Preaching Experience

Since 1994, I have been preaching at congregations in New Hampshire, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington. For three years, I served as the consulting minister to the Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship in Washington. A storyteller and musician, I often weave story and song into my services. To read some of my sermons, click on the links below.

If you would like me to preach at your congregation, call me at 503-734-9634 or email me.

Some of My Sermons

On Receiving Gifts – They say it is more blessed to give than to receive. That may be so. Perhaps that’s also part of why it’s sometimes easier to give than to receive. When we give, we often feel competent, good, fulfilled. If we are in a position where we need to receive, we may feel incompetent, unworthy, even ashamed. Perhaps we can re-frame what it means to accept gifts from others and think of the act of receiving as being a gift in itself.

The Prodigal Family – The story of the Prodigal Son teaches us about unconditional love, but it also teaches us about addiction, whether to substances, behaviors, or the need to control. In the end, both brothers need grace to become whole.

The Power of Naming – The Egyptian slave Hagar had the unique distinction of naming God.  This God saw her, heard her, and named her, as well.  Her story offers us wisdom about seeing and hearing one another, and about the power of names.

The Gift of Laughter – Although laughter can be used to ridicule and harm, laughter can also heal, create bonds, and help us learn. On this World Laughter Day, let us celebrate the joys of laughter with humor, warmth, and perhaps a few new insights into what it means to be creatures who laugh. (World Laughter Day is the first Sunday in May. This sermon is easily adapted for other times in the year.)

Coming to Forgiveness – While we may agree that forgiving others benefits us more than it benefits them, forgiving is not always so easy. How do we learn to forgive those who have harmed us? How do we learn to forgive ourselves so we can move forward without incapacitating guilt? And what about those times when the one we need to forgive is something greater than ourselves, whether we name that God, the Ultimate, or Fate? How do we find the freedom forgiveness brings?

Facing Our Own Deaths – Unitarian Universalism emphasizes living for today rather than focusing on some imagined reward after we die. There is much to be said for such an approach, but when we come face-to-face with our own deaths, does what does our faith offer to help us make sense of that passage? Can Unitarian Universalism help us enter into that potential oblivion with acceptance and even joy?

As the Harvest Begins – Harvest is a time of richness, when all things come to fruition. It is also a time of change and loss. Yet change can be difficult, because often change brings loss. Yet out of this letting go, come the fruits of harvest. As we learn to trust in this process, change becomes less frightening.

Kindness – What is kindness, from where in us does it arise, and how might the ideal of kindness inform how we live our lives?

In the Abounding Joy – Joy is within us and available to us at any moment.  All we need to do is learn to grasp it.  How do we understand joy when we live in a world filled with hardship, injustice, sadness, and fear?  And how does joy help us cope with the reality of being alive?

Stories, Meaning, and Magic – Although facts are handy and help create order in the world, we need stories to survive. Without myth and the meaning that comes from these tales, we could not develop empathy, live out our values, maintain intimate relationships, or heal from past wounds. This sermon looks at the power story has to make us human.