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Previous Sermons

07/29/2018

"The Limits of Our Hope"

Rev. Mark Wakefield

08/05/2018

"Can You Hear Me Now?"

Ms. Terry Sparks

08/12/2018

"The Living Bread"

Rev. Mark Wakefield

10/28/2018

"A Steeple People"

Rev. Mark Wakefield


Mark's Blog

Carrier Pigeons

A member of my congregation recently sent me a very helpful note.  Spurred by my invitation to the congregation to contribute toward a retirement gift for a departing staff member or to pay for altar flowers by writing a check to the church, she said “you might as well have asked me to send it by carrier pigeon.” Her good natured nudge to me in regards to how we Boomers and Beyond handle money as compared to the Millenials and Gen X’ers was spot on.  She and her husband haven’t used a checkbook in years.  So while she would be delighted to make a contribution toward a mission project or provide flowers on Sunday morning, asking her to do so by writing a check or using cash is a real barrier to making that happen. 

Consistency

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

                                                                             -Ralph Waldo Emerson​​​​​​​

“I have kept my promise.”  The president recently used these words around a number of decisions.  Leaving the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Pulling out of the JCPOA that sought to diplomatically set limits on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.  The moving of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

Michael Lewis

I’m a big fan of Michael Lewis’ books.  Liar’s Poker. Money Ball. The Big Short.  He’s part reporter, part financial analyst, part social scientist and a great story teller.  I’ve just finished a book he published a couple of years ago titled The Undoing Project.  It chronicles the lives and work of two Israeli-American psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.  Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 based largely on work he did with Tversky years before.  It’s worth noting that Tversky died in 1996 and the Nobel is not awarded posthumously, but he did win a MacArthur prize before passing away.

Time is Time

When my wife and I graduated from Annandale (Virginia) High School in 1973 nearly all the students looked like us.  Much of Annandale was built as a part of the post-WW II housing boom and the families who settled there came to the area for military service or, like my father, to work for the federal government.  Those families were largely white, middle class and Christian.  Out of a graduating class of roughly 500 students I believe we had two African-American classmates and maybe that many Asian-Americans. 

Perseverance

“Great sermon, Mark” 

“I really enjoyed the service, Pastor.”  

Along with these kind comments offered to me following worship on Easter, I also heard “Now you can go home and rest!”  One dear member simply said, “Phew!” and let out a loud sigh of relief on my behalf.  Several thoughtful and supportive congregants were well aware of the extra time and energy required to pull together the services and sermons for Easter week. 

Recycling

It is always dangerous to single out people for recognition in a congregation.  So many people do so many things, most often behind the scene, that you run the risk of slighting someone’s contribution by acknowledging another’s work.  But I want to break my own rule by citing Gary Bell’s work recycling paper, boxes, bottles and cans at church.