Sermon Archive

You might recognize the name Elizabeth Gilbert as the author of the bestselling novel Eat, Pray, Love.  Along with her fiction writing, Gilbert also writes and speaks about creativity – how it works and how it sometimes doesn’t work.  She tells stories about her own experiences with writer’s block and the fear of failure that can stop creativity dead in its tracks.

It's Not Just Me

Genesis 1:1-5, 1:26-2:2
Pastor Leslee Fritz
UUMC

I’ve known that this Sunday was coming for a while now. It’s actually one of the positive attributes of the United Methodist itinerary system – you know about transition well in advance and can prepare for it.

So, I’ve thought a lot about what I wanted to say today – my final time in this pulpit.


And it seems I have fallen into a common trap – at least according to several of my clergy colleagues.

I’ve spent considerable time over these last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to cram everything I want to say to you – as individuals and as a church – and everything I might want to say to you … someday … into a single, 15-20 minute sermon.

It can’t be done.

And it doesn’t need to be done.

In fact, this morning, I don’t really want to tell you anything. I want to use this opportunity – this gift – that I’ve been given to

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Just Say Yes to Your Calling

Acts 11.19-29
February 12, 2017
Rev. William Bills
UUMC

Every single Christian is called to some kind of ministry. In United Methodism we subscribe to Martin Luther’s doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. As he was separating himself from Medieval Catholicism, Martin Luther told people that it was not only the clergy who were called to be ministers of the gospel. All Christians are called to be ministers of the gospel. Each one of us has some spiritual calling to fulfill.

Some of you completed a spiritual gifts assessment as the result of last week’s sermon at the urging of Rev. Chu. Thank you for doing that. If you haven’t, you can do it at any time. There will be more opportunities for that as we go through this year. The church must help every follower of Jesus understand how to serve God and their fellow human being.

Completing a spiritual gifts assessment can be fun because it may give one new insight into oneself. It is always fun to learn something new, especially about ourselves. Remember, though, that knowledge is only as good as the implementation of what is learned. This is especially true when it comes to spirituality and ministry. Spiritual gifts must be used in practical, real-world ways or they are wasted.

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Foolishness Wiser Than Wisdom

1 Cor 1.18-31
January 29, 2017
Rev. William Bills
UUMC

Some Christians invoke this text to claim that Christian doctrine and the Bible are more reliable and authoritative than science. But the gospel is counter-intuitive. God rarely conforms to human expectations.

The cross has become a familiar cultural symbol. It was originally considered a scandal. I was once approached by someone asking to use my church for a wedding. They were from a different denomination. They asked if we would take the cross down. When I asked why, they called it a murder weapon and wondered if we would hang a handgun or an electric chair at the front of the church if those had been used to execute Jesus. I replied yes, because those would have taken on the same significance had they been the preferred Roman method of state execution at the time.

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Infinite Patience

“Infinite Patience”
James 5.7-10
December 11, 2016
Rev. William Bills
UUMC

Patience is something everyone would do well possess in greater degree. Who doesn’t need to practice more patience? How good are you at being patient? Ask me that question and my response might be, “depends on what day it is.” Do you ever get impatient with a Christian brother or sister? How about the pastor?

This may not be what we expect for an advent reading. James does reference the coming of the Lord but he urges patience as his readers await the second advent of Jesus, not the first.

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What Do We Want To Do Together?

“What Do We Want To Do Together?”
James 4.2c
October 23, 2017
Rev. William Bills
UUMC

The future of our church is really up to you. I can tell you what I think, what I hope for, what I want, but at the end of the day each one decides for themselves.

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The Chasms we Fix

We are all created in God’s image. When we buy into the us and them mentality we fix a great chasm that severs the very image of God that has been imprinted on all humanity. 

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Counting Costs

"Counting Costs"
Luke 14:25-33
September 4, 2016
Rev. William C. Bills
UUMC

Aren’t we supposed to get something out of it? If we get baptized, join a church and believe some of the teachings, we’re supposed to get something, right?

Some people make Christianity seem really easy. They tell you that committing to Jesus will solve your problems, lower your stress, and make your life better in general. Some preachers even say following Jesus will make you rich. If we are only in it to get something, is that really following Jesus?

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Problematic and Persistent Prayer

"Problematic and Persistent Prayer"
Luke 11.1-13
July 24, 2016
Rev. William C. Bills
UUMC

It may not always seem so, but your prayers are heard.

M. K. Gandhi said that, “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is the daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  About prayer, Martin Luther said, “Pray and let God worry.” The contemporary American author, Anne Lamott said that there are three kinds of prayer. The first is, “Help me, help me, help me!” The second is, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” The third is simply, “Wow!”

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You Can't Take it With You

“You Can’t Take It with You”
Luke 12:13-21
July 31, 2016
Rev. William C. Bills
UUMC

One’s life is not to be measured by an abundance of wealth or possessions. That is Luke 12.15. Jesus said that, not me.

That might go right over the heads of people living in a culture driven by materialism. Our success often is measured by our possessions. Could Jesus get away with this today? His time and place were so different from ours. In the Roman Empire of the first century up to ninety percent of the population lived under crushing poverty.

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Welcome! But I Don't Have Time for You

“Welcome! But I Don’t Have Time for You”
Luke 10.38-42
July 17, 2016
Rev. William Bills
UUMC

Should a pastor be paid for prayer time? If I want to sit in my office for an hour doing nothing but pray, should I be able to count that toward my hours worked? I was once told by a priest that prayer is the art of doing nothing gracefully. If I am doing nothing gracefully, can I still pick up my paycheck?

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