Sermons

Read or download the text from past sermons.  The most recent sermon is typically available online by 3 PM each Monday.
 
 
 
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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

November 13, 2022

 

Based on *1 Peter 5:1-4. Wisdom for “Church Work”

*incarnational translation below

When I was just starting out in the ministry in my early twenties, and having a bit of a hard time, one of my mentors offered words of wisdom that remain relevant to this day: Keep the faith. Do the job. Ask for help.

You can almost hear the author of our Lesson today shouting Amen, Sister! from two thousand years away.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

November 6, 2022

 

Based on Acts 1:6-14. Jesus Tells the Apostles to Take the Long View.

It helps, now and then, goes the prayer (mis-)attributed to Oscar Romero, to step back and take a long view.

Hence, the celebration of All Saints Sunday, when we humbly acknowledge the very thin veil between all that has come before, and all that will come after, and all that comes in this present moment. Also known as the eternal now.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

October 30, 2022

 

Based on Luke 19:1-10. Zacchaeus Finds a Friend in Jesus

Imagine someone you despise. For, you think, very good reason. Maybe that person has, you believe, caused great harm to your community. Perhaps even this community. I will not ask you to name this person – or group of people. Simply bring them into your mind’s eye.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

October 16, 2022

 

Based on *Deuteronomy 26:1-11. Moses Institutes The Ritual of First Fruits

*incarnational translation below

The words that emerged from my lips last week when I tore my hamstring are not fit to speak in this sanctuary. Let’s just say the Lord’s name was taken in vain!

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

October 9, 2022

Based on *Deuteronomy 5:6-10. The First Commandment

*incarnational translation below


The story of deliverance is the central event of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Although this direct quote belongs to scholar and writer Thomas Cahill, anyone who takes the Bible seriously could say the same thing.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

October 2, 2022

Based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Seasons of Human Existence

There is something beautiful to be observed about life here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia where, comparatively speaking, four seasons come and go in a rhythmic cycle that makes sense of the world. Three distinct months of Spring, followed by three distinct months of Summer, followed by three distinct months of Autumn, concluding with three distinct months of Winter.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

September 25, 2022

 

Based on Psalm 139:1-18. God as a Knitter/Weaver/Seamstress

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist\

September 18, 2022

 

 Based on *Luke 1:46-55. Mary Claims Her Power.

*Incarnational translation below

The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism by Katherine Stewart.

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Based on Revelation 12:1-6. Protecting and Nurturing Hope

A supernatural sign appears in the sky:
A pregnant woman clothed with the sun,
standing on the moon,
wearing a crown of stars,
crying out in the torturous agony of childbirth.

Another supernatural sign appears in the sky:
A huge fire-colored serpent,
with seven heads and ten horns
and seven royal crowns.
His tail sweeps across the stars
and casts a third of them to the earth, in cosmic upheaval.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

September 4, 2022

 

Based on Jeremiah 18:1-6. The Prophet Meets the Potter

Thou art the potter, goes the old familiar hymn. I am the clay.

Which can be comforting, if we think about it. Imagining the patient, tender, competent hand of God molding us and shaping us into a beautiful creation. Witness the communion ware and baptismal font sculpted by our own Del Martin. This is who we are, the prophet says, sculpted by the hand of God.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

August 28, 2022

 

Based on *Luke 14:12-14. A Real Sunday Brunch

*translation below

Imagine through a series of unfortunate events, you have landed in southern Turkey in the late 1930s, in a race against Nazis, your father - Sean Connery - mortally wounded, and his only hope for help buried deep inside a cavern guarded by deadly booby traps that no one has been able to pass for 700 years.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

August 21, 2022

 

Luke 13:10-17. Jesus Heals a Bent-Over Woman.

She does not ask to be healed.

Did you notice?

This woman in our Lesson from Luke, bent over by a “crippling” spirit, does not reach out in desperation, as so many others do: clinging to a garment or clamoring through a roof or crying out in anguish for help from this traveling preacher turned healer of body and soul.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist
“Divided We Stand”
August 14, 2022

Based on *Luke 12:49-56. Jesus Brings Division.

*translation below

I should have known when I married a native Vermont country boy that I would get daily lessons in reading the climate. He will sniff the winter air and project snow in three days. He will flip the compost in April and announce a good season for tomatoes come August. And he will be right! The man is a walking weather vane! Way more accurate than the so-called experts at the Weather Channel.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

August 7, 2022

Based on Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-12. Abraham as a Paragon of Faith

"Without reflection,” says the management consultant Margaret Wheatley, “we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”

For many of us, this is how we lived pre-COVID. Without reflection, blindly caught up in a dead end job, perhaps, or conversely rising rapidly through a profession that maybe lined our pockets but did not sing through our spirits.

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July 31, 2022


Based on Youth Mission Trip to “The Center” in Baltimore, MD

Christa Joyce, Youth Leader

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Gusti Linnea Newquist

"Peace and Perseverance"

Based on Psalm 85. A Vision of Peace Sustains the Psalmist.

In 1976, the beloved Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh joined others in the Buddhist peace movement in a great humanitarian effort to save the lives of refugees escaping Vietnam by sea.

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

June 12, 2022

 

Based on *Proverbs 8: Divine Wisdom in Creation

*incarnational translation below

When I asked our Worship Planning Team how SPC has historically handled Trinity Sunday, there were more than a few chuckles. No need to really go there, we all decided. Way to esoterically doctrinal for us.

Believe me, I get it. In seminary, I spent an entire semester long course slogging through two centuries’ worth of teaching on the Trinity. I still could not really tell you what it is all about!

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Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist

May 29, 2022

Based on Jeremiah 31:15. Rachel Weeps for Her Children

 

It was, by all accounts, the President’s best speech to-date. Even though he was flanked by local clergy caring for their own community in crisis, it was the President who was our pastor-in-chief. It was a memorial service, so he quoted the Scriptures. Then he called forth, with clarity and compassion, the names of those who had died. He spoke of overwhelming promise and potential cut short. He spoke of unparalleled heroism in the face of terror.

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"Story, Ceremony, Community"

Confirmation Class Reflections

Jillian Dillow, Confirmand

I am going to start off with the question, “What did I learn from confirmation class?”

We had check in periods where we were asked what we learned, or what we remembered, and a recurring theme that I and others noticed is that humans just aren’t that good at living as God wants us to.

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"A Vision Toward Risk and Connection"

Christa Joyce, Director of Children and Youth Programs

May, 15, 2022

 

Based on Exodus 1:22-2:10. Youth Mission Trip Reflections

Christa Joyce, Director of Children and Youth Programs:

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