April 23 – Seeing with New Eyes – Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy

Draw your Church together, O God, into one great company of disciples together following our Lord Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving him in his mission to the world, and together witnessing to his love on every continent and island.  Amen.   This sermon was inspired by a recent conversation I had…

March 26 – A Song of Irrepressible Optimism – Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy

The earliest ancestors of the Hebrew people who gave us the Bible were nomads, owning no property, bound to no one location but traveling with their flocks and herds wherever there was pastureland for the animals to graze on.  Sometimes this involved a journey of a few miles; sometimes it meant longer trips from drought-plagued…

March 5 – The Mirror that is Lent – Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy

Lord, teach us to take our hearts and look them in the face, however difficult it may be.” Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers      What is Lent for, really?  Mirroring Jesus’ experience in the wilderness, it is a time to let the light of truth reveal our motivations, to recalibrate our spiritual lives,…

Feb. 12 – Choose Life – Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy

     When Russ and I were new young parents we registered for a parenting course – at our church, by the way.  The method of parenting that was being promoted was based on the psychological theories of Adler, one of the three great Swiss psychoanalysts of the late 1800’s,  Freud, Jung, and Adler.  The text…

January 22 – Called to a Different Way – Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy

Recently I have been reading about nonviolent communication.  Nonviolent communication, I have learned, begins with the assumption that all people are compassionate by nature, and that violent strategies – verbal or physical – are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture.”  NVC invites its practitioners first to consider another’s humanity when communicating with…

December 11 – Don’t forget the baby! – Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy

This is the third Sunday in Advent and it is the day when the emphasis begins to shift.  For the last two Sundays we have heard a great deal about the Day of Judgment and the doom and destruction of the Final Coming.  But today there are more candles lit on our Advent Wreath than…

November 13 – Joy to the World – Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy

I have been preaching sermons for a long time.  I preached my first sermon as a senior in high school, on Youth Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church in Ossining, New York.  I preached my next sermon four years later when I was a college senior and it was the custom of the minister at…