Weeds Among the Wheat, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on July 23, 2017, Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.  The Gospel reading was Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43: The Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat

The first summer I was in our house back in 2001, all I did in the garden was weed.  Along one edge of the property there were these brambles.  At first I ripped them up, but then I saw that they’d grow almost immediately back, within days.  So I investigated further and realized that I was just ripping up the shoots and not touching the root.  Continue reading Weeds Among the Wheat, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

The Prodigal Sower, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This sermon was preached by the Rev. Nancy Vogele, July 16, 2017, 6th Sunday after Pentecost.  Gospel reading: Matthew 13:1-9,18-23: The Parable of the Sower

The Prodigal Sower

About 10 years ago, my parents moved from their home of 45 years to a rental property in a retirement community.  My dad has always liked to garden but was having a lot of trouble getting a new garden to thrive at their new place.  At one point, early on, I was there for a visit and he asked me what was the matter. I went outside with him to take a look and immediately knew what was wrong: the soil was horrible. It wasn’t dry as dust like a few places at our house. No. It was exactly the opposite– a wet clay-y heavy mess of soil. I told my dad that he had to make the soil a lot better before anything would grow well.

So we went to the garden store and bought a lot of good dirt and then we dug up the wet heavy soil and replaced it with a new soil. Continue reading The Prodigal Sower, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

Sabbath Rest, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This sermon was preached by the Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele on Sunday, July 9, 2017, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost.    The Gospel reading was Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Summer is the time for a little R&R – Rest and relaxation. Many of us will go on vacation, at least for a few days.  Lynn and I are planning a week’s vacation at the end of this month. And even when you don’t “get away”, there are special activities and events: 4th of July cookouts, maybe go fishing or to a Movie, or just take some time off.

Our vacations, hobbies, our free time activities refresh us to carry on our day-to-day lives. It’s important– crucial– for me and for you to find ways to rest and relax and feel refreshed, especially in our fast-paced society. Continue reading Sabbath Rest, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

Extending Welcome, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This sermon was preached by the Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele on Sunday, July 2, 2017, Fourth Sunday after Penteost.    Readings:  Matthew 10:24-39, Jeremiah 20:7-13

We have not one but three welcome signs at our house: one in English, one in Swahili, and one in Gaelic.  We want people to know that they are welcome.  Yesterday, I also spent a lot of time weeding along the edge of the gardens leading to our front door because I think it’s important that it feels welcoming.  We rarely use the front door during the summer but guests do and I really want them to feel welcomed into our home.

Think about what you do to try to make people feel welcome.
And what others have done to make you feel really welcomed.
Or the times you have felt downright unwelcome. Continue reading Extending Welcome, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

Free Indeed, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This sermon was preached by the Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele on Sunday, June 25, 2017, Third Sunday after Pentecost.   Readings: Jeremiah 20:7-13, Matthew 10:24-39.

Did you feel just the slightest hesitation at the end of the Gospel reading before responding, “Praise to you, O Christ”?  Not only is this a hard Gospel to preach on but when I read “and a daughter will betray her mother” it was all I could do not to turn to my mom and say, “Don’t worry, Mom, not going to do that.”

None of the readings feels very much like Good News today.  So forgive me if I take a little longer to uncover that Good News in all this.

You see, we are so used to Jesus preaching about peace.  The night Jesus was born, a whole host of angels appeared to the shepherds and praised God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth” (Luke 2:13, 14).  Jesus came to bring peace on earth.  One could even say that peace was the central reason for Jesus’ life and death. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaimed, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).  Continue reading Free Indeed, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

God’s Presence and Action in This World, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This sermon was preached by the Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele on Sunday, June 11, 2017, Trinity Sunday.    Readings:  Matthew 28:16-20, Genesis 1:1-2:4a

Today is Trinity Sunday.  Last week, the church celebrated Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit.  At Easter, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus.  At Christmas, we celebrated his birth.  These latter three are all events.  Today is quite unique because, today, we celebrate a doctrine:  God as three persons but one substance.  This is not a simple concept.  I am reminded of Jesus’ words to his disciples during their last night together before his death.  He said to them, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”  Or in another version, “I have much more to say to you but, right now, it would be more than you could understand” (John 16:12). Continue reading God’s Presence and Action in This World, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele