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Sermons and Spiritual Messages

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Hear a Christmas Eve Sermon
Sermon by The Reverend Doug Moss, December 24, 2011

Hear a Christmas Eve Sermon
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, December 24, 2011

Hear a Christmas Eve Message
Spiritual Message by Rodrigo Marcus, December 24, 2011

Hear "A Child's Swedenborgian Christmas Eve in Maine"
Spiritual Message by Lyman Dave Roberts, December 24, 2011

Hear "Shepherds In The Fields"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, December 18, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 46:3-13, Luke 2:8-20
One of the most significant, if not the most significant event in human history is the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior of humanity. Christ's birth had been prophesied by many, but it was Isaiah who gave us the fullest and most detailed description of the Messiah's coming.

It is notable that besides Mary and Joseph, shepherds were the only individuals allowed to visit Jesus on the night of his birth. Why only shepherds? What are the spiritual significances of the shepherds? We will explore this question.

Hear "Gifts of the Magi"
or read it here in PDF format
Sermon by Yudai Hori, Intern Minister, December 11, 2011
Scripture readings: Exodus 25:10-13,30:7-8,30:23-29, Matthew 2:1-11
The Christian Church was established by the First Coming, which was the arrival of Jesus Christ on earth. It happened about 2000 years ago in Israel. The New Church, or the Swedenborgian Church, was established by the Second Coming, which happened at the time of Emanuel Swedenborg, which was around 1756 A.D. How should the New Church celebrate the First Coming, the arrival of Jesus on earth? Can we celebrate Christmas as other Christian churches do?

Hear "Songs Of The Heart"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, December 4, 2011
Scripture readings: Exodus 15:1-18, Luke 1:46-55
While there are times when we wait patiently, reflect silently and await God's call and direction, our texts for this Sunday urge God to hastily break into the There is a saying that true joy cannot be hidden. When joy fills your hearts, you cannot resist, but to sing a song, or to have big smile on your face! The Scripture readings for this Sunday are both songs that are sung by two very significant female figures of the Bible: Miriam, the sister of Moses, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. When God's joy filled their hearts fully, their songs flew out from them almost automatically and became beautiful prophecies. Such a moment of being complete with true joy is nothing other than being fully conjoined with God!

Hear "Waiting Impatiently"
Sermon by The Reverend Megan Rohrer, November 27, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37
While there are times when we wait patiently, reflect silently and await God's call and direction, our texts for this Sunday urge God to hastily break into the world and encourage us to be prepared always, ready to spring into action. Like these texts, the sermon and service will seek to agitate God and God's people to become active in the world.

Rev. Megan Rohrer serves as the director of Welcome - a communal response to poverty with a joint call from Her Church Lutheran (Ebenezer), Christ Church Lutheran, St. Francis Lutheran and Sts. Mary and Martha Lutheran. Megan is also the Garden Manager for The Growing Home Community Garden (GHCG), whose mission is to provide a community garden where both homeless and housed San Franciscans work side-by-side to grow nutritious food, access green space, and build community. Rev Megan now co-pastors the "Community of Travelers", a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical, Christo-centric, social justice oriented, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient- future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination, which meets weekly at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Diamond Heights on Sunday afternoons at 5 PM. Reverend Megan has worshipped and preached with us many times in recent years.

Hear "Giving Thanks to God"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, November 20, 2011
Scripture readings: Psalm 100, Luke 15:11-32
We all know that we are supposed to be thankful to God for all that we have. At the same time, there is a small but still voice within us persistently asking the troublesome question, "What exactly did God give to me to be thankful for?" And then, even when we are feeling thankful and willing to give something back, we can still find it a challenge to actually express our gratitude to the Lord. In what ways then can we voice our thankfulness to God who is the Creator, and therefore true owner of everything in the universe?

Hear "Loving Our Enemies"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, November 13, 2011
Scripture readings: Exodus 23:20-33, Matthew 5:43-48
Love certainly is the most essential and powerful force of all. Thus it is true that true love knows no limit or boundary. This is why it is very inspiring and fascinating to perceive the truth that the essence of God is love. Yet, when we humans use the term "love", it is often misused and/or used ambiguously. One thing that is true for most everyone is that we are more likely to love those who love us than to love those who don't love us in return. However, Jesus insists that it is only in loving our enemies that we are to become children of God! This teaching of Jesus almost compels us to rethink what we normally mean by "to love" and "enemy."

