<![CDATA[Pastor Jess - Sermon Podcast On A Journey with Jesus]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2023 17:29:29 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[We're all gonna die]]>Wed, 26 Feb 2020 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/were-all-gonna-die

it's Ash Wednesday!

I so grateful to be the new Pastor at the Lutheran Church of Martha and Mary in Mt. Prospect, IL. The first week started out with us acknowledging our mortality at two Ash Wednesday services.  

Christians from many traditions use the 40 days before Easter (minus Sundays) to get deeper into their faith and discipleship.  The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  Crosses of ash are placed on people's heads while they hear "ashes to ashes, dust to dust, you are dust, and to dust you shall return."  It reminds us we're not perfect, and we're going to die, that living now matters, and that Jesus knew what it was to be a dusty human and is with us through it all.  I love being honest about death in the church because we're all going to die,  and that's ok.  

​   IN the Moment

<![CDATA[People Meet . . . The Gospel Explodes]]>Sun, 05 Jan 2020 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/people-meet-the-gospel-explodes

For More

To see videos, audio, and more images from this week at Lutheran Church of Martha and Mary, check out the 

Read the Text

Matthew 2:1-12

Listen to the message



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<![CDATA[StoryTelling Matters]]>Sun, 15 Dec 2019 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/storytelling-mattersIntro
How we tell our stories matters.  Listen below to find out some ways of telling your story that will make a difference.  Also, perhaps we can interpret the blind seeing as creating a world full of braille and funding for seeing eye dogs.  Some people with disabilities think about healing, often of the world, instead of cure.  So what do we do with Matthew 11:2-11 where Jesus says he'll bring sight to the Blind?  Listen to find out! This sermon for Advent 3 was preached at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arlington Heights, IL on Dec. 15, 2019.  
If you found good news in this sermon, please think about sharing it or supporting this blog. 
<![CDATA[The Work of Discipleship]]>Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/the-work-of-discipleshipWhat is work?
This sermon helps us reckon with holding up when times are hard, why some of us have it easier than others, and helps the listener respond to these texts in a faithful way. What is your work of discipleship?  It also mentions how the primary text,2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 has been used to hurt people in the past.  Luke 21:5-19 and Malachi 4:1-2a are also mentioned.    

Where is Hope? What Can I do?


1. How did where you were born affect your ability to work?
2. How do you define work?
3. Do you belong to a Christian community?  Why or why not?
4. If you do, what *work* of discipleship might Jesus be inviting you into today?

​Comment below! 
<![CDATA[When Healing is Scary]]>Mon, 02 Sep 2019 01:35:23 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/when-healing-is-scaryIntro
What does it mean when we don't want healing for others?  Explore the story of Jesus healing the bent over woman from the perspective of Jesus, the woman (we called her Sally), and the Pharisees.  We are all a little like each character.  What is Jesus inviting you into today? 

The Text

Luke 13: 10-17

The Sermon

<![CDATA[Your Place at the Banquet]]>Mon, 02 Sep 2019 01:14:01 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/your-place-at-the-banquetOn the 400th
We celebrated the 400th anniversary of first enslaved Africans arriving on the shores of what would become the US to be sold into lifelong, hereditary, chattel slavery.  Although enslaved Africans were already on US soil, they were brought with them by English, Spanish, and Portuguese.  In last August 1619, 20 kidnapped people arrived to be treated a property for generations.  We used the worship texts from the So Cal Synod (full disclosure: I helped write them) and the Confession from Disrupt Worship (I was honored to help edit this one.)  Here are resources and links to learn more.  
  1. Dear Church by Rev. Lenny Duncan
  2. So Cal Synod Worship Resources
  3. 400 Years of Inequality
  4. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  5. Disrupt Worship Confession
  6. To learn skills for preaching on tough things and inviting people onto a journey, you can read Speak Out by Mike Breen orcontact me to join my Spark Faith coaching group this fall.  
  7. To begin doing some of your own work, you can pre-order the White Supremacy and Me Workbook by Lalya Saad. 
  8. To why it is essential that we talk about this in church, even when we don't want to to, read the texts for this week at the buttons below, and then Listen to the Sermon. 
  9. To listen to the sermon referenced in this one, you can find it here. 

Bible Texts

Where's Your Place?

