One of the main reasons I keep attending COGS is because of the Sermons. Pastor Sarah has a unique way of taking a bible story, interpreting it to something that I can relate to in today’s world, and then helps me understand what I might do to be a better person the next week.  –Kathy S. –  Member

Sermon: “The DNA of Hope” – a brief intro to UCC History and why it matters

Philippians 3:17-4:1 Today, we continue our Lenten journey toward Easter. With resurrection on the horizon, we’re venturing into the past this season, considering our origins, and how they’ve shaped us to be who we are. Last week, we talked about reading the Bible as an act of compassion. We considered that reading the Bible might […]

Sermon – Enjoy!!! Savor!!!

Luke 9:28-36 It’s transfiguration Sunday! Said no one excitedly ever. This is actually a big holiday in the Eastern church, along with Easter and Christmas, But in Protestant churches in particular, we tend to ignore it. And who can blame us. It’s an odd story…. Peter and John go with Jesus up a mountain. It’s […]

Sermon: Faithful Choices

Sermon: “Faithful Choices” This sermon explores the challenges of ethical decisions and how to separate “right” and “wrong” choices from “faithful” choices. Scripture: Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12 —- The story of the magi usually focuses around gifts. But that is only part of the story. Today, I want to us to look more closely […]

Sermon: A New Heaven and a New Earth

  This sermon references a much longer article in Narratively, which includes a pastor’s story of coming out as a Christian to his atheist parents and coming out as a pastor with a non-binary gender identity. You can read the full article here: I highly recommend it! The sermon, based on Revelation 21:1-6, challenges us to […]

Sermon – Hanging on to Hope

This post has 2 parts – an introduction to scripture and then the sermon itself. 1) Intro to Joshua 2 and Genesis 38 In the first chapter of Matthew, the author traces Jesus genealogy for 41 generations, from Abraham to Mary and Joseph.   I’ve spared us that reading and those 40+ Hebrew names, and […]

Sermon: Thanks for Giving – Finding Wholeness…

In 2016, after the presidential election, Ellen DeGeneres did a segment where she created a program called “Mobile Moderator,” where families could invite a professional moderator like Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer to come over for Thanksgiving dinner to moderate the inevitable political conversations that would crop up over turkey and stuffing. In the demonstration, […]

Be Bold in Listening – Sermon on John 21

John 21:15-25 A note on the translation: Our scripture today describes a conversation between Jesus and Simon Peter, a Disciple of Jesus. Simon Peter has a unique name, because his first name, Simon, means “Listener,” and his second name, Peter, means “Rock.” Pay attention to when Jesus addresses him as “Simon” (listener) and when the […]

Mammals are not meant to spin forever… reflections on Sabbath in the midst of crisis

Exodus 20:1-11 The 2nd half of the sermon spoke about the Kavanaugh hearings, the earthquakes and tsunamis, and crises affecting our members. It included personal information not included in the online version. Just know that whatever you’re going through…in times like these, taking sabbath is even more essential than ever… Sermon: “Be Bold in Taking […]

Freedom from Shame

Scriptures (click links to be redirected to the scripture): Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12   Introduction to Psalm 51: In order to understand today’s text, we need to know the backstory.   King David, the man who as a boy slew the giant Goliath, has gotten himself into a bit of trouble.   King David, the […]

“The foolishness of God…” – A sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 18 To those who are spiritually dead, the message of the cross is foolishness—absurd and illogical, but to those of us being healed and liberated by God’s grace, the cross is the manifestation of God’s power. 19 For it is written in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I will destroy the wisdom of […]

“Spiritual knowledge”

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 In the process for ordination as a pastor, as some point, you have to go through a gauntlet of psychological testing. It usually takes 3 full days, and it includes written tests as well as conversations with professionals who have scored and reviewed your tests. At the first test, the person proctoring […]

Job – Going deeper into listening

1/14/17 Scripture: Job 6 Job is a folktale – an old folktale – older than nation of Israel. Folktale is as follows…. <told from memory, but here are some highlights:> God wants to know more about human beings. “The Satan” (part of God’s Council) offers to investigate. God agrees. Gives him the perfect test subject. […]

Christmas Eve Sermon, 11AM

Luke 1:46-55 “My soul magnifies the Lord,      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,  for God has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;  for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is God’s name.  God’s mercy is […]

Sermon – “Money Talks”

Matthew 6:19-21 Today is the kick-off to our Season of Generosity, and the Worship Team and Generosity Team have challenged me today to talk to you about the spiritual reasons for giving money to the church.   So spiritual reason #1 – I give to the church because the Bible tells me so.   For […]

Psalm 139: “Awesome Bodies”

There’s a sign in Meg’s office that says “Come in, we’re awesome.”   Did you know it’s biblical?   In our scripture today, the Psalmist writes that God knit us in our mother’s wombs.   That we are fearfully and wonderfully made.   The Hebrew can also be translated awesomely and wonderfully made.   We […]

Blessings and Curses of Creation

Genesis 1:24-2 Today, we blessed our animals. But what does it really mean to bless something? We said words of thanksgiving and words of hope. Blessings, in the Bible are often like this. They’re wishes. They’re prayers to God that God fulfill what we hope for others. But did you know that the word blessing […]

“A Crumby Faith” -Sermon July 30

Matthew 15:21-28           “A Crumby Faith”            July 30 Sermon by Rev. Allan Bash   I get the title for this sermon, “A Crumby Faith,” because of this woman’s response to Jesus that, “even the children get to eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.”  […]

