Twenty Third Sunday After Pentecost

Be prepared!

Collect: Proper 27

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him, in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Joshua 24:1-3a. . . Joshua  urges Israel to pledge their faithfulness to the one true God.

psalm 78:1-8 . . . . An introduction to Israel’s epic journey.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; . . ., Paul prepares the Thessalonians for Jesus’ return with the hope of reunion with those who have died in Christ.

Matthew 25:1-13 . . . . In Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel, the long-delayed bridegroom arrives to find only five bridesmaids prepared to celebrate with him.

Sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church: “Choose this day and every day.”

All Saint’s Sunday

The rich blessings God intends for the saints


Collect: All Saints’ Day

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Revelation 7:9-17 . . . . A vision that assures us of God’s ultimate triumph over evil, sadness and death, a victory to be shared with the faithful.

Psalm 34:1-10, 22 . . . . the “flavor” of the divine presence can only be known by its taste.

1 John 3:1-3 . . . , We are God’ children now, full participants in God’s kingdom.

Matthew 5:1-12 . . . .   the blessings that are ours as we depend on God and work for the kingdom.

Sermon: About Ernie Blake

A sermon on Revelation by Jim Somerville


21st Sunday After Pentecost

Love as the greatest of God’s commandments

Collect: Proper 25

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Deuteronomy 34:1-12 . . .  after their long and difficult sojourn in the desert, Israel is made aware of its call to holiness as it stands poised to enter the promised land.

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 . . . Our Journey Though Time

A Sermon on Moses “There Comes a Time.”

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 . . . Paul affirms his deep affection and respect for the believing community.

A Sermon Ministry: “Stand Firm”

Matthews 22: 34-40 . . . Jesus tells us that the greatest and first commandment is to love God

Sermon on The Great Commandment: ” Stump The Teacher”  by Jeff Foster, minister for the Gallup Church of Christ in Gallup, New Mexico


The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

The sovereignty of God over all human endeavor

Collect: Proper 24

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may preserve with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Exodus 33:12-23 . . .  God promises to be present as Moses continues to lead God’s people.

Psalm 99. . . Sovereign of The Universe — The Cherubim is an order of being beyond space-time as we know it who serve the divine will and have access to multiple dimensions

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 . . . Paul greets the Thessalonians with the assurance that God has chosen them for great works of faith.

Matthew 22:15-22  . . .  Jesus deflects the Pharisees’ malice by redirecting their thoughts to God’s sovereignty.

Sermon by Father Michael Renninger, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond VA.

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Celebrating  the joy of being invited to God’s kingdom feast

Collect: Proper 23

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Exodus 32: 1-14 . . . God spares the people of Israel, despite their worship of the golden calf.

Psalm 106: 1-6, 19-23 . . . A Story of Tragedy

Philippians 4:1-9 . . . Paul describes the root of his sufficiency to the Philippians.

Matthews 22: 1-14 . . . Jesus presents a parable of the kingdom, in which the king graciously invites all he can find to his banquet.

 Sermon  by Dr. Richard W. Voelz,  Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA.

18th Sunday After Pentecost

Fruitfulness is examined as the result of our relationship to God through Christ.

Collect: Proper 22

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Exodus 21: 1-4, 7-9, 12-20 . . .  God outlines the fruit of faith—the Ten Commandments.

Psalm 19 . . .  A Hymn to the Universe

Philippians 3:4b-21 . . .  Paul speaks of turning from his past and pushing on toward the prize of God.  “He makes all things new” by John Skaggs

Matthew 21: 33-46 . . . Jesus issues a call to repentance through the parable of the wicked tenants

Jim Somerville, Pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church  preaches a sermon from Matthew 21:33-46 called, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” He begins: “Before we sink our teeth into the meaty parable that is this morning’s Gospel reading, we need to spend a little time talking about allegory…” Because this parable is an allegory in which object or persons inside the narrative have a one-to-one correspondence with meanings outside the narrative. The “wicked tenants,” for example, may represent actual people, and, actually…the very people Jesus is talking to

16th Sunday After Pentecost

 The depth and breadth of God’s gracious generosity

Proper 20

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Exodus 16:2-15 . . .  God provides ungrateful Israel with meat and bread

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 . . .  God  promised the land of Canaan to the covenant people and then kept the promise.

Philippians 1:21-30  . . .  Paul acknowledges that Christ is all to him, both in life and in death.

Matthew 20:1-16  . . .  Jesus tells the parable of the early laborers, who envy the landowner’s generosity toward late-comers

Sermon by Lauren McLeavey at St Marks, Islip and Emmanuel, Great River, NY

15th Sunday After Pentecost

Encouraging forgiveness

Collect: Proper 19

O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives  and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Exodus 14:19-31  . . .  Despite Israel’s fear and unfaithfulness, God rescues them from the advancing Egyptians.

Psalm 114. . .  The Play of Spirit

Romans 14:1-12 . . . Paul explains that nothing in our lives is outside the reign of Christ.

 Matthew 18:21-35  . . .  One slave refuses to share the forgiveness he receives from the king.

Sermon by  Rev. Carla Pratt Keyes, Pastor of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia.

14th Sunday after Pentecost

Examination of  God’s call to community

Proper 18

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for as you always resist the proud who confide in their strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen

Exodus 12:1-14  . . .  God commands Moses and Aaron to institute the first Passover, as a community day of remembrance.

Psalm 149

Romans 13:8-14  . . .  Paul describes the characteristics and behaviors of believers in community.

Matthew 18:15-20 . . . Jesus tells his disciples to persist in their pursuit of reconciliation.

Rev. Rachel May, Pastor of Boulevard United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia, looks at the text from Exodus 12 in a whole new way. Instead of giving us instructions about how to keep the Passover feast she focuses on those first two verses, where God gives instructions about what to do with our calendars


13th Sunday After Pentecost

How we are transformed by our following of Jesus and accepting our own cross

Proper 17

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver off all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen

Exodus 3:1-15 . . .  God comes to Moses in a fiery bush, informing him that he will lead God’s people out of slavery.

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c  . . .  A Song of Remembrance about the beginning and the end of Egyptian exile.

Romans 12:9-21  . . .  Paul’s lengthy discussion of God’s plan of salvation leads him to call for a radical transformation of mind and body in conformity with God’s will.

Matthew 16:21-28  . . .  Jesus’ prediction of suffering and death shows the disciples that God’s ways are different from human methods.

Sermon by The Rev. Micah Jackson is the Bishop John Elbridge Hines Associate Professor of Preaching and Director of Comprehensive Wellness at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.