Hear "Anger Management"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, November 6, 2011
Scripture readings: Genesis 4:1-16, Matthew 5:21-26
In Matthew, Jesus teaches us about the unhealthiness of two different types of anger: being angry oneself or causing anger in another. Both are unhealthy because our anger is not from God. Though it is possible that anger may serve us positively in certain instances, it has been proven, both by our ancient spiritual traditions and by modern psychology, that excessive or habitual anger will always have negative, self-destructive consequences, both to the one who is angry and to the people around them. Thus, it is also true that managing one's anger, that reconciling with those with whom one is angry or with those that one has made angry are two very important, fundamental aspects of spiritual cultivation!

Hear "The Fulfillment of the Law"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, October 30, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 27:1-6, Matthew 5:17-20
"What is the law?" is a question that one cannot avoid if one reads the entire Bible thoroughly, because in the Bible we find not only different forms and degrees of the law, but also many differences in how the law is applied and understood. Firstly, there is the most fundamental of all laws, the Ten Commandments. Then, there are the laws in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, many of which are obviously impossible for us to keep exactly as written. So when Jesus says, "I have come not to abolish but to fulfill," exactly which part of the law does he mean to fulfill?

Hear "Salt and Light"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, October 16, 2011
Scripture readings: Ezekiel 43:18-27, Matthew 5:13-16
Most of us might have asked ourselves the question, "What is the purpose of my existence here on earth, God?" Here is one of the answers that Jesus gave in Matthew 5:13-14, "You are the salt of the earth. And you are the light of the world." As a Christian, you might automatically assume that what Jesus meant by "you" is could only be the "you" who is a Christian and thus reading the Scripture. However, if you then take a moment and think about it, you might realize the truth that Jesus' response is not that simple!

Hear "The Beatitudes"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, October 9, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 25:1-5, Matthew 5:1-12
It is practically an irresistible human desire to seek and ask for God's blessing. However, do we truly know what it means to be blessed by God? Ordinarily, when we experience a healthy life with the adequate means to enjoy our time on earth, coupled with the fewest struggles and problems, we consider ourselves blessed. But, as most of us know from our own experiences, this is not really how our lives play out. In the famous Sermon on the mountain, Jesus expresses 9 different ways to be a blessed one of God. A key to open the door to this heavenly secret may be found in an understanding of what Jesus truly meant by these 9 blessings, or states of being blessed by God.

Hear "The Purpose of Sabbath"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, October 2, 2011
Scripture readings: Exodus 31:12-17, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Mark 2:23-28
"What is the Sabbath? And what does it mean to keep it holy?" were two of the many questions that I asked of my dear teacher, the Rev. Dr. George F. Dole, back in seminary. Of course, I had read several books regarding Sabbath before asking the question. So my actual question was not really about the historical, biblical and informative nature of the Sabbath and why it is holy, but about how I, a Korean-American man living in 21st century, should understand, accept and implement this ancient tradition in my life. If my memory is correct, George simply smiled at me and said, "That's something that you need to find out for yourself." In Hebrew, Sabbath means "to cease, desist, or rest." But God commanded Moses to keep it holy! Furthermore, Jesus taught us, "the Sabbath was made for humankind... (Mark 2:27)"

Hear "The Work of Love"
Spiritual Message by Rodrigo Marcus, September 25, 2011
Scripture readings: Matthew 21:23-32 and John 14:10,23
This message addresses the gospel story that Jesus tells of a father who asks his sons to work in the father's vineyard. What is the "work" that God asks us to do? The work is our spiritual work that involves preparing ourselves for the love that Jesus speaks about in the second gospel reading, calling us into oneness through love and in love.

Rodrigo Marcus is a retreat facilitator and spiritual counselor practicing across the U.S. He regularly shares a sermon as an adjunct preacher at the Hillside Community Church in El Cerrito. He also teaches dream work as an adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University, where he received a master's degree in Consciousness Studies and a certificate in Dream Studies.

Hear "New Wine In The New Wineskin"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, September 18, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 66:1-4, Luke 5:33-39
The teaching of the new wine in the new wineskin is one of the most well-known teachings of Jesus. The clarity and simplicity of the teaching is undeniably enlightening and inspiring. Yet, often we find that the implication of this simple and powerful teaching in real life situations is not as easy as it seems. At a glance, the focus of the teaching seems to be on the distinctive difference between "new" and "old," yet if we look closely, we could discover the truth that Jesus is actually insisting on "not mixing old with new."

