Above and Beyond – Sermon for Epiphany 6A on Matthew 5:21-37

February 16 2020

Last week, we heard Jesus preaching about being Salt and Light, as part of his Sermon on the Mount. Those Beatitudes we heard two weeks ago sounded sweet, and being the salt and light that shows Jesus to the world around us sounds encouraging, doesn’t it? And if you missed last week’s message, here’s the short version: Continue reading

Worship At Home Today! 2/9/2020

February 9, 2020

Dear Church,

Because a foot of snow has fallen overnight, and it hasn’t stopped yet, getting to church would be a treacherous endeavor this morning. The guy who plows our church parking lot told me that drivers are getting stuck even on the main streets that have been plowed. So we aren’t worshipping together at Center and Broadway in New Ulm this morning. But that doesn’t mean we can’t worship together virtually!

So here’s the script I would have used if we’d been together.

2020.02.09 Epiphany 5A SCRIPT

You may notice some links embedded in the script – they go to the recorded accompaniments for the hymns we would have been singing. If you click on them, and you happen to know the words, you can sing along!

As for the announcements, the Pie Auction is rescheduled for Wednesday evening after supper (about 6 PM). We will install newly elected leaders next Sunday.  May your Sunday at home be restful and worshipful!

Blessings,

Pastor Jo Anne

Salt and Light – Sermon on Matthew 5:13-20 for Epiphany 5A

February 9, 2020

He was caught between two worlds. Memories of home brought some comfort, but there was sadness, too. He knew there was no going back. Everything had changed, and he knew that the place he had once called “home” no longer existed. It had been destroyed, and all his friends and family had been scattered. He’d managed to get out alive, but the life of a refugee was full of challenges. So here he was, in Syria, speaking a new language, trying to live out his faith in a culture that was different from anything he’d ever known. Continue reading

God’s Foolishness – Sermon for Epiphany 4A on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

02.02.2020

I got a message this week from someone complaining about our church sign – she thought it was blasphemy to call God foolish, and she wanted us to take down the sermon title. I wrote back to her that I was glad it caught her attention but I was sorry the sign offended her, and she would be welcome here this morning to hear more from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, about the foolishness of God. Continue reading

Identity Crisis – Sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 for Epiphany 3A

January 26, 2020

What does the cross mean to you? We wear beautiful crosses around our necks, and we have a simple cross with clean lines hanging over our altar. This isn’t the kind of cross Jesus was thinking about when he said, ‘take up your cross and follow me’ (Matthew 16:34). Continue reading

Epiphany 2A in 2020 – Sermon on John 1:29-42

January 19, 2020

This week’s text from John gives us a look into what happened the day after Jesus was baptized, and I’ve updated (okay, completely rewritten) an earlier sermon on the passage for this second Sunday after the Epiphany, to reflect both my own growing understanding of this text and my congregation’s need to hear it in a fresh way. You can find it here. May you better see Jesus, show Jesus in your own life, and share Jesus with others through the reading and hearing of God’s Word.

Up from the Water – Sermon on Matthew 3:1-12 for Baptism of Our Lord

January 12, 2020

Today we celebrate the baptism of Our Lord, and we remember that in baptism, we are each given a new name. In baptism, we are called, “Child of God.” We are called, “Beloved.” And it’s all because Jesus came up from the water. Continue reading

Seeing Jesus – Sermon for Epiphany Sunday on Matthew 2:1-12

January 5, 2020

The gospel lesson for Epiphany is always the same, year after year. We always get the story of the wise men seeking out the infant King. It only comes to us through one author so, no matter which gospel we are following in a given year, Epiphany always brings us to the second chapter of Matthew. Continue reading

Murdered Innocents

I won’t be preaching this first Sunday of Christmas, but we can’t ignore this week’s gospel lesson. So I will share a few thoughts harvested from another sermon I preached on this text several years ago. You can read the whole thing here.

It can be tempting to ignore atrocities, to think we can’t do anything about them. But Jesus calls us to see and to act. As you continue through this season of Christmastide, May you find opportunities to do just that, in Jesus’ name.

Ladies’ Luncheon Casserole

Minnesota is the only place I know where the word ‘casserole’ is spelled ‘h-o-t-d-i-s-h’ – so if you prefer to call this a hot dish, I won’t stop you. That’s what my friend Ann calls it when she serves it to the Ladies’ Circle every year at their December gathering. It isn’t in the church cookbook. I looked. There’s one similar in there, attributed to Ann’s daughter, but it isn’t this recipe.

Ann’s Chicken and Asparagus Hot Dish (Casserole)

Butter a 9×13 pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine:
2 c. cooked & cubed chicken
1 c. canned asparagus, drained
1 c. diced or shredded American cheese (Velveeta works)
7 oz. Creamette wide egg noodles
1 c. cashews
1 small can mushrooms
1 small jar chopped pimientos
1 c. diced celery
1/4 c. diced onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. black olives (sliced or halved)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/c mayonnaise
Chow Mein noodles for topping.

Mix all ingredients and spread into a buttered 9×13 Pyrex dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, top with enough Chow Mein noodles to cover the top and bake for 15 minutes more. Let set for five minutes after removing from oven before serving. Serves 12-14.

Serve with Sue’s Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing:

Dressing: combine 1/2 c. sugar, 1/3 c. lemon juice, 2 tsp. finely chopped onion, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, (1/2 tsp. salt) in a blender. Cover and process until blended. While blender is running, slowly add 2/3 c. vegetable oil in a steady stream and blend until dressing is thick and smooth. Add 1 T. poppy seeds and pulse to blend.

Salad: 1 large head Romaine (about 10 c. when torn into bits), 4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese, 1 c. cashews, 1/4 c. sweetened dried cranberries, 1unpeeled apple, cubed, and one unpeeled (Anjou or Bosc) pear, cubed. Toss to mix. Just prior to serving, add dressing over salad and toss to coat. 12-14 servings.