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On Being Sermon Resources

Martin Luther King’s Last Christmas Sermon by Trent T Gilliss, December 25, 2015, "On this Christmas day, read Dr. King’s final Christmas sermon from 1967 — a prescient reminder of our interconnected world in 2015, with neighbors living halfway around the world and in our backyard today." Read More
What Questions Did the Blood Cry Out? Rev. James Forbes’ Sermon on Bloody Sunday by Trent T Gilliss, March 28, 2013, "In the great lineage of American preachers stands the Rev. Dr. James Forbes. To watch him in action is to witness greatness. Do yourself a favor and see this charismatic minister thundering from the pulpit." Read More
David Eagleman’s Secular Sermon on Knowing One’s Selves by Trent T Gilliss, September 7, 2012. "How and why did we choose this “secular sermon” for our podcast. A bit of behind-the-scenes insight that answers these questions — and a chance to watch the full sermon from The School of Life." Read More
The Olympic Creed Inspired by a Sunday Sermon by Trent T Gilliss, July 27, 2012. "A little-known fact: the Olympic Creed was inspired by a bishop’s sermon at St. Paul’s Cathedral during the 1908 Games in London. We paired this with a photo that captures the spirit of this creed." Read More 
“No One Was Saved”: The Beatles and Organized Religion by Kenneth Womack, December 1, 2017. "From the dreary lyrics of “Eleanor Rigby” to Lennon’s infamous remarks on Christianity, The Beatles seemed to embody a godless skepticism about the world. But was their outlook really so bleak? Kenneth Womack on the deeper message at the heart of their music: a life-affirming, transcendent sense of communal good." Read More
Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr teaching a class at Union Theological Seminary. Notes on a Friendship: Abraham Joshua Heschel and Reinhold Niebuhr by Ursula M. Nebuhr, November 10, 2017. "Kindred in mind and spirit, the legendary Christian and Jewish theologians shared a little-known companionship that was as deeply thoughtful as it was affectionate. Ursula Niebuhr commemorates the bond her husband shared with Rabbi Heschel — only preserved now in two letters and fond memory." Read More
You Are Either Listening Or You’re Not by Andrew Forsthoefel, May 9, 2017. "A recent college graduate embarks on a 4,000-mile walking trek across the United States. His only goal is to listen. A powerful story of encounter and lending a kind and judgment-free ear, even when it frightens him." Read More
A Voice from Heaven by Edwidge Danticat, May 6, 2017. "Witnessing the faint smile of her dying mother, the daughter of Haitian-Creole parents reflects on why she’s been writing about death and grief ever since — and the cathartic edge of the Book of Revelation and C.S. Lewis." Read More 
Showing Up and Letting Go in Citizenship and Society by Trent T Gilliss, February 11, 2017. "Prescient words from Parker Palmer, Omid Safi, Courtney E. Martin, Broderick Greer, and recommended listens/reads from Tim Ferriss and The Economist." Read More 
The Color of Urgency by Courtney E. Martin, February 3, 2017. "Are we unconsciously selective about the causes we mobilize for? Courtney Martin asks the uncomfortable question: when do we choose to show up, and for whom?" Read More 
All Creation Waits by Gayle Boss, December 20, 2016. "The twilight season of Advent reveals a quiet source of hope — in the rhythms of the earth and the instinctual embrace of darkness by our animal bodies."  Read More 
The Means of Justice Must Match Its Ends by Omid Safi, December 2, 2016. "In our pursuit of justice, we must cling to what illuminates the darkness and keep the pain and indignation that fuel us from hardening to hatred." Read More  
An Accounting of the Soul of Our Families by Sharon Brous, October 3, 2016. "To be part of any family is to bear witness to its joy, as well as its dysfunction. For Rosh Hashanah, Sharon Brous explores the intimate link between family healing and social responsibility at the heart of Jewish faith." Read More 
The Saint I Never Met: Daniel Berrigan by Omid Safi, May 5, 2016. "We mourn people whom we have never met at a personal level. But why? Our columnist pens a loving in memoriam for Fr. Daniel Berrigan, an exemplar of fierce love and radical faith, a man he never met." Read More
