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Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

When I came to United States for the first time in 2016, my advisor invited me for lunch and we went to a restaurant. I saw the menu card and I absolutely had no idea what I wanted to eat. There were so many choices, but still I was not able to choose because I was not aware of any of those. However, if I go to an Indian restaurant, even though I haven’t tasted all the dishes in that particular restaurant, I am quite confident in what I want to eat...


Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

There’s a class in seminary called “homiletics.” It’s a fancy term for the exploration of the art of preaching and writing sermons. As a pastor, one of the more common questions I am asked is how I can come up with something to say every single week. While I sometimes explain this whole sermon thing as a weekly TED Talk of sorts, the homiletician, or the one who prepares to preach, always begins with the Scriptures and then lets the Scripture speak to the context...


“Reconciling in Christ” Sunday

In today’s gospel, James and John asked, “Do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” (Luke 9:54) The question was a visceral human respond. It embodied the law of retaliation which demands “an eye for an eye” or a “tooth for a tooth.” It says, if you’re going to reject me, be rude to me, or embarrass me, then you best watch out because you’re going to be eviscerated.


Second Sunday After Pentecost

We are, finally, back in the gospel of Luke! And, we start off with a busy story. I think, the key to understanding it, is to look at the context. Now, directly before today’s story, Jesus decided to go to the other side of the lake – a place that was not Jewish (and remember, Jesus is Jewish) and a place that was probably unknown to him. So, Jesus was in the boat with his disciples, and after a storm raged, Jesus calmed the storm. That scene ends with the disciples asking each other, “Who...


The Holy Trinity

“Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?” This is the question that begins today’s poetic excerpt from Proverbs. And, if you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t spent too much time in Proverbs. The book is part of the Hebrew Scriptures, and its purpose is to teach the reader how to embody wisdom and avoid folly. That is, to move away from ignorance, arrogance, and stupidity, and to move toward understanding, knowledge, and good sense. What fascinates me about...


Sixth Sunday in Easter

Today’s gospel reading is part of a long conversation Jesus had with his disciples. In the book of John, it’s known as Jesus’s “Farewell Discourse.” And, this final conversation began with Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, it continued with last Sunday’s reading reminding us of the new commandment to love all people, and just before today’s reading two disciples ask Jesus some questions. Today, we got Jesus’s response to a third question...


Fifth Sunday in Easter

One of the most misunderstood books of the Bible is the final book. Some call the book “Revelations,” but its actual title is Revelation (singular). Many think it predicts the future; however, its imagery speaks more broadly about struggles among evil. And, most preachers simply ignore it, choosing the easier route with the Gospels. Yet, today’s reading from Revelation is deeply intertwined with our Gospel reading, and it’s too good to skip...


Fourth Sunday in Easter

It has been a joy to be your vicar this year. I have so appreciated you welcoming me into this place and sharing your life with me as I have moved through my final year of seminary. I have been blessed by your stories, your passion, and your faithful wondering together about how God is calling you to be a part of God’s mission in the world...


Third Sunday in Easter

Late last year, I was selected to serve on the Pre-election Canvass Committee to help with the search of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s next bishop. And if you don’t know what “synod” means, it’s basically a grouping of churches around Chicago that partner for ministry. Now, the worst decision that this committee ever made was to elect me one of the co-chairs. You see, the synod doesn’t know what to do when I champion transparency and open-communication. Maybe I do it because I’m a...


Second Sunday of Easter

This January, I went to the Holy Land with my seminary, and when in Jerusalem, we visited the Garden of Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus was arrested. The olive trees there are hundreds of years old. And while they aren’t the exact trees that were there when Jesus was, they were from those trees- replanted with parts of those trees. And while walking through the garden, I felt like I was there on that night. I could feel the Holy Spirit. I could feel that creation contains memories and is...


Easter Sunday

It all began with an investigation – an investigation into what really happened. It explored interference, witnesses, and the results. In the end, we received a report; in fact, we receive multiple reports. But, today we’ll talk about just one of those reports – the Lukan Report...


Easter Vigil

Alleluia! Christ is risen...


Good Friday

“Remain true to the mystery. Pass on the whole story. Do not go back. I am with you now, and I am waiting for you...”


Maundy Thursday

I’m sure many of us here, when foot washing comes to mind, we only think about Maundy Thursday, because it just really isn’t something we do today. I have actually had multiple experiences with foot washing outside of a Maundy Thursday service. In high school, I went on many mission trips with my youth group. On the last night, while in small groups for work projects, the adult leader would wash our feet, and then pray with us, for us. Every time I cried in some capacity. Hearing from...


Sunday of the Passion/ Palm Sunday

This week, I glanced at a clergy group on Facebook. I happened to see one pastor note that they did not like Palm/Passion Sunday ­– that is, reading the Palm narrative and the Passion narrative on the same Sunday. This pastor didn’t like the jubilant procession paired with the depressing crucifixion. And, while I personally feel it’s a bit jarring, I wonder: have death and change ever been solely harmonious...


Fifth Sunday in Lent

How do we mark or memorialize loss...


Fourth Sunday in Lent

One place that I enjoy visiting is the Art Institute. For those of us who bathe in words day after day, it helps open my mind to imagination and plurality. How one person views a work of art can be markedly different from another. Shading, color, perspective, medium, and the viewer’s state of mind all impact the experience...


Third Sunday in Lent

My boyfriend grew up as a Unitarian Universalist. So, there are many things he does not understand about Christianity. One day he said, “I don’t understand Christians. You’re always talking about sin, what you did wrong, and you all seem so…sad.” Now, I’d like to think that’s not the case, and I like to emphasize the life-giving aspects of Christianity. But, when many of our members tell me how much they like the season of Lent, it’s hard to argue with my boyfriend. And, today’s gospel...


Second Sunday in Lent

“We are the only species who cooks, and when we learned to cook is when we became truly human.” Michael Pollan begins Netflix series Cooked in a similar way to how he begins his book. Cooked is a four-part series where Pollan takes food enthusiasts, lovers of sociology, anthropology or all of the above back to the origins of the cooking. He bases each episode around one of the four great transformations of cooking, which line up with the four elements of nature: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth...


First Sunday in Lent

Every year on the first Sunday in Lent, we read a story about Jesus’s temptation. This year, we get it from Luke’s perspective which is a bit different than Matthew and Mark. In today’s reading, like in Matthew, we witnessed a conversation of sorts between the devil and Jesus. Now to be clear, the devil is a personified version of all that draws us from the ideals of God. We’re not talking about a physical being with a pitchfork and horns, right...