Hear "Chop Wood, Carry Water, Eat Little Scrolls"
Sermon by The Rev. James Lawrence, September 11, 2011
Scripture readings: Revelation 3:14-22, Revelation 10:1-2,9, and Revelation 21:2-3
The Reverend James Lawrence, D.Min, is the former co-pastor of our church and now serves as the Dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies in Berkeley. He was ordained in 1984 and has served churches in St. Louis, Missouri and Fryeburg, Maine, as well as San Francisco. He is the editor of numerous books on Swedenborgianism. In addition to delivering Sunday's sermon, Reverend Lawrence presided over the installation of Reverend Junchol Lee as the lead pastor of the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church.

Hear "The Call of Matthew"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, September 4, 2011
Scripture readings: Joshua 2:1-14, Matthew 9:9-13
Matthew was a tax collector. In Jesus' time, tax collectors were not only considered sinners, but they were considered betrayers of their own people by the Jews, as the duty of a tax collector was to collect the taxes from Jews for the sake of the Romans. One of the most familiar teachings from this story may be the verse, "I have come to call not the righteous but sinners (9:13)." Of course, this message does not mean that Jesus actually prefers people who are living full of troubles and mistakes over people who are doing their best to live in accordance with teachings of Jesus. Rather, it is about the inner state of our ego before God... It is about the place where Jesus came to help, to help each and every one of us.

Hear "The Calling of the First Disciples"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, August 28, 2011
Scripture readings: Exodus 3:1-16, Mark 1:16-20
Long time ago, probably when I was in the Youth League in a Korean Presbyterian church in Korea, I was asked, "Have you meet Jesus?" Actually, the question was addressed by the youth minister to the entire council of the Youth League. To my amazement, everyone except me proclaimed that "Yes, we have met Jesus!" This event not only confused me, but caused a lifelong search for what it means to meet Jesus. We certainly do not meet Jesus as his disciples did two thousand years ago, but it is very true that we must meet Jesus before we can endeavor to search, find and embody our faith in God.

Hear "What's My Line?"
Sermon by The Reverend Kathy Speas, June 19, 2011
Scripture readings: Exodus 1:8 - 2:10, Matthew 16:13-20
It's a challenge to live a Christian life and to claim our Christianity in today's culture of religious politics, amidst a wide diversity of truth claims, or in the face of the post-modern assertion that there is no such thing as "truth." Many churches offer one clear answer to the question, "Who is Jesus, and what does it mean to be a Christian?" My own journey with this question reminds me of the rabbi who was challenged by his congregation's objection, "Every time we ask you to tell us about God and the Torah, you just come back with a question!" To which he responded, "And what's wrong with a question?" Join us this Sunday as we wonder about Jesus and seek him in our lives.

The Rev. Kathy Speas is a parishioner in our parish, served as an intern, and was ordained a Swedenborgian minister in 2004. For the past 7 years, she has served as a chaplain for Hospice by the Bay in Sonoma County, providing spiritual support to terminally ill people and their loved ones. She lives in Kenwood with her husband Todd Board.

Hear "Jesus is Rejected at Nazareth"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, August 14, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 1:10-20, Luke 4:16-30
There is a saying, "You see a tree, but not the forest." What this means is that we often get lost, focused on and attached to matters closely related to ourselves, and thus we miss seeing and acknowledging the bigger picture within which we exist. It is especially difficult to acknowledge and accept truths that reveal a reality that is not aligned with, or even opposes, the reality that we wish to be true. For the people of Nazareth, those who grew up with Jesus, accepting Jesus as the Messiah was a challenge like this, a challenge that would have been difficult for any human being...

Hear "The Samaritan Woman at the Well"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, August 7, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 42:1-9, John 4:1-26
All stories in the gospels are symbolic and allegorical. But the story of the Samaritan woman at the Jacob's well contains exceptionally rich and deep spiritual meanings. In this story, Jesus says to the Samaritan woman, "The water that I will give them will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life," and "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The former regards the essential means of obtaining spiritual life, while the later regards the way to obtain true union with God. What is most significant about the story is that Jesus taught these important teachings to a Samaritan woman.