Reliquary: Histories Incarnate by Martha Park, March 26, 2016. "This year, Easter falls a week before the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. As we draw nearer to both, a writer revisits her family’s story of the night Dr. King was killed, forty-eight years ago."  Read More
Widen the Circle of Love by Omid Safi, January 14, 2016. "Pride for our identities and communities can be a source of strength. Pride can also lead us to forget empathy for those unlike us. A generous reminder that the reach of our compassion must stretch beyond the familiar." Read More 
Until There Was Bowie, I Only Had God by Stephen Goeman, January 12, 2016. "When a young, Evangelical Christian is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it’s the music legend David Bowie who provides him with salvation and a renewed hope in “the Church of Man.” Read More
Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad W.E.B. Du Bois & the American Soul with Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad. January 7, 2016 "W.E.B Du Bois penned the famous line that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” His passionate, poetic words and intelligence continue to enliven 21st-century life on the color line and beyond it." Listen to Episode
Welcoming the Stranger by Trent T Gilliss, December 29, 2015. "Pining for some more glühwein, our executive editor recommends some reading by Eula Biss and Neil Gaiman, articles on covering gun violence and living Advent, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra opening its arms to refugees in Canada, and a historic but little-heard sermon from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." Read More  
“Thoughts and Prayers” Are Not Enough for San Bernardino by Omid Safi, December 10, 2015. "Our responses to violence have become routine, which is its own tragedy. A necessary reminder that while good will is essential, it is powerless if it does not fuel our actions." Read More 
How “The Tree” Came To Be; Creating Ritual Around Grief; Befriending Depression; An America Yet To Be; Women Over 40 in the Workplace; The Power of the Human Hand  by Trent T Gilliss, August 11, 2015
"In this Letter from Loring Park, our executive editor lists three compelling reads under five minutes and some of our most popular columns. Enjoy the journey." Read More
A Frozen Moment and an America Yet To Be by Omid Safi, August 6, 2015 "The prophetic voice is one that challenges, adapts, and evolves alongside history. Omid Safi reminds us of the sermon Dr. King never gave and invites us to live up to his hopeful invitation to create an America that is yet to be." Read More 
Down Is the Way to Well-being: The Dangers of Living at Altitude by Parker J Palmer August 5, 2015. "External “oughts” and “shoulds” can create impossibly high aspirations — and equally high levels of guilt about falling short. A personal exploration sharing the delicate experience of “befriending” depression and ways of reframing our expectations of self." Read More 
Acknowledging the Gifts and Talents of Women by Omid Safi, July 16, 2015 "The recent success of Serena Williams and the U.S. women’s soccer team in the World Cup is a beacon of light. It’s also a reminder that we have a long way to go in recognizing the roles of half our population in sport and religion." Read More  
The Beauty of Shared Silence, by Andreana E. Lefton, June 2, 2015. "A small-town Quaker meeting inspires a meditation on the collective human silence, and the communion that brings points of orientation in a disorienting world." Read More 
Ritual is Poetry in Action by Dennis S. Ross, May 2, 2015 "Ritual does for behavior what poetry does for words.” When the hope of youthful enthusiasm turns grim and gray and the spiritual challenge of uncertainty beckons, a rabbi finds hope in ritual as poetry in action, recognizing the spirituality in the routine, recapturing the sacred in the mundane, and rediscovering beauty in the ordinary." Read More
John Danforth’s Eulogy Calls for an End to Bullying in Politics by Mariah Helgeson, March 17, 2015. "The recent suicide of Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich has many discussing the bullying nature of politics. In a powerful sermon by former U.S. Senator John Danforth, he calls for an end to what politics has become." Read More 
Tweeting Mary Oliver; Marrying “Nones”; Learning Sustains; Our New iPad App; Rebellion Inspires + Jung Inquires; An Intimate Memory of Dr. King by Trent T Gilliss, January 26, 2015. "Mary Oliver with some 140-character gems teams up with guidelines on designing ritual for the “Nones” and an essay on the distance to suffering. Also, sharing some quotations from our new iPad app and a humanizing speech from MLK." Read More  
