Sermons by Chris Kliesen Wehrman

An Eternal Relay Race

Advent begins in the dark and anticipates a brighter day. Our waiting for dawn is far from passive – it is filled with planning, wondering, firming our roots and gathering our resources for growth, all while keeping an eye on the horizon. As we gather to worship and meditate this Communion Sunday, we will continue our Advent collection of symbols. Each of you is invited to bring to your worship window – along with simple elements for Communion – something that is an emblem of what is currently bringing light into your life, reminding you that Christmas is near. Above the manger hangs a star of light – shining through the dark. It is winter, and the Base Camp of our church community is warm. Let’s keep the gift of Sabbath; rest a bit together, and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence.

In the Time of Herod the King

Advent begins. It is as simple as that. It begins at the beginning, long before the star or even the first birthing cry. It begins with a need, then a hope, then a vision; a messenger, an inkling, and then – then a long growing season – a journey toward light and life. As we gather to worship and meditate this Sunday, we will begin a collection that will grow in the coming weeks. Each of you is invited to bring to your worship window something that is a space waiting to be filled – be it object, sign or symbol. An empty manger. A promise of new life. A star in the dark. It is winter, and the Base Camp of our church community is warm. Let’s keep gift of Sabbath; rest a bit together, and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence.

Marley Was Dead: A Beginning

Say the word “treasure” and think of pirates and deserted islands and “x marks the spot.” Say “heart” and think emoji or beloveds or Jesus. Say “gratitude” and think of…each of us fills in the blank. One of the by-products of our experience of the pandemic is the falling away of non-essentials, so that we may see what remains. Jesus tells us from across the centuries in language as clear as the front page news: what you treasure is what you love. What we love, we treasure. How does that lead us through this time into which we are living? In this weekly visit to the Base Camp of our church community we’ll rest a bit, and we’ll reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence.

Boy Scouts & Bridesmaids

The well known story of the ten bridesmaids from the Gospel of Matthew urges us to wakefulness, mindfulness; readiness! “Keep your lamps trimmed and burning,” we sing, “The time is drawing nigh!” Clearly, it is a story meant to remind us to be prepared. What is worth wondering is: For what? For when? And by what means? In this weekly visit to the Base Camp of our church community we’ll rest a bit, and we’ll reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence.

We’re Forever Blowing Bubbles

Maybe we live in bubbles these days. Maybe we always have! Each of us sees from an utterly unique vantage point – it’s how we’re made. Yet our bubbles are transparent! It’s when we see one other’s bubbles as essential worlds that we may effectively combine in the Body of Christ. The book of Esther is a story that speaks to just such a truth in “just such a time as this.” All are welcome and each essential in the Base Camp of this church community, where we regularly gather to rest and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence.

What Belongs to God?

Isaiah’s vision of a world without violence may be the deepest song of our hearts to this day. How shall we carry that vision to abundant fruition? How shall we be citizens of both heaven and earth? What of us belongs to which? It is likely we will answer with differences, because we are different – by design! There is room for all of us – and need for each of us – in the world and in the Base Camp of our church community, where we regularly gather to rest and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence.

Time for New Glasses?

One of the most challenging decisions any of us ever makes is whether to try harder or to let go, to scrutinize or to step back. In the geography of society and of isolation, we choose which perspectives to foster, which ideas to nurture; which input we most cherish. We are in charge of our own priorities, one by one and collectively. There is room for all of us – and need for each of us – in the the Body of God and in the Base Camp of our church community, where we regularly gather to rest and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence.

Open Mouth, Insert Heart

This Sunday as we return to the Base Camp of our church community to rest and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence –we will talk together about talking. The rhythm of our lives has been grandly interrupted by changes, intrusions; separations. We are weary of communicating through screens of various sizes. And at the same time, we are yet growing and responding; collecting thoughts – finding meaning – becoming something new! What shall we make of the story of this time? What is it making of us?

Balaam’s Ass Tells the Truth

This Sunday as we return to the Base Camp of our church community to rest and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence –we celebrate the animal companions that join us! Week after week, Sunday by Sunday, our congregation is rich with four leggeds, winged wonders and who knows who else! We are all learning and worshiping together! This Sunday we will consider a wild little story from one of our oldest collections. It’s about a seer and an ass. (Spoiler alert: one of them is a donkey.)

Who’s Counting?

This Sunday we again return to the Base Camp of our church community to rest and reflect, refuel, and refresh our sense of reverence. We remind each other of the visions that send us outward – and of the Center that shapes and guides us. Last week we heard Jesus’ lesson in conflict management, which has led us directly to this week’s question: So…what about forgiveness? How is that supposed to work, and do we really have to?!? Well, nobody HAS to do anything, but yeah, to be free, we kind of do. We’ll consider all of this from a garden perspective, where we weed and prune and plant – and then feast!