Preached on Genesis 2: 18-24 and Mark 10:2-16 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arlington Heights, IL. I explore if Adam, the first human, was intersex. I explore that Jesus wants justice for women, and that he wasn't talking about divorce in the way we understand it, he was talking about justice. Mostly, I talk about seeing each other as fully human, as coming from the ONE body of Adam that held all genders, and tie that to us being the Body of Christ. Recovering the these texts as being about God's love and creation of all humans, especially the most invisible ones, from the ways they were used to oppress in the past. There is HOPE! I am human, and so are you, we are part of one thing together, and can start to see one another that way. I include suggestions for your week for treating people as extra human, as well as holding onto hope of the resurrection.
References for More Reading
Click on any sentence below to read the author's work.
Hint, it is PROBABLY not who you think it is. #BivisibilitySunday
Sermon on Mark 9:30-37 at St. James Lutheran in Western Springs, IL.
Because I was at a Reconciling in Christ Congregation on Bisexual Visibility Sunday, I included a lot about the LGBTQIA+ community in this sermon. Also, the prayers of the people included the prayer below from the amazing Elle Dowd. You can follow her on facebook here, on twitter here, and use her prayer below with credit. I promise you'll learn many amazing things from following her. She one of my mentors in the faith and in my life as an out bisexual Pastor. Elle is also available to be a paid leader of workshops in any congregation just starting the welcome conversation, or one who is ready to move to the next step in listening to voices of those without status in our congregations. (Which is what Jesus does in the Mark reading -- says to listen to those without any status.) If you want to learn more about what it means to be bisexual, you can read more here. There's a lot about Jesus in the sermon, too, promise!
Holy God, who from things that were invisible made everything that we now see, we lift up our bi siblings in honor of bisexual visibility week. Grant your beloved bi children the comfort of knowing that they are beautifully and wonderfully created in your image, and grant those of us who are not bi the hearts to bear witness to their struggles with compassion and solidarity. Lord, in your mercy
C: Hear Our Prayer
(Prayer written by Elle Dowd for BiVisability Sunday 2017)
Preached at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arlington Heights, IL. The week before this sermon there was a congregational meeting for the church to explore their future options. It was hard on many people, and this sermon is an attempt to find Jesus and hope in the midst of pain and the unknown. Listen and share with those you think need to hear this message. Text was John 6:56-69, where some disciples leave because they can't believe what Jesus is doing.
Will Jesus EVER stop talking about Bread? Not sure, but John 10 is full of lots of different ways to think about bread and communion. This week I talk about eternal life, and how communion allows me to have spiritual healing with my life of chronic illness and disability.
Sermon based onJohn 10:51-58, Preached at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arlington Heights on August 19, 2018.
HOw do you have hope when you can't eat bread?
Preached at Glen Elyn, IL at St. Luke's Lutheran Church on August 12, 2018.
You can click on these passages to read them. John 31, 41-51 and 1 Kings 19: 4-8.
Sermon on John 6:24-35, Preached at St. Luke in Glen Elyn on August 5, 2018.
Sermon Preached at Prince of Peace in Schaumburg on July 22, 2018. Texts includedJeremiah 23:1-6 and Mark 6:30-34 and 53-56. Prince of Peace is our family's home congregation.
Don't Just Take my Word for It
Pastor Lenny Ducan's sermon is more important than mine, as the things happening in the world around us affect him more directly. You should listen to his words, and watch his short facebook video that is a call to action.
David dances naked in 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, and Herod has a party in Mark 6:14-29. Although we should party in church, both of these Biblical parties are not without complications. Listen to learn some Bible stories, and to see how they might relate to life today.
If You're ready to Do More
We all can't be activists, and we all can't leave our lives and go to events. However, many of us can share our resources with those working for change in the world. I invite you to share your resources generously with these two groups.
Black Lives Matter Chicago's demands for Harith Augustus (Found at this link.)
No justice, no peace!
Come out Monday at 6 to demand justice for Harith “Snoop” Augustus. He was shot and killed in South Shore. he was a barber, beloved community member, and father of a 5 year old daughter. He was shot 7 times in the back because officers said he was “exhibiting the characteristics of an armed man”
When people began to protest at the scene on 71st and Jeffrey, CPD responded by aggressively pushing the crowd. They jumped their own barricades to beat protesters with batons. There were 100 police officers using full force against peaceful demonstrators. People were shoved and attacked, and some people were arrested. Check out this twitter thread from Nader Issa, Suntimes Reporter, for videos and pics from Saturday night: https://twitter.com/naderdissa/status/1018284580250488832?s=21
-the release of the officer’s name
-her immediate arrest
-the release of the names of all officers that attacked protesters last night and their arrest
-drop the charges against all protesters
From Monica Trinidad at this link.
His name was Harith Augustus, but went by Snoop. He was a local barber in the South Shore neighborhood. He had a 5 year old daughter that he often brought to work with him. He was shot and killed by CPD today.
As soon as I arrived to the scene and starting giving hugs to friends, the cops rushed their own barricade and charged at us, batons swinging in the air. I was shoved to the ground while running away, but others got it extremely worse, including dear friends and co-organizers of ours.
What You Can Do Right Now:
1) Donate to Black Lives Matter Chicago. Any and all donations received will be used to bail any folks out. All remaining will be donated to the revolving bail fund by Chicago Community Bond Fund. PayPal.me/BLMCHI
2) Go to the vigil tonight (7/15) at 5pm. 71st and Chappel, where Snoop was killed.
3) Come to a press conference about yesterday’s shooting and the brutality that followed on Monday morning at 9am at 71st and Jeffrey.
4) Keep working and organizing towards a world without police.
There are groups working toward solving community problems without violence and militarized police. They advocate for things such as mental health response teams, and building up resources in communities so that people have options outside of violence to get ahead or feel safe in life. The link below is a facebook post of mine with MANY more resources on this topic. I know the topic is new for many people, so please do your research before you judge.
This sermon is mostly about Jesus and church renewal. We can look at how Jesus spread his message in his day and time, and figure out how to reset our churches now. The disciples told stories, and told his disciples to stay away from those places where the message could not be accepted.
Most of us fear rejection by our family and friends. Even Jesus was rejected in his home town. We are in good company. The church today can see what happens when those in the community were unable to listen or to tell the story.
Who's life can you learn more about today? Who might feel rejected and not listened to in your congregation? Who's stories are heard, and who's stories are missing?
Listen to this sermon and explore with me concepts related to telling the story and listening to others.
Sermon on Mark 6:1-13 preached at Trinity, Des Plaines, IL.
Pastor Jess loves preaching and wants church to be about Jesus. The end. (Or read the rest of the site for more.)
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This work is licensed by Rev. Jessica A. Harren under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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