It is the most common sermonic rookie mistake among new preachers—cramming multiple sermons into one sermon. These lengthy diatribes usually contain three or four ideas which could each be independently shaped into a sermon. In the early days of preaching, however, we are exuberant over the wealth of discovered gems and feel the youthful pressure to say it all at once. (If in these early days we could sense the pressure of preaching for three or four decades, we’d save a few of those jewels!) This article feels like one of my sermons of yesteryear. I’m going to cram three articles into one!
Our congregation—for the seventh year in a row—has generously exceeded our Mission and Ministry Plan (budget) needs for the year. Thank you! 2020 presented us with unseen challenges and expenses (guest artists, increased commitments to local non-profits, technical upgrades for COVID-19 broadcasts, and resource assistance to church and community members), and your gifts made it possible for all needs to be met. This is our congregational testimony to the fact that generosity is an ongoing spiritual practice—a reflection of our faith.
I published a new book during COVID-19. (Really, if you can’t leave the house, you’ve got to do something!) You can purchase your copy of Namaste, Newbie! My Hilariously Holy First Year Practicing Yoga and a Simple Guide to Getting You Started at the Welcome Desk of the church or from your favorite online bookseller. It hit the market at #2760 among published yoga books and in three weeks had made it to Amazon’s top 100! It’s fun and inspirational…and no, you don’t have to practice yoga to enjoy it.
We will continue to worship via virtual broadcasts for the months of January and February. Our Leadership Team met in late December to review COVID-19-related data for our city, county and state. We determined that with numbers rising to new peaks, this was not the time to regather safely.
Now, how do I tie all of this together into one convoluted sermon? Here goes…while you are staying home and staying safe, read a new book, and continue to support the work of your church through your witness in the world and your faithful generosity.