Second Congregational Church

115 Hillside Street Bennington VT 05201
Telephone: 802-442-2559 e-mail: bennscc@sover.net

Category Archive for: ‘sermons’

“The Caged Bird” 2 Sam. 1:1, 17-25, Mark 5:21-43 6/28/15

Some sage years ago urged preachers to preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. This week there simply aren’t enough hands to turn all the pages that are rich in material. There is in the Hebrew Scripture reading, David’s lament over the deaths of Saul and Jonathan–“How the mighty have fallen!”–not only a cry …

“Who knew?!”– 2 Cor. 5:6-10, 14-17, Mark 4:26-34– June 14, 2015

Have you noticed that when the power goes out, even if you didn’t have anything “on,” like the television or radio or music, say–even if you were just quietly reading–when the power goes out, it gets really quiet. There’s no hum of electricity, no quiet whirring of motors. It’s QUIET. You realize what a level of background noise we have …

“Hide and Seek”– Gen. 3: 8-15, Mark 3:20-35– June 7, 2015

We just heard what I think are two of the most beautiful and poignant verses in the whole Bible–from the passage in Genesis 3: “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the …

“Each in our own language”- Ezekiel 37:1-14, Acts 2:1-21–May 24, 2015–Pentecost

Short of a gust of wind blowing in and spreading these candle flames to the altar clothes and igniting them, our worship service this morning probably bears very little resemblance to that first Pentecost, in terms of chaos, violence, confusion, and fear. And don’t get me wrong–I’m not advocating that somebody come up here and set the place on fire, …

“Letting Go”– Acts 1:1-11, John 17: 6-19– May 17, 2015

“In progressive churches like ours,” my friend Mike Piazza writes, “we don’t feel compelled to take these stories [like the Ascension of Jesus] literally, though we do try to take them seriously.” (Facebook post, 5/15/15] To take this story literally requires that we adopt the triple-deckered view of the universe of the ancient world, with heaven at the top, hell …

“At Home in the House of Joy”– John 15:9-17– May 10, 2015

  A dear friend told me that he experienced our worship as one long season of Lent. I think he may even have used the word “dreary.” As you may guess, that was not exactly the tone I have been aiming for. At first, I was heart-broken. Then, with a little distance and a reminder from a friend in my …

“Spring Cleanse”- John 15:1-8, 1 John 4:7-21– May 3, 2015

There was a rumor of spring this week. I’ll admit I’m a little reluctant to believe it’s really here–I haven’t put away my boots and heavy gloves. My parka is still hanging on the hook near the back door. But there have been days–like today and yesterday–where you can almost hear the flower beds and gardens calling out to be …

“Living Within Love”- John 10: 11-18, 1 John 3:16-24– April 26, 2015

At first glance, the “fuzz factor” may seem to be pretty high in today’s readings–fuzz as in fuzzy wool of sheep, fuzz as in the images of love that we see on greeting cards or in movies or ads, fuzz as in many of our associations with shepherds, from the little kids in bathrobes portraying the shepherds keeping watch over …

“Thomas the Twin Reflecting”–John 20:19-31–April 12, 2015

“Thomas the Twin Reflecting” John 20: 19-31 4/12/15 Thomas was called “The Twin”–Didymus is the word–and maybe he’s the Twin of all of us. I consider him a fraternal twin of mine, in spite of the 20 centuries between us. It’s always bothered me that Thomas has been called “Doubting Thomas,” because it’s always said with that kind of shaming …

Early Easter 2015– John 20:1-18

You may have heard of the custom in the Ubuntu African tribe, where …when a woman of the tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes to the jungle with other women, and together they pray and meditate until they get to “The song of the child.” When the child is born, the community gets together and they sing the child’s …

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