Hear "Nicodemus and the Teaching of Rebirth"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, July 31, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 32, John 3:1-15
The conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus reveals the true core of the teachings of Jesus, which are about the absolute necessity of "being-born-again." Nicodemus asks Jesus the honest question, "how is it possible to be born again?" We, living in the 21st century, may smile at Nicodemus' question, being assured about our understanding of what Jesus meant by "being-born-again" is not that of a physical rebirth. However, do we really know what it means to be born again? The teaching of being-born-again, or regeneration, is at the core of teachings of Jesus because it regards the fundamental mechanism through which we could reunite with our essence, God. The only problem is that we must be born again. So, what does it mean to be born again?

Hear "The First Cleansing of the Temple"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, July 24, 2011
Scripture readings: 1 Kings 8:22-30, 46-53, John 2:13-22
The Gospel of John focuses on the spiritual aspects and the depth of Jesus' ministry more than any other gospel. In the Gospel of John, our Lord Jesus Christ begins his ministry with three very important and spiritual actions: baptism, the miracle at Cana, and the cleansing of the temple. In the time of the Old Testament, the people actually believed that the actual presence of God was housed by the temple. Today, however, our Lord enlightens our minds with a deeper and more spiritual meaning of temple and what it truly means to worship God.

Hear "The First Miracle at Cana"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, July 17, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 1:21-31, John 2:1-11
Our Lord Jesus Christ performed countless miracles. However, the very first one, according to the Gospels, was done at a wedding in a place called Cana. According to the Gospel of John, it was done at the request of his mother, Mary. Jesus performed the miracle of turning water in to wine at a wedding. In a way, the story could be read as the short and simple story of the miracle itself. However, almost every element in this story is allegorical, and the spiritual meanings of water and wine should be treated with a special care and focus.

Hear "The Temptation of Jesus"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, July 10, 2011
Scripture readings: 1 Kings 19:11-18, Luke 4:1-13
Temptation is such a fascinating topic. The term itself almost automatically stirs up the minds of the listener. However, it has become the tendency of the people, especially Christians, to treat "temptation" as a kind of omen or something that is negative. But the Bible assures us over and over again the truth that a temptation is not at all anything to be treated as a negative and/or destructive matter, but a necessary process to be closer to God, and ultimately to be complete. This is why our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted prior to his ministry.

Hear "The Baptism of Jesus: The Blessed Beginning"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, July 3, 2011
Scripture readings: 2 Kings 5:1-19, Matthew 3:13-17, John 1:29-34
Our Lord Jesus Christ showed the importance and significance of baptism by being baptized by John the baptizer. The purification by water was not a new ritual for the Jews, but an old one since Moses. However Jesus revitalized the spiritual depth of washing by water and its new meaning for the Christians. The symbolic and spiritual meaning that is contained within the baptism of Jesus transcends our capacity to understand it fully. But the little that we can decipher may be enough to inspire our minds and hearts to accept the wholeness and completeness of Jesus Christ.

Hear "Honest Faith"
or read it here in PDF format
Spiritual Message by Dr. Darleen Pryds, June 26, 2011
Scripture readings: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, John 6:51-58
Dr. Darleen Pryds is Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality and Medieval History at the Franciscan School of Theology of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She specializes in lay spirituality and has published widely on the historical foundations of lay preaching in the Christian tradition. She has an interest in Swedenborg's spirituality thanks to Jim Lawrence and is a member of his doctoral dissertation committee.

Hear "Go Forth and What?"
Sermon by The Reverend Kathy Speas, June 19, 2011
Scripture readings: Genesis 18:1-8, Matthew 28:16-20
The Rev. Kathy Speas is a parishioner in our parish, served as an intern, and was ordained a Swedenborgian minister in 2004. For the past 5 years, she has served as a chaplain for Hospice by the Bay in Sonoma County, providing spiritual support to terminally ill people and their loved ones. She lives in Kenwood with her husband Todd Board.

