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.

“Jewish and Christian Guidance for Democracy” by Pat Conover

August 8, 2021

Dave Lloyd made several important points about the limitations of the lectionary as a way of learning the Bible. The well intentioned lectionary authors give us the passages that they think are good sources for preaching and skip over a lot of stuff that seems to them to be distracting or negative, just the sort of entries that prompt questions, curiosity, and productive arguing with the texts.

I’m going to unpack the story of David’s ascension to become king of a combined twelve tribe coalition of Judah and Israel, plus territory of non-Jewish tribes. The three great kings of somewhat united Judah in the South and Israel in the North, Saul, David, and Solomon, ruled for less than one hundred years about a thousand years before the time of Jesus.

Saul was chosen to be king by Samuel the king-maker priest. Saul was portrayed as initially having the approval of God. Samuel, and Samuel’s imagination of God, turned against Saul because Saul did not follow the directions of Samuel. Without God’s imagined approval, Saul dies in battle against the Philistines.

As Dave Lloyd has pointed out, to understand a story it is important to understand who is telling the story. Today’s lectionary story is being told by Deuteronomic priests about 400 years after the death of David. They were writing during the rebuilding of Jerusalem and Judah after the return from captivity in Babylon. Samuel the priest is the hero of this priestly told story and is presented as warning the people against having a king, but then giving into the will of the people and selecting Saul as king, mentally unstable Saul from the small tribe of Benjamin.

“Separation Weekend” by Larry Rawlings

August 1, 2021

This morning, Larry invited us to say goodbye to two of the children that have been part of Seekers for several years, as they are moving with their mother to her home country. Both of the boys, as well as their parents, spoke of what Seekers has meant to them, and Larry offered them all ribbons and blessings on behalf of the entire community.

The text of this sermon is not available.

“Communion in the Time of Covid” by Deborah Sokolove

July 25, 2021

As we just heard, in our Gospel reading for today there are two stories about Jesus doing impossible things. I’ll get to the second story, about Jesus walking on water, later. In the first story, Jesus creates a feast for thousands out of a couple of fish and a few pieces of pita, and when everybody had had enough to eat, there were twelve baskets full of leftovers.

There are a lot of stories about Jesus sharing food and drink with others. Whether turning water into wine for the wedding guests at Cana, dining with tax collectors and sinners in the house of Levi, eating an intimate meal with friends in the home of Mary and Martha, having grilled fish for breakfast on the shore with his surprised followers after they had seen him die on the cross, or, as in today’s Gospel, providing abundance where there seemed to be nothing, it is clear that Jesus knew sharing meals with others is important to human thriving.

While the story of the last supper that Jesus had with his disciples on the night before his passion and death is most closely connected to our celebration of Holy Communion — or what in other traditions is often called Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper — all of the stories in the various gospels in which Jesus is shown eating and drinking, as well as the parables that involve feasting or other meals, enrich our understanding of the symbolic meal that we call Communion.

“The Work of the Festival Center” by Bill Mefford

July 18, 2021

In being asked to speak on the work of the Festival Center I wanted to do so through the lens of one of the passages for today. So, while this will not be an exegetical message on Ephesians 2:11-22, I did find the passage in Ephesians to be fruitful for reflection.

The passage begins actually tying us, as readers, to the first ten verses in chapter 2. The Greek word, dia, which is the first word used in verse 11 is translated in the NRSV as, “so then.” Thus, as I will focus on the work of the Festival Center through verses 11-22, everything Paul describes in the second half of this chapter emanates from the first ten verses which focuses on Jesus’ gift of salvation. Though we were, “dead in our sins, we have been made alive in Christ…for we have been saved by grace through faith.”

As the Body of Christ, this is what we share in common. We may – we in fact do disagree on many issues, both theological and political, social and cultural, but what binds us together is nothing of what we have accomplished on our own, but rather, what Jesus has done and has so sacrificially gifted to us. So, Paul starts the second half of this chapter by speaking specifically to the Gentiles and advising them to remember that at birth they were far away – from one another and from Christ. They were estranged, but by God’s grace they have been brought near. Wesley calls this form of grace prevenient, God’s unseen love wooing us into relationship with God even when we cannot identify it as God’s grace. Thus, we see here that the missional love of Jesus is rooted in Jesus’ call on our lives.

“Can Spiritual Experiences Transform Spiritual Traditions?” by Will Ramsey

July 11, 2021

With the backdrop of facts vs fiction hovering over us daily, the reading from Mark triggered a sense of hope in me.  Today I want to talk about the enlightenment this passage has brought to my heart.  The Bible talks of “being filled with the Holy Spirit,” The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes this as a spiritual awakening.  I suggest that our spiritual experiences can and do transform both us and our traditions.  A tradition according to Merriam-Webster is “the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another.”  From the Oxford Languages dictionary Theology tradition “is a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures.”

Where do our spiritual journeys begin?

Is your spiritual journey defined by your traditions?  Which traditions have had the most influence:  Career, family, religious, cathartic, unexplained experiences of enlightenment and wonder, therapy?