Preachers and church leaders had a challenging task this week, in the midst of division and disconnection in our country, to preach good news. Here is a short list of what has been said from Presbyterian pulpits and messages more broadly. In collecting these, we have attempted to give attention to a variety of contexts, but also recognize this list is in no way exhaustive. We hope you will add links to words you found inspiring in the comments. May we learn from one another and be encouraged by each other.
- John Wilkinson, Third Presbyterian Church of Rochester, NY.
Sermon: Future Tense
“‘It will be all right,’ because God is God, but that word can ring hollow if it is not accompanied by other words and actions.”
- Lisle Gwynn Garrity & Sarah Are, A Sanctified Art.
“When it feels as if the darkness might overcome the light, and that we may never get it right, remind me that you have me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to love.”
- Anna Pinckney Straight, Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg, WV.
Liturgy and sermon using Isaiah 65: 17 – 25
“Today is the day to take a step toward true unity, one that begins in faithful foundations and flows into everything that we do.”
- Mindy Douglas, First Presbyterian Church of Durham, NC.
Letter to the Congregation
“We stand together as God’s people, seeking to right wrongs, love with abandon, and bring hope to the hopeless. We will not stop working. We will not stop loving. We will not stop hoping. We will not stop working for peace.”
- Denise Anderson, PCUSA co-moderator from Temple Hills, MD.
Blog post: The Message to the Margins
“We can no longer trust in ‘love’ and ‘goodwill.’ Love and goodwill should have never made this a possibility. Love and goodwill should have demanded better of this child of God and strongly condemned the vitriol that came from his mouth. Instead, that vitriol was validated.”
- Andrew Foster Connors, Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, MD.
Sermon: Where Do We Go From Here?
“The church has to set the table for a different kind of politic than the one we’ve been repeating. One where we engage people who we find offensive, even scandalous in real relationships, standing with the most vulnerable among us – personally and politically.”
- David Renwick, National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.
Sermon: In Power and Out of Power (sermon begins at 26:28)
“Jesus said elsewhere in the Sermon on the Mount: No matter what the political situation of the world we live in, easy or hard, like it or dislike it, we are always called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. And being salt is most important when life to you seems to have lost its taste.”
- Christopher Edmonston, White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC.
Sermon: The Beginning and the End
“For today please don’t forget this: each of you as members of the church and the people of Christ have a calling to be peacemakers, justice-seekers, reconcilers, and what the Bible calls ‘repairers of the breach.'”
- Brian Paulson, First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville, IL.
Sermon: From Ugliness, a Beauty Emerges: Greater Love (sermon begins at 43:32)
“Let us not taunt each other. American is split right down the middle in American politics. Today, there are members of this congregation who are in a place of deep pain, and even fear…. If you don’t feel this way, please bear compassionately with your neighbors. There is a place for lament in the vocabulary of faith.”
- Pastors at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, IL.
Letter to the Congregation
“Together, we seek a better and fairer world not just for ourselves, but for any people who feel overlooked, dismissed, or worse, hated because of who they are.”
- Katie Baker, Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI.
Sermon: The End is Near
“There is no hiding under a rock, no matter how beautiful the stone, and pretending that all is well because everything, in fact, is not. This conversation amongst Jesus and his disciples is convicting because it calls us to trust God in untrustworthy times.”