Hear "For the Beauty of the Earth"
or read it here in PDF format
Spiritual Message by Devin Zuber, Ph.D., June 12, 2011
Scripture readings: Song of Solomon 4:1-7 and Matthew 6:28-33
Dr. Devin Zuber is an Assistant Professor of American Studies, Literature, and Swedenborgian Studies at the Swedenborgian House of Studies, Pacific School of Religion. Dr. Zuber centers his inquiries in literary aesthetics, hermeneutics, and cultural history, which includes the environment as special zone of engagement. His scholarly interests include exploring the different ways people have imagined and constructed their relationship to the environment through various practices of cultural representation. He is also a Swedenborgian specialist, and particularly interested in the legacy of Swedenborg's thought in Romanticism. His work has appeared in Religion and the Arts, American Studies, and Variations, and he is presently completing a book on Swedenborg's contribution to American environmental aesthetics. Academic Credentials: B.A., Bryn Athyn College, 2000; M.Phil, CUNY Graduate Center, 2006; M.A., Queens College, 2006; Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center, 2010

Hear "Looking Up"
Sermon by The Rev. Sherrie Connelly, June 5, 2011
Scripture readings: Ephesians 1:15-23 and John 17:1-11
Reverend Sherrie Connelly is gratefully approaching the one year anniversary of her ordination as a Swedenborgian pastor. Her Urban Sanctuary ministry in Vallejo includes teaching, preaching, writing, ceremonies, pastoral care, spiritual direction, and chaplaincy. She enjoys working as a research assistant for a book on mysticism in Protestant Christianity. She also has recently put up a shingle as "proprietor and pastor" of the Urban Sanctuary Attic at the Cordelia Junction Antique Mall, supporting good use re-purposing of beautiful things.

Hear "Seeing with Eyes of Love"
Spiritual Message by Rodrigo Marcus, May 29, 2011
Scripture readings: Acts 17:22-31 and John 14:15-21
Rodrigo Marcus is a retreat facilitator and spiritual counselor practicing across the U.S. He regularly shares a sermon as an adjunct preacher at the Hillside Community Church in El Cerrito. He also teaches dream work as an adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University, where he received a master's degree in Consciousness Studies and a certificate in Dream Studies.

Hear "Dwelling In The Living God"
Spiritual Message by Christine Rodgers, May 22, 2011
Scripture readings: Acts 7:55-60, John 12:1-14
Christine Rodgers is an actor and poet living in San Francisco. Her poetry has appeared in America, National Catholic Reporter, Fellowship, Radical Grace and on a variety of websites. She has published two collections of poetry, Into the Great Green Heart of God, and Upon a Luminous Night. Her third book, Embracing the Sacred Journey, will be published later this year.

Hear "Christ, The Gateway Drug"
Sermon by The Reverend Megan Rohrer, May 15, 2011
Scripture readings: 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10
The Rev. Megan Rohrer serves as the director of Welcome - a communal response to poverty with a joint call from Her Church Lutheran (Ebenezer), Christ Church Lutheran, St. Francis Lutheran and Sts. Mary and Martha Lutheran. Megan is also the Garden Manager for The Growing Home Community Garden (GHCG), whose mission is to provide a community garden where both homeless and housed San Franciscans work side-by-side to grow nutritious food, access green space, and build community. Rev Megan now co-pastors the "Community of Travelers", a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical, Christo-centric, social justice oriented, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient- future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination, which meets weekly at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Diamond Heights on Sunday afternoons at 5 PM. Reverend Megan has worshipped and preached with us several times over the last two years.

Hear "Recognizing Resurrection"
Sermon by Scott Clark, May 8, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 55:8-11, Luke 24:13-35
Scott Clark, M. Div., is a 2009 graduate of the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), Program Manager of the Program in Christian Spirituality for SFTS in San Anselmo. Scott is currently a candidate for Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Scott practiced law for 12 years in Alabama, mainly working on cases involving employment discrimination and constitutional law.

Hear "I Doubt, Therefore I Think"
Sermon by The Rev. James Lawrence, May 1, 2011
Scripture readings: Psalm 16:5-11, and John 20:19-31
The Reverend James Lawrence, D.Min, is the former co-pastor of our church and now serves as the Dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies in Berkeley. He was ordained in 1984 and has served churches in St. Louis, Missouri and Fryeburg, Maine, as well as San Francisco. He is the editor of numerous books on Swedenborgianism.

Hear an Easter Sunday Sermon (11:00 AM Service)
Sermon by The Reverend Kathy Speas, April 24, 2011
Scripture readings: Psalm 118:1-4, 14-24, Matthew 28: 1-10
The Rev. Kathy Speas is a parishioner in our parish, served as an intern, and was ordained a Swedenborgian minister in 2004. For the past 5 years, she has served as a chaplain for Hospice by the Bay in Sonoma County, providing spiritual support to terminally ill people and their loved ones. She lives in Kenwood with her husband Todd Board.

