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Sermons

Of Shepherds and Kings

John 10:22-33 Preached at University Presbyterian Church Reverend Elizabeth Michael July 9, 2017   From the time Jesus crawls out of the manger and tumbles into the lives of some peasants in Galilee and the political and religious authorities who rule over them, there is one question that follows him urgently, doggedly, refusing to be put to rest no matter how many times he tries

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Welcome Home

July 2, 2017 Matthew 10:40-42 When I reflect on the word welcome, I think about my Grandma Hollie and her gifts of hospitality.  Every summer, my family traveled to visit the grandparents.  Grandma Hollie lived deep in the country, off the Chesapeake Bay—the Rivah they called it.  Once the car wove around the corn fields and hit the long gravel driveway, my heart would start

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Fire in the Bones

Jeremiah 20:7-13 Rev. Elizabeth Michael Preached at University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, NC June 25, 2017 During the year of seminary I spent working as a chaplain in a public psychiatric hospital, I would lead worship on Sunday mornings and then walk to the units to make my rounds.  There was a nurse on one of the units—his name was Darryl.  He was a gregarious

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Love’s Triple Play

Love’s Triple Play June 11, 2017 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 Matthew 28:16-20 I watch a lot of baseball, but I have never witnessed a triple play. Triple plays rarely occur; it’s a combination of circumstances and action that doesn’t happen often.  In fact, during the ten years from 2000-2009, only 35 triple plays were recorded throughout all the games in Major League Baseball.[1]  The thrill of

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A Church Ignited

Acts 1:1-24, 37-47 Rev. Elizabeth Michael Preached at University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, NC June 4, 2017             A brief history of barbed wire, as chronicled by Dutch journalist Dick Wittenburg[1]:  Barbed wire had its origin in Joseph Glidden’s devotion to his wife Lucinda.  The Gliddens lived in the late nineteenth century in Dekalb, Illinois, a farming community, and Lucinda’s problem was that the cows

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Posture of Faith

Matthew 14:22-33 Rev. Elizabeth Michael Preached at University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill May 28, 2017             One ordinary Sunday morning during worship in my last congregation, the liturgy was moving smoothly and predictably…we’d sung a hymn, recited the prayer of confession together, passed some peace, made it through the children’s sermon with a minimal amount of orthodoxy still intact…and then it came time for the

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Stopping – Pressing On

Genesis 11:27-32 A Sermon by Robert E. Dunham University Presbyterian Church Chapel Hill, North Carolina May 21, 2017 Introduction There are more “thank yous” than I could possibly express today, but I am so, so grateful for the love with which you have surrounded my family and me in these days, for the tears and laughter we have been able to share together.  More than

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No More a Stranger or a Guest

Psalm 23 A Sermon by Robert E. Dunham University Presbyterian Church Chapel Hill, North Carolina May 14, 2017 Last weekend we celebrated the confirmation of 23 of our youth.  Yesterday I shared briefly in the celebration of another sizable group of seniors in the Presbyterian Campus Ministry, and tonight is the senior dinner for a remarkable cadre of seniors in our Presbyterian Youth Connection. All

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Doers

James 1:19-25 A Sermon by Robert E. Dunham University Presbyterian Church Chapel Hill, North Carolina Confirmation Sunday             May 7, 2017             There is an old, abandoned Presbyterian mission station in the village of Lubondai in the heart of Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was once the thriving center of a missionary medical enterprise and home to a school for missionary children, but

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Easter Courage

EASTER COURAGE Matthew 28:1-10 A Sermon by Robert E. Dunham University Presbyterian Church Chapel Hill, North Carolina Third Sunday of Easter April 30, 2017             I know Easter Sunday was two weeks ago, but Elizabeth’s reflections last Sunday on the disciples cowering behind locked doors had me thinking this week about what difference Easter makes. So, I’ve come back to the Easter story for a

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