Jacqie and John

Recommitment altar with commitment book and candles

Recommitment Season

October 9, 2022

John:  Jacqie and I were thinking about the Learners and Teachers tradition of preaching sermons for Recommitment Season.  Our group asked who wanted to preach when, and we both sort of hesitated and said Well, but we didn’t really know what we would preach about.  Then Jacqie said, What if you and I preach a sermon together?  That instantly sounded like fun to me, and it would also let some creative energy flow between us.

Jacqie:  I first met John 37 years ago when I first started going to noon AA meetings in the Parklawn building in Rockville. He had the awsome attainment of 4 years of sobriety at that time, so he was very much my senior in sobriety, even though he is 10 years younger than me.  It was hard for me to even imagine an alcoholically-inclined person going for 4 whole years without a drink.  He was very kind and supportive to me and we became friends though we drifted apart over the years.  I was so surprised the first time I came to Seekers for worship and noticed John in Circle Time.  This was almost 20 years ago and we have been in the same mission group, Learners and Teachers, almost ever since.  Sharing 12-Step principles and Seekers values, which have a lot in common, as well as much of our personal history, has created a strong bond for us and we often touch base for reality checks to keep our “stinking thinking” from getting out of control. We also taught School for Christian Growth class (then the School for Christian Living)  on the 12-steps many years ago.  It was called “The Twelve Steps for Everyone.”

John: In fact, Christianity and the 12 Steps have a lot in common, which is no surprise since the founders of AA were devout Christians – who fortunately had the wisdom to make sure no overt religious creed was ever mentioned in their writings.  Our Gospel story today focuses on gratitude, and gratitude is a hallmark of 12 Step recovery.  The Samaritan who is healed by Jesus praises God for his recovery, and returns to Jesus to thank him personally.

“A Community of Active Belonging ” by Kolya Braun-Greiner

Recommitment altar with commitment book and candles

Recommitment Season

October 2, 2022

At Seekers we talk a lot about accountability. This may scare some out of fear of falling short of whatever commitment one makes. What’s meaningful to me is responsibility or ability to respond, individually or collectively.  I understand community as a context for reciprocal relationships in which call upon our ability respond with our unique gifts, callings and mutual support.  What if the foundation for accountability within community is the ability to respond to the invitation of commitment to belonging, what I’d like to call active belonging? This is different from what seems common in our society – a kind of passive belonging which I dare say this true for many churches. One’s name is on the roles or membership of an organization, people have paid their dues, but not a lot is expected of people beyond that – especially in hierarchical structures. 

M. Scott Peck describes the kind of churches many of us have experienced, I’d call a culture of passive belonging, in which the dreaded coffee hour is when everyone talks about “niceties” and when asked “how are you doing?” the common response is “fine” whether or not they are. He contrasts these “pseudo-communities” of superficial interactions with communities in which the organizational culture promotes honesty and vulnerability. Here at Seekers I affirm that our “do-it-yourself” church promotes active belonging through participatory engagement and intimacy.