Sermons

Church Year Seasons

The Christian Year calendar is our guide for worship and Christian faith formation. The beginning of the Christian year is the season of Advent, approximately four weeks before Christmas Day, and continues with special days and seasons following the life of Christ and the mission of the church.

There are two major cycles in the Christian Year. One is the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle that is focused upon Christmas. The other is the Lent-Easter-Pentecost cycle that has Easter as its focus. The other periods in the year are referred to as “ordinary time.” This is not because they are “ordinary” days. Ordinary is taken from the word for “ordinal” numbers. The Sundays during this time are designated by the “first,” “second,” “third,” Sunday after Pentecost, for example. Therefore, they are designated “ordinary” time because of using ordinal numbers to mark them.

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Advent

From the Latin word, adventus, Advent means “arrival” or “coming” and marks the coming of Jesus as human being into the world. Including the four Sundays prior to Christmas day, this season is used as a time of preparing for the coming of the Christ child. Advent marks the beginning of the church year and is the first season in the Christian calendar. While our calendar begins with January 1, the church year begins with Advent.

Christmas

The season of Christmas is actually a period of twelve days which begins on Christmas Day and continues through January 5. We typically think of the season of Christmas as beginning after Thanksgiving and concluding on December 25. However, for the Church, December 25 is the culmination of the waiting, and marks the beginning of Christmas.

Epiphany

The Day of Epiphany follows the twelve days of Christmas. Epiphany, as a day and season of celebration, has been around as long as the celebration of Christmas. Epiphanies are those instances where gods reveal themselves, and make themselves known to humanity. Our January 6 celebration, as Christians, emphasizes the epiphany, or manifestation of God, and represents the revelation of God to the world in Jesus Christ.

Lent

Lent is a season of prayer, penance and self-discipline, beginning on the Wednesday of the seventh week before Easter. The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is forty days prior to Easter, not counting Sundays. The sixth Sunday in lent is Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week. Holy Week includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and officially ends on Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday then begins the season of Easter which lasts for seven weeks.

Easter

Easter Day commemorates the day of resurrection of Jesus following the crucifixion. Easter is more than a day of celebration in the Christian calendar; it includes a period of seven weeks, and is known as The Great Fifty Days. The full period of Easter continues from Easter Sunday to the day of Pentecost.

Pentecost

The day of Pentecost is the Sunday following the end of the fifty days of Easter. The Day of Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus in the immediate days after the ascension of Jesus.

Sermons from the Season after Pentecost

November 18, 2018
Christ the King Sunday

Being the Church in a Polarized World– Sermon by Paul Baxley
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November 11, 2018
The 25th Sunday after Pentecost

Having Been Offered Once– Sermon by Paul Baxley
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November 4, 2018
All Saints Sunday

A Gospel for Grief — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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October 28, 2018
23rd Sunday of Pentecost

Love in its Everyday Working Clothes — Sermon by Connie Ivester
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October 21, 2018
22nd Sunday of Pentecost

What is God Saying to Us Through Immigrants?
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October 14, 2018
21st Sunday of Pentecost

Is God Calling Gay and Lesbian Christians Into Ordained Ministry?
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October 7, 2018
20th Sunday of Pentecost

How Can the Church Offer Healing in Response to Sexual Abuse?
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September 30, 2018
19th Sunday of Pentecost

What is a Faithful Response to Gun Violence?
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September 23, 2018
18th Sunday of Pentecost

How Should Christians Today Pursue Racial Reconciliation?
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September 16, 2018
17th Sunday of Pentecost

How is the Church Called to Bring Good News to Those Trapped in Poverty?
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September 9, 2018
16th Sunday of Pentecost

How Should the Bible Guide Christians As We Reflect on Matters of Public Life?
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September 2, 2018
15th Sunday of Pentecost

Do, Do, Do, Be Not, Do, Be Not — Sermon by Frank Granger
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August 26, 2018
14th Sunday of Pentecost

Just a Symbol? — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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August 19, 2018
13th Sunday of Pentecost

Wisdom and Knowledge — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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August 12, 2018
12th Sunday of Pentecost

The Opportunity for Healing and the Limit of Time — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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August 5, 2018
11th Sunday of Pentecost

For Building Up — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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July 29, 2018
10th Sunday of Pentecost

Make the People Sit Down — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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July 22, 2018
9th Sunday of Pentecost

Botton Up or Button Down — Sermon by Brandon Pendry
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July 15, 2018
8th Sunday of Pentecost

The Power of a Grudge — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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July 8, 2018
7th Sunday of Pentecost

He Could Do No Deed of Power — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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July 1, 2018
6th Sunday of Pentecost

Reach Out and Touch — Sermon by Janet Cleland
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June 24, 2018
5th Sunday of Pentecost

Seeing Challenge Through the Eyes of Faith — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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June 17, 2018
4th Sunday of Pentecost

A Seed for Deliverance — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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June 10, 2018
3rd Sunday of Pentecost

The Ways of the King and the Way of Faith — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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June 3, 2018
2nd Sunday of Pentecost

Rediscovering Sabbath — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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May 27, 2018
Trinity Sunday

When There Is No Simple Answer– Sermon by Frank Granger
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May 20, 2018
Pentecost Sunday

Open to More– Sermon by Paul Baxley
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Sermons from Easter

May 13, 2018
Seventh Sunday of Easter/ Ascension Sunday

Open to Serve — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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May 6, 2018
Sixth Sunday of Easter

Open to One Another — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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April 29, 2018
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Open to Explore — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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April 22, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Youth Sunday

The Shepherd and the Sheep! — Sermon by Elli Scarborough
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April 15, 2018
Third Sunday of Easter

Open! — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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April 8, 2018
Second Sunday of Easter

I Doubt It! — Sermon by Doug Ivey
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April 1, 2018
Easter

The First Word of a New World — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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Sermons from Lent

March 25, 2018
Palm Sunday

Deserters? — Meditation by Paul Baxley
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March 18, 2018
The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Global Magnetism — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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March 11, 2018
The Fourth Sunday in Lent

But Wait!  There’s More — Sermon by Frank Granger
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March 4, 2018
The Third Sunday in Lent

Making Sense Later — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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February 25, 2018

The Second Sunday in Lent

A Community for Costly Discipleship — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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February 18, 2018

The First Sunday in Lent

Is Baptism Necessary — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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Sermons from Epiphany

February 11, 2018

Transfiguration Sunday

Saying Yes and Saying No — Sermon by the Rev. Emily Hull Mcgee
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February 4, 2018

The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Relentless Energy — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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January 28, 2018

The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Rediscovering a Compelling Authority — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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January 21, 2018

The Third Sunday after Epiphany

Reluctant Repentance — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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January 14, 2018

The Second Sunday after Epiphany

A Calling for Those Days… and These — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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January 7, 2018

The First Sunday after Epiphany

Find Another Way — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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Sermons from Christmas

December 31, 2017

The First Sunday after Christmas

Unfinished — Sermon by Brandon Pendry
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Christmas Eve 5:30 p.m.

Joyful Singing and Silent Seeking — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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Sermons from Advent

The Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24, 2017

A Song of Discovery  — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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The Third Sunday of Advent
December 17, 2017

A Song of Recollection  — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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The First Sunday of Advent
December 3, 2017

A Song for Restoration  — Sermon by Paul Baxley
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