<![CDATA[Jesus' Invitation to Let Go]]>Sun, 21 Jul 2019 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/jesus-invitation-to-let-goJesus' friends Mary and Martha are spending time with him.  Hear this story as an invitation from Jesus to let go of cultural rules -- for both Mary AND Martha.  
Luke 10:38-42

Letting Go

<![CDATA[Good SAMARITAN Mad LIbs]]>Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/good-samaritan-mad-libsThe Story of the GOod Samaritan
Luke 10:25-37

Sermon Audio

<![CDATA[What does discipleship mean?]]>Sun, 30 Jun 2019 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/what-does-discipleship-meantHE tEXTS


  1. Who is your spiritual parent? What mantle did they leave for you?
  2. What are you willing to give up to be a disciple of Jesus?
  3. If you are living into your discipleship, what does that look like?
  4. What is ONE way you can be a disciple this week?
  5. How can you trust Jesus to help you do that? 

Sermon Audio


<![CDATA[Who do we throw Away?]]>Sun, 23 Jun 2019 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/who-do-we-throw-away
Luke 8:26-39

Concepts Referenced in the Sermon


Sermon Audio

More Information and next Steps

  1. What You Can Do to Close the Camps by ​Kella Hanna-Wayne
    1. From the article: "First Step is to Pick Your Next Step: There’s a lot of information here and indecision is stressful. Please don’t look at this long list and go, “Nope! Too much! Can’t do it.” Once you pick one specific action and commit to it, that feeling of overwhelm will lessen significantly. 
      Start with the first item on this list and ask yourself honestly if you can do it. If the answer is no, proceed to the next one. Don't spend energy on feeling guilty you can't do more. Keep reading and asking yourself until the answer is yes, and then do that thing. Your contribution is valuable. It is literally impossible for you to fix this on your own, which means each of us, as individual people, have to offer our piece collectively in order for change to happen. Don't let fear stop you from contributing." 
  2. A List of Ways to Take Action on Immigrant Detention
  3. 4 Severely Ill Migrant Toddlers Hospitalized After Lawyers Visit Border Patrol Facility
  4. Attorneys: Texas border facility is neglecting migrant kids

If you see Ice:
Immediately after spotting the presence of ICE, call the Casa hotline. The number is:

What To Report

When you see ICE in your neighborhood,
1. Write down every detail of what you see and hear. This includes:
  • how many officers there are,
  • where you saw the incident occur,
  • how long the incident took place,
  • what time the incident took place,
  • what the officers look like,
  • If they took someone, who did they take
    • Describe what the persons looked like,
    • How many people they took,
    • Was it the same amount of people that they originally were looking for,
  • What did they say to the people they were interacting with,
  • Did they threaten the people they were interacting with,
  • Did they have any papers or identification on them,
  • Did they show up and then go away and then show up again,
  • Did they stop to make a call,
  • Did they say they were police while still wearing ICE shirts,
  • Did they have any documentation on them and did they show it to anyone,
  • Did they circle the building, jiggle handles on Doors, check windows or other entrances to see if they were locked,
2. Anything the people they talked to said, and by people I am including,
  • People they were looking for,
  • People they talked to while in the process of searching, for instance Neighbors or bystanders,
3. Take video or pictures what you see, including:
  • The officers,
  • The people they were attempting to interact with,
  • Conversions they have with people of color, bystanders, and other law enforcement,

Casa has Community leaders in all counties surrounding the city that can respond to an incident. They have networks to identify any people who have been taken and get them help. They can provide services two family members who have been left behind. It's really important that you call this number.

KNow the INfo Below

If you are not an immigrant, perhaps you could print some of the cards at the end of the document below and have them available to hand out, or event on tables at your churches.  
At the button below is a direct link to the "know your rights" hand‐out that Casa provides. It is mostly geared toward immigrants. But in it is important information for you to know. For instance, you need to know that if ICE demands information from you about your neighbors you have no obligation to tell them anything or to say a word. This is extremely important.
ICE is allowed to lie to you. They can say they are police. They can say that they can arrest you for saying nothing. They will fish for information in a sneaky way, any possible way to get information from you about the people they are targeting. No question is an innocent question. Doesn't show you false documents or false identification. Do not become an accidental volunteer for them.