Sunday is Coming! Day of Pentecost. “Meeting Your Calling”

“When the day of Pentecost had come…” (Acts 2:1)

Pentecost has the potential to be the most interesting and empowering festival of the church year. We celebrate the Spirit being unleashed: like a mighty wind shaking things up; like fire set upon on our heads; like opening up closed doors to the world outside; because fear no longer holds power over us. Pentecost is a calling to take the message of Jesus to the streets.

When the Spirit comes, said the prophet Joel (and Peter preaching), your sons and daughters will prophesy; the young will see visions; the old will dream dreams; men, women, slaves, free – anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21 [my paraphrase]).

-What do you dream about for your community of faith?

-Does your church (or the church as a whole) have a vision for its purpose other than institutional survival? Worship Attendance? Buildings? Programs? Staff? Dollars? Busyness?

-What if what we we were actually called to do as Jesus people was to love the way he loved so we could make a lasting impact in people’s lives – and turned them loose to share that love too?

-What if we took action (and made plans for action) – not just to keep the ship in the water but set sail for new horizons?

-Would we go?

-How many of our churches just sit in the dry dock?

Pentecost can be a time, not just to hear the story – but to enter it anew. It can be a moment to wait and pray for the Spirit to shake things up in our lives and community, to set our hearts on fire with the passion of Jesus, and send us out beyond the safety of closed doors.

I have a quote on my office door from Frederick Buechner that reads, “The place God calls you is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” (from his book, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC. [San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993], 119.)

-What is your deep gladness?

-Where might that deep gladness meet those around you?

-What is keeping you from that calling?

-What doors do you keep locked in front of you?

-Why are you afraid of trying?

Pray with me:

Come, Holy Spirit come!


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“Supercrash and the Missing God” a sermon on Acts 1:1-11 and John 17:6-19

Ascension / Easter 7

Sermon on Acts 1:1-11
& John 17:6-19

“Supercrash and the Missing God”

St. Paul Lutheran Church
Old Saybrook, CT

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2 BALD PASTORS / Episode 63: Pastor Tim Krick

Check out Joe and my conversation with my good friend Tim Krick.

Click here to listen:










(The Krick and Sinibaldo families together at Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newington, NH after Tim was installed as Pastor on May 6, 2018.)


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Ascension Day

Sitting with Pastor Brett Hertzog-Betkoski
@Trinity Lutheran Church, Centerbrook, CT

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Sunday is coming! Ascension/Easter 7B “Far from abandoned”

And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.” (John 17:11a)

If one follows the church year, the Thursday before Easter 7 marks the Ascension (Luke 24:44-53), as the risen Jesus leaves his disciples to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Presumably, we are left in our own to wait without Jesus or the Spirit until Pentecost (next Sunday). Yikes!

This Sunday (Easter 7B) we read these words of Jesus offered as a prayer for those same disciples. The scene is the upper room after he has washed their feet but before Jesus is betrayed and arrested, before his trial and execution, before the glory of Easter and before the forty days he revealed himself again and again in the flesh.

While these words come to us out of sequence in the timeline after Easter, they help us remember what Jesus was revealing to his followers all along. He is the “word made flesh among us” (John 1:14). This is not just a promise for his earthly life, but the gift of hi presence among us always. The incarnation extends beyond our physical contact in the flesh. Jesus is with us wherever we are and through our witness is revealed to others.

At the Ascension, we might ask, “Where did Jesus go?” “Are we left alone?”  “Is God far away?” “Am I forgotten?” 

Jesus told us last week (Easter 6B) to “love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). These ten days between his Ascension and the day of Pentecost are NOT about Jesus leaving us behind by an absentee savior, but about our renewal to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us. This is our moment to reflect, wonder  and invite others into our ongoing connection to the eternal word who continues to live among us as we abide in him; his love; his grace and truth. This is our time to join his calling to make all things new among us and through us, remembering that the Spirit will indeed come to empower us.

Just as Mary was the first God-bearer (theotokos); we too are to bear Christ to those around us wherever we are.

When the Spirit comes at Pentecost to get us moving …look out!

How is Jesus calling you to bear Christ today?


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“Happy Feet and Big Mouths” a sermon for Pastor Tim Krick’s Installation at Holy Trinity, Newington, NH

[Audio sermon is posted beneath the biblical texts.]





Romans 10:14-17

14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”

Luke 10:1-12, 17-22

1After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town…

17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 21 At that same hour Jesus[e] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit[f] and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

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“No more stickers” a sermon on John 15:12-19


Sermon on John 15:12-19
“No more stickers”

Inspired by Max Lucado, “You are Special








St. Paul Lutheran Church
Old Saybrook, CT

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