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February 15, 2015 “Love Like That”

For St. Valentine’s weekend, Pepper Swanson examines The Song of Solomon.  Why is this picture of passionate young love in the Bible at all?  The old Sunday School explanation that it’s an extended metaphor for God’s love for us doesn’t seem to square with the blush-inducing imagery. . . .or does it?  And, why did…

January 18, 2015 “Devine In-Sight”

Pepper Swanson is a recent graduate of Pacific School of Religion and is currently a candidate for ordination in the UCC.  In this sermon she examined one of the most often-quoted passages in the Bible  (Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18) in light of the high incidence of loneliness in today’s world and our need to feel…

January 11, 2015 “Ancient Tradition, New Rivers”

Pastor Tracy examines the wealth of symbolism from prophecies about the Messiah found in the story of Christ’s Baptism. She also connects that story to the Orthodox Jewish tradition of a ritual bath shared by a bride-to-be and her future mother-in-law.  She finds that ancient ritual surprisingly relevant to our lives today.

January 4, 2015 “What the Wise Men Knew”

Pastor Tracy continues her exploration of the parallels between the issues and players at the time of Jesus’s birth and today’s social justice concerns.  For Epiphany Sunday she discussed the three Wise Men – – what they knew about hope, justice for all the people and  the transformative leadership needed to challenge Roman power.  She then asks…

December 28, 2014 – “Light in the Darkness”

Pastor Tracy explores the description of the Nativity in John, with metaphors of “Light,” “the Word” and “Life.”  Not only is it a very intentional parallel to the language of Genesis and Exodus, it also contains a profound message about the gift of Grace.  She illustrated this with a live ballroom dancing lesson in the…

December 7, 2014 “Light for Revelation”

In the second of two sermons on race and society, Pastor Tracy explores idea that the majority population unthinkingly enjoys all sort of privileges that are not extended to minorities  – –  a position that has been captured by the new catch-phrase “Criming while white.”  She notes that conditions were just the same in Israel 2000 years…