A welcoming, reconciling congregation with open hearts, open minds and open doors to ALLReconciling Ministries logo

Sermons by Rev. Joan Pell (Page 2)

making all things new

Making All Things New

Gratitude awakes us to a new sense of who we are individually and in community. It gives us a new story; we are all beneficiaries and in turn we are all benefactors to each other. Gratitude calls us to sit together and imagine the world as a table of hospitality. Gratitude makes all things new. (Luke 19:1-10, Colossians 2:6-7)

blessing everyone

Blessing Everyone

Individual gratefulness is a disposition that can be chosen and cultivated in a way that manifests itself as actions, where each choice leads to more gratitude and a spiral of appreciation. So too, communal gratefulness and joy as we celebrate together, can also manifest itself as actions. Once you have empathy for others and a shared thankfulness, there is a realization that we cannot be quiet in the face of injustice. And so, gratitude becomes the actions of protest and resistance. (Matthew 5:1-12)

ripples of joy

Ripples of Joy

Gratitude is social. It takes us outside of ourselves. What do you do when something good has happened to you? You tell others! You go home and tell your family, pick up the phone to call a friend, or post on social media. And they celebrate with you. We do that every week at prayer time as we share our joys with one another. And if it is a big milestone, we mark it with a party or a public ceremony. (Mark 14:22-25, Acts 2:43-47)

saying thank you

Saying Thank You

The emotions of gratitude sneak up on us as an unplanned response. But what happens if you are the one who is not overwhelmed with gratefulness. How do we experience gratitude when our feelings are elusive? Perhaps the answer lies in defining gratitude as not just what we feel, but also as what we say and do. Then those actions and habits and practices of gratefulness can begin to change us. (Psalm 95:1-2, Luke 17:11-19)

everything is a gift

Everything is a Gift

Who likes writing thank-you notes? Who finds it a chore? How often do you give a gift and not receive a thank you note? As I write this sermon, I have just remembered a note that I intended to write this week and failed to do. There is a disconnect sometimes between the gratitude we feel and how we act. (Psalm 136:1-9,26, James 1:17)

Bucket Lists

Bucket Lists

Today we are exploring our bucket list for the church; our hopes and our visions for the upcoming year. Bishop Schnase wrote two books that our leaders and maybe you have studied, “Five Practices for Fruitful Congregations” and “Five Practices for Fruitful Living” – this series is about the last practice, Extravagant Generosity; but I want to talk a moment about the other four practices and the dreams that I have. (Joel 2:28, Matthew 6:33, Colossians 3:1)

The Art of Love

The Art of Love

In the Shema and in Jesus’ teaching there is a clear expectation that the way we express our love for God is by loving one another. This focus on loving relationship is at the root of the scriptural values of our faith. This is a clear expectation of our faith. Our relationships are matters of the heart. How do we express that love? (Deuteronomy 6:3-6, John 13:34-35)



To check for signs of heart disease, doctors use a procedure called an electrocardiogram or an EKG. It’s a test that records the electrical activity of your heart through small electrode patches attached to your skin. As we do not have an EKG monitor here, can you find your heartbeat? Did you all find a pulse? I know you are all alive, so it is there somewhere! But if we checked our spiritual pulse, what would we find? (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

food for life

Food for Life

“Sticks and stones may hurt bones, but names will never hurt me?” How true do you find this old expression? Do our words matter? There is a proverb that compares our words to honeycomb, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” And the apostle James gives us some wisdom about how we should guard our words. The words that we speak and hear feed us and can be life-giving or life-destroying. (Proverbs 16:24, James 3:1-12)