Category Archive for: ‘sermons’

Sermon June 24th 2018 Pastor Mark Blank

Pastor Mark Blank explores two biblical stories on transition, with a focus on Crossing to the Other Side. Enjoy seeing and hearing Mark here, and consider coming in person at 10 AM Next Sunday to Second Congregational Church UCC, 155 Hillside St., Bennington, VT!  

Pastor Mark Blank – May 20th 2018

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“The Rabbi’s Gift–Full Circle”– Philippians 1:3-11b, Luke 24:36b-48– April 15, 2018

I told a story one of my first Sundays here. There are many versions of this story, but I first read it in M. Scott Peck’s book A Different Drum. It’s called “The Rabbi’s Gift,” which is appropriate today, because I’ve received many gifts from the rabbis from Congregation Beth El whom I’ve known over the years–first Howard Cohen, then …

“Last…First….Still”- Mark 16:1-8– Easter, April 1, 2018

Did you catch that ending to Mark’s story of the Resurrection? So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. That’s it?! They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid? No Jesus sightings? No encounters in the garden or on the road …

“Seedtime and Harvest”– Jeremiah 31:31-34, John 12:20-33– March 18, 2018

One of the gifts that comes to us in the midst of winter’s doldrums is the delivery of seed catalogues–Burpees, Breck’s, Springhill Nursery, to name only a few that are lying around our house. What a Godsend in the midst of endless days of gray and snow to be able to look at pictures of roses, hydrangeas, and peonies in …

“The Temple of the Body”– 1 Cor. 3: 16-19, John 2: 13-22– Mar. 4, 2018

For some mysterious reason, the committee who designed the 3-year cycle of Bible readings called the lectionary has us leap out of the Gospel of Mark and over to John’s Gospel for today. And it’s not like the story of Jesus’ cleansing the Temple isn’t in Mark. It’s in all 4 gospels in fact, but John’s is the only one …

“Travel Light”- Psalm 25:1-10, Mark 1:9-15– Feb. 18, 2018

Brothers and Sisters, I’m going to ask you to forgive me for beginning with a little self-indulgence this morning. 2 months from now I will have been retired for 3 days. This is the First Sunday of the last season of Lent I will be your pastor. The “lasts” are coming fast and furious now, and while I wouldn’t describe …

“His Face”– 2 Kings 2:1-12, Mark 9:2-9 –Transfiguration–Feb. 11, 2018

Today is the last Sunday in the season of Epiphany, and what a privilege it has been to hear one another’s “Epiphany moments”–moments when we have seen a little differently, when we’ve said “aha…so…” You remember that Epiphany begins with the arrival of the Magi at the home of the infant Jesus, after their long journey inspired by a star, …

“Who’s the Author?”– Mark 1:21-28, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13– Jan. 28, 2018

Our gospel lesson from Mark this morning contains a story within a story, and, as usual in Mark, things happen in quick succession. En thous! as (our) Mark taught us last week. Immediately! In this first chapter of Mark’s gospel, in a little over 10 verses, Jesus has gone from being baptized to being expelled by the Spirit into the …

“Generational Listening”– 1 Samuel 3:1-10, Ps. 139:1-6, 13-18– Jan. 14, 2018

I had a little epiphany of sorts this week as the members of my clergy support group read this passage from 1 Samuel out loud in our Scripture study. There were 4 of us there, one retired already, 2 of us within months of retirement, and one serving a church very parttime in retire-ment. Instead of focussing on young Samuel, …

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