Don Heath will preach on Jul 30
> Sermons in Ordinary Time 2017

You may view the manuscripts for Don Heath's most recent sermons and his translations of sermon texts by clicking on the links below. Mary Heath preaches from notes and does not prepare manuscripts.

July 23, 2017, What Does It Mean to Be Church Today? A Sermon on Romans 8:12-25.

July 9, 2017, I Can't Help Myself, A Sermon on Romans 7:15-25.

June 25, 2017, Leaving Sin Behind, A Sermon on Romans 6:1-11.

June 11, 2017, Great Expectations, A Sermon on Matthew 28:16-20.

> Sermons in Lent/Easter 2017

May 28, 2017, Do We Really Have to Suffer? A Sermon on 1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11.

May 14, 2017, Already Free as Slaves of God, A Sermon on 1 Peter 2:11-25.

April 30, 2017, Holy Nonconformists, A Sermon on 1 Peter 1:13-25.

April 23, 2017, Chosen to Be Part of God's Story, A Sermon on 1 Peter 1:1-12.

April 9, 2017, Abandoned by God, A Sermon on Philippians 2:5-11 and Matthew 26:36-46; 27:45-46.

March 19, 2017, Hope in Times of Tribulation, A Sermon on Romans 5:1-11.

March 12, 2017, Grace in a Graceless World, A Sermon on Romans 4:1-5, 13-17.

> Sermons in Epiphany 2017

February 26, 2017, Who Do You Trust? A Sermon on Matthew 6:24-34.

February 12, 2017, Living the Antitheses, A Sermon on Matthew 5:21-37.

January 29, 2017, Living the Beatitudes, A Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12

January 15, 2017, Dear White Christians, A Sermon on Amos 5:1-24.

> Pastor's Bookshelf:

Whatever a pastor has been reading invariably finds its way into his or her sermons. Our pastor, Don Heath, has recently read the following books and recommends them. Don's comments are listed next to each book.

The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice, by Cynthia Bourgeault (Boulder: Shambala Publications, 2016). Bourgeault, an Episcopal priest and one of the leaders of the centering prayer movement, uses The Cloud of Unknowing, a 14th century classic on mystical spirituality, as a guide for a different way of perceiving the world, from awareness of a single unified field through the heart instead of cognitive differentiation and judgment through the mind. She describes centering prayer as a way of experiencing nondual consciousness, which is not primarily about what one sees but how ones sees.

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg (New York: Penguin Random House, 2016). Isenberg, a history professor at LSU, surveys American history and shows that American culture has been hostile to poverty and social backwardness in every age. The survey is limited to poor whites; it shows that class prejudice is real. The United States throughout its history has always had a class system directed by the top 1 percent and supported by the middle class.   

The Underground Railroad: A Novel, by Colson Whitehead (New York: Doubleday, 2016). Whitehead describes the journey to freedom by Cora, a slave on a Georgia plantation, who escapes to the underground railroad, which takes her from Georgia to South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana. Whitehead teaches us much about the brutality of slavery and its effect on slaves, abolitionists, slave masters, slave catchers and white citizens of the South. Some of the violence is this novel is so intense that I had to put it down a few times. This gripping novel won the National Book Award for fiction.

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson (New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2016). This essay explores the white backlash to five milestones in African-American history: the end of slavery, the Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities following World War I, the abolition of separate but equal in Brown v. Board of Education, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and the election of the first African-American President. Anderson argues that each backlash was fueled by white rage at black advancement, “at blackness that refuses to accept subjugation.” Anderson closes the essay with a haunting epilogue that imagines how much stronger teh nation would be today if it had chosen a different  path, one that made access to good schools the norm rather than the exception, one that builds a justice system that protects and serves the weak instead of preying upon them, one that promotes economic opportunity instead of permanently denying it to the black underclass.

Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People, by Thomas Frank (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2016). Frank criticizes the Democratic Party for abandoning its commitment to working-class people and the poor and placing its trust instead in professionals--doctors, lawyers, clergy, architects and engineers. Democrats in the last 30 years have evolved into neoliberals who support meritocracy rather than democracy; they are more committed to free markets and free trade than to addressing income inequality.

Wage of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, by Chris Hedges (New York: Nation Books, 2015). Hedges believes that a non-violent revolution is necessary to challenge the political structure in the United States that is increasingly dominated by political and corporate elites and that is evolving into a security state. He argues that revolutions begin with a discrediting of an ideology that is used to interpret reality and the emergence of rebels who challenge the outdated ideology.

The Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture, by Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann and John McKnight (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2016). A Biblical theologian and two community organizers encourage us to abandon free-market ideology and form a counter-culture based on covenant and neighborliness.

Jesus' Abba, by John Cobb (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015). A beautiful book. Cobb, now 91, calls for us to use the image of God that Jesus used, Abba, instead of the images of God as king and judge, which have led to violence and imperialism. Seeing God in a familial instead of a monarchical context will lead to deeper experiences of God and deeper relationships with neighbor.

The Covenant with Black America: Ten Years Later, compiled and edited by Tavis Smiley (New York: Hay House, 2016). Smiley and other Black leaders developed a plan of action ten years ago to address ten critical issues facing African-Americans. New contributors ten years later revisit the same issues. This book helped me understand issues in the Black community that get little attention in the mainstream media.

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (New York: Spiegel and Grau, 2015). Coates, a journalist, writes this book in the form of a letter to his 14-year-old son about the social injustice of growing up black in America. He describes growing up in Baltimore and living in fear for his own body, both from the police and from the streets. White Americans live in the Dream of suburban life, insulated from and ignorant of their privilege built upon the subjugation of Black Americans.                                             

Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age, by Susan Neiman (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). Neiman, a philosopher, helps her readers find a model for maturity that is something more than accepting what you are told. She uses two Enlightenment philosophers, Kant and Rousseau, as guides in her quest for wisdom in dealing with complexity and uncertainty. Neiman's secular journey is remarkably similar to the quest for spiritual development articulated by Christian mystics such as Richard Rohr and Thomas Merton.

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