Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

1st Sunday in Lent
Genesis 9:8-17; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15

Listen here:

Some asked me to share here the specific suggestions I offered in my sermon. This is far from an exhaustive list. Be creative. Do what you can. Baby Steps still move us forward. Moving together with others makes the journey richer. God’s speed…

BABY STEP 1: Be an educated VOTER in 2018 and beyond

Next: Call your elected officials, even if you know they don’t agree with you, and ask them to:

  • Designate funds to CDC for gun violence research.
  • Reinstate the regulation that makes it harder for people with mental illness to purchase a gun.
  • Create gun licensing similar to that for cars – competency tests, clear title transfers, insurance, etc.
  • Limit or Ban the purchase of assault style weapons and magazines by civilians.

If you need motivation:

Aaron Feis, 37, Assistant Football Coach and Security Guard;

He died while using his body to shield students from bullets as the gunman opened fire.

Scott Beigel, 35, Geography Teacher and Cross Country Coach;

He was shot and killed when he unlocked his classroom to allow students to take refuge from the gunman.

Christopher Hixon, 49, Athletic Director, Wrestling Coach & Security Specialist

Hixon came from a military family and served in the U.S. Navy. He was killed while patrolling the school’s campus.


Alyssa Alhadeff, 14

She wanted to become a lawyer and professional soccer player, and played on the Parkland Soccer Club

Martin Anguiano, 14

His older brother described him as “a very funny kid, outgoing and sometimes really quiet.”

Nicholas Dworet, 17

He was a swimmer, committed to the University of Indianapolis. He dreamed of making the Olympic Swim team.

Jaime Guttenberg, 14

She was a dancer who was described by her father as the “life of the party.”

Luke Hoyer, 15

He was described by his grandparents as a “good kid” who “never got in trouble.”

Cara Loughran, 14 

She was a beach-lover and dancer.

Gina Montalto, 14      

She was a member of the winter guard and the school’s state-champion marching band. “A kind spirit with a keen sense of humor.”

Joaquin Oliver, 17

He was a hip hop and sports lover who became a naturalized American citizen in January 2017, after moving from Venezuela at the age of 3.

Alaina Petty, 14

She was described as “a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her. Alaina loved to serve.”

Meadow Pollack, 18

She was the youngest in her family and enjoyed spending time with them. She had planned on attending Lynn University in Boca Raton.

Helena Ramsay, 17

She was described as “a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person… with a relentless motivation towards her academic studies…”

Alexander Schachter, 14              

He played the trombone and baritone in the Douglas’ marching band. Described as “A sweetheart of a kid!”

Carmen Schentrup, 16                  

She was named one of the National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the county. She was also a gifted piano student.

Peter Wang, 15

He was a member of the JROTC. He was last seen wearing his uniform and holding the door open so that people could escape. He had planned on celebrating the Chinese New Year with his family.


Gospel Text:

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”


Sean Rossman, ‘We’re children. You guys are the adults’: Shooting survivor, 17, calls out lawmakers, USA Today Network, USA TODAY Published 1:05 p.m. ET Feb. 15, 2018.

Walter Morris, “Students call for change, stricter gun laws in wake of Parkland shooting,” WSVN-TVSunbeam Television Corp, February 16, 2018

Jonathan Sperling, “Florida school shooting: These are the 17 victims,” NBC News Website, Feb 17 2018, 9:59 am ET.

Goin’ Fishin’

January 21, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Listen here:


Gospel Text:

After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.  (Mk 1:14-20)

The Way of Wisdom

November 12, 2017

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC
Proper 27, Year A
Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13

Listen here:


NOTE: I realize that many of you as subscribers to this site have become accustomed to a text version of my sermons, yet when I preach without a manuscript, that isn’t created. I invite you to listen to the audio offering instead. I’m working to improve the quality of the recording, so until then, you may have to lean in and listen more deeply. Thanks for sticking with me on this journey!

Gospel Text:

Jesus said, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Mt 25:1-13)


Source of Op Ed: Nicholas Kristof, “How to Reduce Shootings,” The New York Times, November 2, 2017. Website: Accessed November 10, 2017.

A Necessary Journey

August 18, 2017

I’m at a time of transition. In preparation for the next page in my vocational journal, between packing boxes, and embarking on an interstate move, I carved out time to steal away, up a mountain, to pray. A cabin amid the treetops of north Georgia, near water, and mid-week calm. A Quiet Retreat for restoration and renewal.

Yet, in light of the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the intention of this time shifted in me. It became, instead, a “DisQuieting Retreat. A time to discern my response to the reality of escalating racial unrest in our time.

It can’t be denied – the demonstrations and violence by white supremacists carrying torches, shouting slurs, and inciting fear, even bodily harm and death, make denial impossible and reprehensible.

So what am I, a person of privilege, to do?

What am I, a follower of Jesus, to do?

What I am, a teacher, preacher, and pastor, to do?

First, I have to embrace the truth that I have my own work to do, to better understand the reality at hand, and what has caused it. So, I took a few books with me for this time of learning. Books I’ve been accumulating, but not reading. Books written by folks who look different than me; who’ve lived a different experience than I have; who reveal more clearly the impact of privilege and White American’s obliviousness to it.

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