“Finding Salvation” August 13 Sermon

“Finding Salvation”      Sermon August 13      Rev. Allan Bash   Search Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John and this is the one and only time that Jesus ever says, “Salvation has come to this house.”  It was a phrase that Jesus used in this story about money. (You are welcome to put a […]

“Giving Back” – Sermon July 23

“Giving Back” by Karen Bash Scripture: Luke 8:1-3 New Revised Standard Version Occasionally we meet someone who changes the direction of our lives. When the women mentioned in our story met Jesus their lives were changed forever. We don’t know the names of all the women — Luke says there were many of them. Three […]

“Under the Broom Tree” – Sermon July 16

“Under the Broom Tree” – by Rev. Allan Bash Scripture: I Kings 19:1-5, 8-9, 15-16   Elijah was the greatest prophet of Israel. In the Gospel stories of the transfiguration, Peter, James, and John saw Elijah standing with Moses and Jesus.  Moses represented the Law, but Elijah represented the  prophets. At the sedar our Jewish […]

“Great Expectations” – Sermon July 2

  “Great Expectations”  Rev. Allan Bash II Kings 5: 1-14 Here it is, the 4th of July weekend and our scripture is about another military officer, not unlike the one we talked about on Memorial Day weekend when Karen and I started as your sabbatical interim pastors. We are talking about Naaman this morning.  He […]

“Hooray For Doubt” – Sermon June 18

Matthew 28:16-20   “Hooray for Doubt” – Sermon by Rev. Allan Bash   There are many great passages in scripture about faith. Hebrews 11 is maybe the most famous:  “ faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the certainty of things not seen.” There is very little said about doubt except in a negative way. […]

“A Worthwhile Fight” – Sermon June 11

SCRIPTURE READING                     Genesis 32: 22 – 30   The Message SERMON                            “A Worthwhile Fight”                                                                 Rev. Karen Bash Artwork: “Jacob Wrestling with God“, by Jack Baumgartner  (visit his website at Jacob’s History Birth, mother Rebekah, brother Esau, father Isaac’s blessing Journey to Laban, meets Rachael Marriage to Leah Marriage to Rachel Leah has children, […]

“Missing” – Sermon June 4

The following notes are the outline used by Pastor Allan Bash for his Sermon on Sunday, June 4, 2017, based on the Scripture reading John 20:19-29. Jesus’ followers are gathered in the upper room – except for Thomas. Thomas missed like we miss: Out of town company, Big party the night before, Got something else […]

“Ordinary People, Extraordinary Encounters”

This summer, the Revs Karen and Allan Bash will be our interim Pastors while Pastor Sarah is on Sabbatical.  They have chosen an exciting sermon series to share with COGS:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Encounters.  The following synopsis  provides a preview for what is in store for us for our 10am Worship Sermon Series. Where have […]

“Under Authority” Sermon May 28

“Under Authority”      Rev. Karen Bash This story takes place in Capernaum — a town Jesus adopted as home and headquarters for his ministry. Capernaum was also the home of 5 of his disciples — Peter and Andrew, James and John and Matthew the tax collector. In Luke’s story neither Jesus nor we have a direct […]

Palm Sunday Sermon

Palm Sunday – “The Gift of Accepting Extravagant Hospitality” John 12:1-7; 12-19 Can’t you just imagine it?   The crowds, with the smells and the colors and the cheers.   Hosanna!   And Jesus, on his donkey, humble yet honored, smiling as he walks through the crowd.   And on the other end of town, […]

Lenten Series #4 – Depression – “Being WITH one another”

3/26/17 Scripture: Matthew 14:1-14 Children’s Sermon: Pastor Sarah showed pictures of celebrities and “tough” men and women who cry, including Michael Jordan and Superman. The message – when you cry, there’s no need to apologize! We all cry. We all feel sadness sometimes. Even Jesus experienced sadness. Sermon: I’m struggling with today’s topic.   Depression.   […]

Lenten Series #3 – Bargaining

Lenten Series #3 – Bargaining John 11:17-22 “Bargaining for hope.” Today, we’re going to talk about bargaining. Most of us practice bargaining on a regular basis. Hey, we say, if you do this for me, I’ll do that for you. We negotiate. Sometimes we do this with services. Like while my husband and daughter were […]

Lenten Sermon #1 – Denial

Denial… Lamentations 4:11-17 Today, we start our Lenten series on grief, in which we’ll be talking about how to care for ourselves and others through the touchstones of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We remember that grief is far from a linear process – we flow in and out of all of these […]

“A Community of Resistance: Understanding Paul’s Message about the Power of Christ Crucified.”

1 Corinthians 1:20-30 Note: Our political climate has made several words, including “resist” politically charged. For me, the term “resistance” has always been associated with Jesus, and that is how it is intended in this sermon. Jesus resisted (among many things) legalism, inequity, poverty, injustice, corruption, and apathy. The phrase “Community of Resistance” was borrowed from a […]

Come and See – a Sermon for 9-11

This sermon puts 9-11 into context with other recent events, including the shooting in Orlando, and it also introduces our newest sermon series: “Sanctuary.” John 1:35-39a The next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked along, and said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two […]

7/3/16 Sermon – Saying “Yes” to WAKING UP!

Saying “Yes” to Waking Up! Acts 20:7-12   Children’s Sermon – Obstacles <Pastor Sarah goes on an imaginary adventure that includes a variety of obstacles. She has trouble figuring out how to get over, through, around them. The children and congregation help.> Pastor Sarah’s responds: “Wait, you’re telling me that in order to overcome this […]