Author Archives: fbcinessex

Sermon: Bonfire Kindling

Scripture: Matthew 21:23-32 It’s the third of July. Bonfires blaze around Conesus Lake as everyone celebrates the holiday. Fireworks boom in the sky, their light crackling into cascading chandeliers. As I stand on the dock, water laps beneath me. A bonfire on the other side of lake catches my eye as it does every year. […]
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Sermon: Mercy Collectors

Readings: Poem written by Hafiz The small man Builds cages for everyone He knows. While the sage, Who has to duck his head When the moon is low, Keeps dropping keys all night long For the Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners.   Matthew 18: 21 – 35 Peter came up and asked Jesus, “When a sibling wrongs […]
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Let Mercy Loose

Scripture: Matthew 18:15-20 Toilet paper. The man walked around with a sad piece of toilet paper tagging behind his shoe. As it dragged, a stranger turned and said, “If I had toilet paper on my shoe, I would want someone to tell me.” One of my mentors told me that story of their real-life experience. […]
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An Indefensible Life

Scriptures: Exodus 3:1-15, Matthew 16:21-27 In the article, “Nothing to Say”, written in 1854, philosopher Henry David Thoreau comments on new technology. Thoreau writes, “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end which it was already too easy to […]
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Sermon: Loving the Mystery of Crayon Melts

 Scripture: Matthew 16:13-20   I have been thinking about how to describe the pandemic. If the pandemic had a color, what color would it be?   “Crayon melt color,” my friend, Carolyn Frantz, replied thoughtfully. She and I had just finished discussing what a weird time quarantine is. It’s a time when you can glimpse […]
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Sermon: Changing Hearts in Chrysalis Times

Scriptures: James 3:16 and Matthew 15:21-28 Thin, white candles flicker in our hands, each lit by the person next to us. A sea of light spreads through the dark room. That Saturday, my candle accompanies me as I sit cross-legged on the floor, and listen to the story of Mary of Magdala. Mary of Magdala […]
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Interfaith Prayer Service for Racial Justice

Order of Prayer Service [Word document available here] Thank you to the participating faith leaders (alphabetical by last name): Imam Refai Arefin, Islamic Association of Greater Hartford Rabbi Marci Bellows and Cantor Belinda Brennan, faith leaders of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory Charpentier, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westbrook […]
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Antiracist Resources

Dear ones, I pray these days for the Spirit to fill us all with a holy curiosity. How can we know God and others, and how can we love God and others, if we are not curious? I pray that the winds of the Spirit may blow open the doors of our minds to an […]
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Easter Sermon

John 20:1-18 Mary of Magdala’s love is deep. Just like her grief. That is why I am so surprised that when Mary finally sees Jesus; she does not recognize Jesus. Literally the text says, “She turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.” Why do you think […]
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