Ninth Week After Pentecost

Sermon by Rev. Sarah Goettsch on July 21, 2018

There is a big difference between the word “would” and the word “wouldn’t.”

This week saw a decided low point in our nation’s history, as even some from both sides of the aisle seem to agree, as Trump at first blames the American people for the tense relationship between the US and Russia, baffling the world with his preposterous claim of “Why would Russia interfere with the 2016 election?”  and then redacting it to “I meant to use the word ‘wouldn’t’…” in other words, “Why wouldn’t Russia interfere in the election?” So, which is it–would or wouldn’t? …because the words are not interchangeable. Continue reading “Ninth Week After Pentecost”

Eighth Week after Pentecost

Sermon by Rev. Sarah Goettsch on July 14-15, 2018

From the summer of 1971 through the autumn of 1972, TV newscasts must have seemed unrelenting: millions marching to stop the Vietnam war, prisoners attacked at Attica, the Watergate scandal and the Pentagon Papers, the Manson and Serpico and My Lai trials, guns in Munich, bombs in D.C., and British troops in Derry. Pain and hatred and misery. Where was the harmony, where was the hope? Hope and harmony were beamed into living rooms around the world in the form of TV  commercials for Coca-Cola. Continue reading “Eighth Week after Pentecost”

Seventh Week After Pentecost

Sermon by Rev. Sarah Goettsch on 7/7/18

Exactly one week ago, in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, called Maple Heights, a 12-year old boy and his lawn-cutting crew named “Mr. Reggie’s Lawn-Cutting Crew” set out to mow a yard. As Reggie neared the end of mowing, he noticed a police car pull up in the driveway. A white neighbor had called the police on him, because this young black entrepreneur had inadvertently mowed a strip of land in the backyard that belonged to her. Reggie says that, while he noticed the policeman interviewing the neighbors out of the corner of his eye, and several of his crew some as young as 9 growing nervous, he didn’t stop mowing. He says he didn’t even slow down. Continue reading “Seventh Week After Pentecost”

Fifth Week After Pentecost

Sermon by Rev. Sarah Goettsch on June 23, 2018

My kids LOVE the song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot. I’m fairly certain that even just mentioning it in this sermon will send you home either
humming it or else you’ll find it on YouTube before the evening’s over. Although all seven verses are chillingly haunting, it is the first line of the fifth verse that gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it, and that line is this:
“Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the
waves turn the minutes to hours?”

I’m sure the disciples were feeling this when they were trapped on a boat, caught in a storm and fearing for their lives, as the Gospel story for today goes. Continue reading “Fifth Week After Pentecost”

Fourth Week after Pentecost

Sermon by Rev. Sarah Goettsch on June 16-17, 2018

This was a big week in our house. We weathered yet another milestone in the boys’ transition from childhood to adolescence. It’s a controversial topic, I might add, one that might make you uncomfortable. The subject is whether or not it’s acceptable for an 11-year-old boy to still sleep with stuffed animals.

We have one stuffed dog, in particular, named Woof Woof, given to Christian even while he was still in the womb. When Jacob was a toddler, Woof Woof was then passed on to him and finally, to Philip. Of all the stuffed animals we received over the years, Woof Woof has been the undisputed favorite. And this has driven me crazy, especially in my early years of motherhood when I still had standards and when my OCD spirit was still optimistic…. Continue reading “Fourth Week after Pentecost”

Third Week after Pentecost

Sermon by Rev. Sarah Goettsch on June 9, 2018

It seems to me, when I think about the entire Bible and all its stories, which include tales of murder and
intrigue, warfare and deception, violence and revenge, the most terrifying verse is found in our first reading today from the book of Genesis…”they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden.”
You may at first find this funny…I mean, what about Egyptian King’s command to kill all Hebrew baby boys, which gave rise to the leader Moses, or what about the ten plagues on the people of Egypt, or what about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, or what about the death of the innocent baby boys after the birth of Jesus? Continue reading “Third Week after Pentecost”