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“Selling Out or Standing Up” – Sermon 8/6/17

by judy

By: Rev. Dr. Rodney Kennedy The stories of Joseph are stories of survival, compromise, intrigue, lies, resentment, but also courage, truth, and conviction. His life has more ups and downs than a roller coaster at Disney World. Here is Pharaoh and Joseph – the dark side.  The story is about power and truth. This is […]

“A Mustard Seed Faith Is Enough” Matthew 13:31-33 – Sermon 7/30/17

by judy

By: Rev. Dr. Rodney W. Kennedy There are two movements in American Christianity that appear to have nothing to do with one another, but between the two of them they are making a mess of our faith: the prosperity gospel and creationism. The parable of the mustard seed deals with both of these issues in […]

“Long Live the Weeds” – by Rev. Dr. Rod Kennedy

by judy

Sermon from July 23, 2017 Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 In case you’ve not been paying attention, the sermon is an exercise in telling the truth about the way things really are and it is all right to laugh here and there. With those parameters, let’s turn our attention to the parable of Jesus about weeds. Our […]

“A Generous God” – Sermon 7/16/17

by judy

By Rev. Dr. Rodney Kennedy Matthew 13:1-9 “The kingdom of God is like” farmer sowing seed in ditches, creeks, dirt roads, rock piles, and down the center stripe of I-74 between Peoria and Bloomington. This is crazy. Is the farmer drunk? Has he lost all best farming practices? Well, the story is about God and […]

Some Days I’m Liberal; Some Days I’m Conservative

by judy

by Rev. Dr. Rodney W. Kennedy Are you frustrated over the attempts of some preachers to define what it means to be Christian with secular political labels? Will we ever get it through our heads that God is not the exclusive property of politicians or preachers? Can the church sweep the labels out the back […]

“Everybody’s A Critic” – Rev. Dr. Rodney Kennedy

by judy

 Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 Jesus asks, “But to what will I compare this generation?” Jesus, our Jesus, was a cultural critic long before cultural theory was invented. He offers radical critique of his culture and if we pay attention, of ours as well. Today, everybody’s a critic. The message of Jesus has been drowned in the […]

“Imagining the Church” – Rev. Dr. Rodney Kennedy

by judy

“Communities are to be distinguished,” says Benedict Anderson, “by the style in which they are imagined.” The church existed as imagination before it was reality. I am about to invite all of you to re-imagine the church based on the teachings of the Gospel, the communion of saints across the ages, and the inspiration of […]

“Excel in Empathy”

by judy

By Rev. Dr. Rodney Kennedy II Corinthians 8:7-15   Paul believes the church should excel in everything. How’s that for a church’s job description? This is what is expected of a senior pastor. Most churches are looking for superman and have to settle for strange flightless “birds” like me. Still the church seems to say, […]

Reflections on Peace and Violence

by judy

By Rev. Dr. Rodney Kennedy The recent shooting in Alexandria, Virginia of members of Congress, capital police, and congressional staff members left me shaken. I thought that I should make some attempt at a pastoral response for you, my beloved congregation. Here are the words I wrote on the morning of June 14th. I offer […]