Sermons by Chris Kliesen Wehrman

Summer Base Camp 101: Independence/Interdependence

This morning – the first Sunday in July – we celebrate the arrival of summer! The earth still turns and observes its galactic pathways in the faithful rhythm of Creation. Glory be! We gather, too, in faithful rhythm. We return week by week to the Base Camp of our church community to rest, reflect, refuel, and restore our sense of reverence. And then we will send each other out again – with courage, curiosity and compassion – to address the enormous needs at hand and LIVE the GLORY of this singular SUMMER!

We Are What We Eat/Read/Choose: OR As Close as I’ll Get to Fire & Brimstone

We are what we eat. We’ve heard that. What else? We are what we read? What we sing? What we build? We are what (and who and how) we choose! We are who we (love/live beside/vote for). We are also what we do – and/or think – and/or imagine. And our lived experience demonstrates that every action leads to consequence. Let’s be honest with each other. How’s it working for us? The BIG us? The whole kit and caboodle?

Progenitor, Papa and Playmate

Progenitors, papas; playmates, fathers have many faces. This Sunday we are mindful of the fathering people in our lives that plant and challenge and cheer us on. We consider the simple actions of “the other” Joseph and the impact of his faithfulness. In this time of isolation, unrest and uncertainty, we pray for creative power, sound plans, and purposeful action toward the day when every father’s child walks in love and justice.

Let the Streets Preach

Once in the midst of an act of civil disobedience – we now think of as Palm Sunday – certain authorities challenged Jesus. “Your people are too loud; disruptive. Tell your people to hush!” they said. They did this in the name of keeping peace. Jesus was wiser and in this for the long run. He knew peace is the offspring of justice. He said something like, “I could do that. But if the people shut their mouths, if they swallow their shouts, if they defer the truth that is on their tongues….if that, then the streets themselves will shout, demand; cry out.” Now, the streets of our city are speaking volumes. It is time to listen.

Trinity: A Reflection on the Color Wheel

Today is Holy Trinity Sunday in the tradition of the church. The day on which theologians often jovially wish one another, “Good luck with that!” This year is less jovial. Why would we spend our energy on a philosophical construct when the specific historical/spiritual moment calls instead for blood, sweat and tears? But wait! That’s a trinity, too, or is it? Trinity is a matter of relationship. Nothing could be more urgent, more central to our collective need. In the image of the triune God we roll up our sleeves and get PRESENT and CREATIVE, and we get on the ground and start LOVING and HEALING and we offer our many and diverse gifts and combine as a MOVEMENT toward TRANSFORMATION. Creator, Christ and Constant Companion, be with us as we gather – and celebrate graduates!

When is Fire Good News?

We gather to celebrate Pentecost, a great sending, the sending out of the disciples, closest students of Jesus previously sequestered in fear, whose mouths are suddenly opened by the coming of Holy Spirit in wind and flame. With fires raging in our cities, it is crucial that we hear the truth pouring from the open throats, raw with smoke. We must question whatever is comfortable for us and us alone, and yet again turn our hands and hearts to the tasks of justice. Let’s come together to sing and pray, lament and renew God’s direction in us.

Going Home to Where You’ve Never Been

We come together in the name of our Creating God, who calls us to be a blessing to one another and to the whole wide world. On this Sunday particularly, we remember and commemorate – we recall and honor; memorialize. We open ourselves to reminders from our past, memories and the lessons of the people and events of our history. Our collective memories are long – memories of war and peace, sacrifice and loss, and homecoming. Our personal memories embroider them all. Together, we will work to remember well and carefully, so that we may find a fruitful way forward.

Little Altars Everywhere

There is nowhere and nothing that can keep us from God. “God is in the house!” we say happily in the sanctuary. Yes! And God is in the condo, the apartment, the duplex, camper, the tent, and under the overpass. God is in the house and under the sky and flowing in the river and out of your kitchen tap and down in the dirt where the roots are stirring. God is in our breath and bones. In God we live and move and have our being! Holy, holy, holy. Let’s sing. And pray. And talk together. Let us give our hearts, again and again and consider how our lives are marked by “Little Altars Everywhere.” This is a particularly wonderful time to create a worship area in your home. We will weave them together…

Hens, Heroes & Another Mother’s Sermon

Like the mother hen of Luke 13:34 Jesus shakes out his feathers, spreads his wings, and faces the foxes. Mothers and mother-ers are both warm AND fierce. The wisdom of children demands it. We are all nesting in the branches of the same Tree of Life. This Sunday we will celebrate the many forms of “mothering” in our lives: mothers, mother figures, and those filling a mothering role. We do this even as we also remember those grieving the loss of a mother, those with challenging relationships with a mother, and those who long to be mothers. Together, we will sing and talk and pray. We will encounter the Holy.

Supper with a Stranger/Savior

The first Sunday in May is renowned for its splendor! Under usual circumstances we can’t wait to go out and celebrate May Day and warm up for Cinco de Mayo! We revel in the Festival of Nations and generally, allow ourselves the intoxication of inhaling SPRING! Only this year isn’t usual. This year is unsettling – to put it mildly. And our story for the morning took place on another unusual, unsettled spring day. It happened on a road heading away from confusion and chaos and toward the revelation of a whole new way of living. We will walk the road to Emmaus.