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Sermons

Reformation Sunday

Halloween is Saturday, and this weekend Wicker Park and much of Chicago are full of festivals with pumpkins, corn mazes, and games. Just yesterday our church participated in Wicker Park’s version called Boo-palooza. With these Halloween celebrations comes the annual process of choosing, making, and wearing a costume.
These costumes we create and design often communicate to others the essential aspects of what we are trying to represent or become. The action of creating a costume often requires us to determine what is fundamental. We have to determine if a bandana, boots, a plaid shirt, and jeans are enough to represent a cowboy. We need to figure out if dressing in white and placing a giant “S” on our stomach will get people to think “saltshaker.” All in all, the choices we make about our costume determine how we view the item or individual that we attempt to embody.
It so happens that Reformation Day and Halloween are the same day. While Martin Luther wasn’t dressed up as a cowboy or saltshaker when he posted his 95 theses, Luther’s life long dwelling in the scriptures helps us better understand the essence of God…

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Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

The ancient Greeks used to tell a story about an even more ancient society of Phrygia, in modern day Turkey, and a king who ruled there. This king had an insatiable desire for one thing, riches, and more specifically gold. I’m guessing that most of you have heard of this king. His name was King Midas. I know this story is probably not new, but humor me for a minute as I retell the story, trying to shed new light on this old tale. This King Midas, according to one version of the story by the Roman poet Ovid, had found favor with the god Bacchus, god of vineyards and wine. And it was Bacchus who offered the King a single wish. This is the ultimate party game question right? If you had one wish what would it be? Oh and you can’t wish for more wishes, that defeats the point. But seriously, you have one wish. What do you wish for?

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Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

This is fun today! Isn’t it great having some pets in worship today? I love the sounds of both pets and children in this space. When I think about my childhood I can’t help but remember the many animals I had growing up. And I’m not the only child with pets, in fact it’s estimated that 4 in 10 children begin life in a family with a pet, and as many as 90% of children live with a pet at some point during their childhood. Yet, by the looks of it here, it’s not just children who love having pets — we adults really enjoy our non-human friends too. We all have reasons why we love pets, or perhaps why we don’t really like pets or why pets don’t like us. Regardless, today’s scripture readings give us three views on animals…

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