Hear an Easter Sunday Sermon (9:00 AM Service)
Sermon by The Rev. James Lawrence, April 24, 2011
Scripture readings: Psalm 118:1-4, 14-24, and Matthew 28: 1-10
The Reverend James Lawrence, D.Min, is the former co-pastor of our church and now serves as the Dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies in Berkeley. He was ordained in 1984 and has served churches in St. Louis, Missouri and Fryeburg, Maine, as well as San Francisco. He is the editor of numerous books on Swedenborgianism.

Hear "The Passion"
Sermon by Steve Sanchez, April 17, 2011
Scripture readings: Matthew 27:45-56 and Luke 19:41-44
Steve Sanchez studied Swedenborg for six years before beginning seminary in 2006. In 2000 he started his own very successful construction company. His company employed ten workers, and ran 3 to 4 jobs at a time continuously for six years. In 2006 he sold the construction business and began his journey in Seminary. The focus of his study in seminary has been in Swedenborg studies, Biblical studies, and adult formation. He did his field study as a minister in training at Orinda Community Church with Frank Baldwin, who is a seasoned pastor with 30 years of experience. The focus of his studies at Orinda was worship service, sermons, and youth programs. In 2010 Steve entered a one-year residency as a chaplain at Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo; the residency is named the "College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy". This is an intensive program that involves full time work as a chaplain, academic training, and personal growth. He has provided pastoral counseling for thousands of patients, family members, and staff members. Steve has excelled in this program and now works as the chaplain in the world-class rehabilitation center at Kaiser. He provides a Sunday service for patients and family members once a week. Most of all Steve has a passion for ministry, especially Biblical study, pastoral counseling, Swedenborg studies and adult formation. He is a creative man that enjoys writing, drawing, playing music, and working out. He has published a book and a CD of original music. He also has three wonderful daughters he has raised and loves to spend time with.

Hear "Living in the Darkness"
Spiritual Message by Rodrigo Marcus, April 10, 2011
Scripture readings: Ezekiel 37:1-3, 11-14 and John 11:1-7, 17, 20-27, 32-45
Rodrigo Marcus is a retreat facilitator and spiritual counselor practicing across the U.S. He regularly shares a sermon as an adjunct preacher at the Hillside Community Church in El Cerrito. He also teaches dream work as an adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University, where he received a master's degree in Consciousness Studies and a certificate in Dream Studies.

Hear "Making All Things New"
Sermon by The Reverend Doug Moss, April 4, 2011
Scripture readings: 1 Samuel 16:1, 4-13, John 9:1-41
The Rev. Doug Moss "discovered" Swedenborg while in seminary in Berkeley. He subsequently became a member of this church and taught senior Sunday school classes here while completing his studies. In 2005 he was ordained a minister in the General Convention of the Swedenborgian Church, and served as pastor of Hillside Community Church in El Cerrito for three and a half years. For the past two years, he has officiated most of the weddings, baptisms, and memorials for the San Francisco church. As a minister, he is keenly interested in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, representing our denomination at the National Council of Churches. He is also devoted to eco-justice causes, and has pursued a deeper understanding of end-of-life matters with the International Association of Near Death Studies. A resident of the Bay Area for twenty-five years, he currently lives in Pacifica with his wife Melissa, their almost-adult daughters Hannah and Lizzie, and a motley collection of dogs, cats, and other critters.