Repelling Evil with Something Lovelier in a World of Hurt by Omid Safi, January 25, 2015. "How can we recover virtue and integrity in a world of insult and violence? And how do we respond? A commentary from a man searching for models of illumination and compassion who bring light into the world — and finding them in Dr. Du Bois and the Prophet Muhammad." Read More 
Is All Morality Gone? Condemning ISIS, and Beyond, in a World of Suffering by Omid Safi, October 6, 2014. "Invoking the words of Heschel, a Muslim scholar hearkens back to the prophetic tradition and asks what it means to be morally responsible in a world of ISIS and American empire?" Read More  
Memo to Myself: Avoid Domesticating Our Prophets by Parker J Palmer, October 1, 2014. "With the political season in full swing, a reminder that the great prophets were courageous, outrageous people who railed against the powers-that-be. And a poem by Mary Oliver." Read More
The Muse of Doubt, Cartesian Anxiety, and the Winding Path of Faith by Dan Collison, June 22, 2014. "What would happen if, rather than “making an idol out of certainty” and shunning uncertainty, we leaned into it? A pastor wonders whether doubt might make us more empathic and less anxious society." Read More
A Nigerian Easter in the Midwest by Caroline Joseph, April 28, 2013. "Religious traditions take many forms in the U.S. For a Nigerian immigrant’s daughter, it’s creamy frejon that’s the Easter week delicacy." Read More 
Refugee Yoga in Beirut by Emily Jane O'Dell, March 28, 2013. "Can a yoga class really make a difference in the midst of a war zone? Emily O’Dell on finding our way home." Read More 
When Empathy, Celtic Wisdom, and the Power of Voice Tie Us to One Another by Trent T Gilliss, March 9, 2013. "Trent Gilliss finds inspiration in all things good: a civil rights pilgrimage in Alabama, a video on empathy, a potential pope right under our noses, and some playful voices in the Twittersphere." Read More 
Buber’s Beats. Friday Night “Parties.” Papal Programming? A Father’s Advice by Trent T Gilliss, February 16, 2013. "This week, Trent Gilliss asks how we might cover the papal process. And our capsule shares the many ways people are building the “beloved community” and how a rock band was inspired by a 20th-century Jewish philosopher. And we remember Rabbi David Hartman." Read More  
Getting Our Hearts Right: From a Mesa Moonwalk to MLK, Compassion Fatigue to Rumi – and the Goodness in Us All by Trent T Gilliss, January 20, 2013. "This week’s reflection on the words of Martin Luther King Jr., poetry, nourishment from our listeners, the goodness in sport, and the power of family." Read More 
Polysyndeton, Asyndeton, and the Rhetoric of Style by Susan Leem, October 4, 2012. "What a little-known figure of speech, the polysyndeton, can do for style — even in the Bible." Read More
Talking with the Enemy in a Secret Attempt to Understand by Susan Leem, September 26, 2012. "Activists from two embattled sides find their way to the same table following a public tragedy. The intention? Communicate openly, without necessarily finding common ground." Read More 
Aimee Semple McPherson Could Be Broadway Bound by Susan Leem July 3, 2012. "Will Pentecostal preacher Aimee Semple McPherson be the next historical religious figure to make it to Broadway?
Worship Is Not About Music by Natale Albertson May 25, 2012. "Our sermon this Sunday was on the true meaning of worship. Our worship is small when we reduce it to…" Read More
The Day Martin Luther King Spoke to Me as a Failed Man by Trent T Gilliss, January 16, 2012. Rarely are larger-than-life historical figures relatable as human beings. For me, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a character of history…
Witnessing Strength and Beauty by Krista Tippett, October 23, 2008. "Bishop Vashti McKenzie lives for the day when her race and gender “mean nothing” — that what qualifies a person for leadership are her intelligence, her experience, the gifts she brings." Read More 




Presbyterian Seminary is pleased to share W. Sibley Towner's Prayers that Sing & Stir the Heart

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Tue, Feb 27, 2018 - 06:00 pm

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