Hear "The Two Inner Forces for our Regeneration"
Sermon by The Reverend Junchol Lee, March 27, 2011
Scripture readings: Genesis 29:15-30, Matthew 6:21-26
The Reverend Junchol Lee is the very proud father of two wonderful children, Roiy (6) and Joan (1), and the husband of a beautiful and loving wife, Heejoung Moon. Consequently, he is very focused on the value and importance of family at this stage of his life. He was born in South Korea in 1970 and moved to the United States in 1993. He studied Chinese language, history and philosophy at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for 2 years and majored Swedenborgian Religion at the Academy of the New Church College, now Bryn Athyn College. Afterwards, he was accepted into the ordination path at the Swedenborg School of Religion, our denomination's previous seminary in Newton, MA. During his four years of seminary education, he completed his master's thesis, a comparative study between Emmanuel Swedenborg and Carl G. Jung on the origin of evil. In 2000, he was ordained in to the ministry of the Swedenborgian Church, the year he turned 30. To date, Junchol's ordination has been the most significant moment of his life, as everything has since changed! After his ordination, he served the Swedenborg Chapel in Cleveland, Ohio for 9 years, officiating over nearly 120 wedding, counseling nearly 70 couples and baptizing nearly 60 children. In addition, he engaged both the congregation and the general community with his eastern background via the introduction of meditation and eastern philosophy classes. These classes demonstrate the diverse nature of his spiritual makeup, a mix of the Confucian principles of ethics, the Buddhist practices of meditation and cultivation, a Daoist understanding of the world, and a Swedenborgian religiosity and theology. In addition to serving the Cleveland church, he also served and is still serving General Convention in various ways and levels including: having been elected to serve SCYL (Swedenborgian Church Youth League) for 6 terms; having lectured at the Almont Summer Camp for 7 consecutive years; having been elected to serve the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers for 6 years, leading many mini-courses at the Convention; acting as the Camp Pastor for the Paul Haven Children's Camp; and currently he serves as a member of the Committee of Admission into Ministry and the Ministry Support Unit. In addition, since 2009, Junchol has served as both the pastor for both the Calgary New Church Society and as the conference minister for the Western Canada Conference. In Junchol's words, "The fundamental reason that I have applied for the position as lead minister of the San Francisco Church is that I have been feeling a deep calling to the SF Church, a calling to a mutually awarding relationship that will inspire spiritual growth on both sides. I truly believe that the SF church has a real potential to become a thriving metropolitan church with a spiritual vitality, a broader consciousness and a living faith in Christ."

Hear "Isolation, Ecstasy and Facing our Demons"
Sermon by The Reverend Megan Rohrer, March 20, 2011
Scripture readings: Psalm 121, John 3:1-17
The Rev. Megan Rohrer serves as the director of Welcome - a communal response to poverty with a joint call from Her Church Lutheran (Ebenezer), Christ Church Lutheran, St. Francis Lutheran and Sts. Mary and Martha Lutheran. Megan is also the Garden Manager for The Growing Home Community Garden (GHCG), whose mission is to provide a community garden where both homeless and housed San Franciscans work side-by-side to grow nutritious food, access green space, and build community. Rev Megan now co-pastors the "Community of Travelers", a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical, Christo-centric, social justice oriented, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient- future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination, which meets weekly at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Diamond Heights on Sunday afternoons at 5 PM. Reverend Megan has worshipped and preached with us several times over the last two years.

Hear "The Full Catastrophe: Free will and what it means to be human."
or read it here in PDF format
Sermon by The Reverend Kathy Speas, March 13, 2011
Scripture readings: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Matthew 4:1-11
The Rev. Kathy Speas is a parishioner in our parish, served as an intern, and was ordained a Swedenborgian minister in 2004. For the past 5 years, she has served as a chaplain for Hospice by the Bay in Sonoma County, providing spiritual support to terminally ill people and their loved ones. She lives in Kenwood with her husband Todd Board.

Hear "I Don't Want To Suffer Anymore"
Spiritual Message by Lon Elmer, March 6, 2011
Scripture readings: Psalm 73:21-28 and Corinthians 1:3-7
Lon Elmer is a member of the Board of Directors of the Wayfarers Chapel, Treasurer of the Pacific Coast Association, and author of "WHY HER WHY NOW: A Man's Journey through Love and Death and Grief". He lives in Seattle.

Hear "Devotion in a Post Modern World"
Spiritual Message by Steve Sanchez, February 27, 2011
Scripture readings: Revelation 3: 14-16, 20-21 and Genesis 3: 22-24
Steve Sanchez is a student at PSR with only one more class to finish school. He is currently a fulltime chaplain at Kaiser in Vallejo where he is a one year resident. He has a passion for Swedenborg and ministry and studied Swedenborg for six years on his own before beginning seminary. Steve was born in Barstow CA, moved to the Bay Area when he was 11, and has three daughters.

Hear "From Justice to Love"
Spiritual Message by Dr. Robert McDermott, February 20, 2011
Scripture readings: 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23, Matthew 5:38-48
Dr. Robert McDermott has served as president emeritus and current faculty member at CIIS. He is also Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY), where he was chair of the philosophy department and of the program in religion and culture. Prior to his coming to CIIS, he taught philosophy and comparative religion for 27 years: seven years at Manhattanville College (1964-71), and 20 years at Baruch College (1971-90). Robert has been the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, and professional honors, including a Fulbright grant for study and travel in India (1966) and a position as senior Fulbright lecturer at the Open University, England (1975-76) where he was advisor and contributing editor to sixteen films on "Man's Religious Quest." With the support of Laurance S. Rockefeller, he has co-directed a four-year project, "The Recovery of Thinking in Philosophy, Science, and Education." Robert is editor of The Essential Aurobindo (1988) and The Essential Steiner (1984).

Hear "What's Love Got to Do With It?"
or read it here in PDF format
Spiritual Message by Dr. Darleen Pryds, February 13, 2011
Scripture readings: Psalms 16, Sirach 15:15-20, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Dr. Darleen Pryds is Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality and Medieval History at the Franciscan School of Theology of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She specializes in lay spirituality and has published widely on the historical foundations of lay preaching in the Christian tradition. She has an interest in Swedenborg's spirituality thanks to Jim Lawrence and is a member of his doctoral dissertation committee.

Hear "The Person My Dog Thinks I Am"
Sermon by The Reverend Doug Moss, February 6, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 58:1-12, 1 Corinthians 2:1-16
Rev. Doug Moss is an ordained minister in the Swedenborgian Church and has been both a member of this congregation and a Sunday School teacher here. He has served as pastor of our sister church in El Cerrito, Hillside Community Church. These days he serves the SF by both regular preaching and the performance of our Rites & Sacraments Ministry, officiating over a large part of the weddings, baptisms, and memorials held in our sanctuary. He lives with his wife Melissa and two teenage daughters, Lizzie and Hannah, in Pacifica.

Hear "Claiming Our Blessedness"
Spiritual Message by Christine Rodgers, January 30, 2011
Scripture readings: Micah 6:1-8, Matthew 5:1-12
Christine Rodgers is an actor and poet living in San Francisco. Her poetry has appeared in America, National Catholic Reporter, Fellowship, Radical Grace and on a variety of websites. She has published two collections of poetry, Into the Great Green Heart of God, and Upon a Luminous Night. Her third book, Embracing the Sacred Journey, will be published later this year.

Hear "The Increase of Peace"
Sermon by The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mitchell, January 23, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 49:1-7 and Matthew 4:12-23
Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mitchell grew up in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, amid the dairy farms and cranberry bogs. Before entering the ministry, he earned a Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. After ordination in 1997, he served the National Swedenborgian Church in Washington D.C. for five years. Since 2003 he has served as Chapel Minister at The Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. In his spare time Jonathan enjoys language study, hiking, and exploring the natural history of California.

Hear "Dealing with Tragedy"
Sermon by The Rev. Sherrie Connelly, January 16, 2011
Scripture readings: Isaiah 49:1-7 and John 1:29-42
Reverend Sherrie Connelly completed her M.Div. in 2008 and was ordained into the Swedenborgian Church on June 26, 2010, at General Convention's annual meeting. Sherrie is also certified as a spiritual director by Mercy Center, and has served in lay ministry for ten years, including hospital chaplaincy and in the UCC and Swedenborgian churches. In the Bay area since 1997, Sherrie lives in Vallejo, where she created "The Urban Sanctuary". Sherrie has also been the Secretary of the Pacific Coast Association. Sherrie has previous academic training in psychology, religion, management and business administration, and taught for 15 years including at Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and USC. Until shifting to a focus on ministry in 2000, Sherrie's primary career has been working full-time as a strategic planner, team builder and management consultant.

Hear "Intimacy with the Lord"
Spiritual Message by Steve Sanchez, January 9, 2011
Scripture readings: Jeremiah 29:12-14, Matthew 3:13, and 2 Corinthians 4:14-18
Steve Sanchez is a student at PSR with only one more class to finish school. He is currently a fulltime chaplain at Kaiser in Vallejo where he is a one year resident. He has a passion for Swedenborg and ministry and studied Swedenborg for six years on his own before beginning seminary. Steve was born in Barstow CA, and moved to the Bay Area when he was 11. Steve has three daughters.

Hear "To Have Successful Failures"
Sermon by The Rev. James Lawrence, January 2, 2011
Scripture readings: Proverbs 16: 1-9 and 2 Timothy 4:6-8
The Reverend James Lawrence, D.Min, is the former co-pastor of our church and now serves as the Dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies in Berkeley. He was ordained in 1984 and has served churches in St. Louis, Missouri and Fryeburg, Maine, as well as San Francisco. He is the editor of numerous books on Swedenborgianism.