December 4, 2018 @ 8:49 pm

“You’re Growing” (The Wisdom of Mr. Rogers sermon series) Sun, Nov. 25, 2018


Sermon title: "You're Growing" 

Sermon text: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 

Sermon excerpt: 

Earlier in 1 Corinthians 3, speaking of the divisions within the church at Corinth, Paul tells the Corinthians they are “as infants in Christ” saying, “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready.”

There IS a time to speak, think, and reason like a child in the ways of faith; but in order to know God more deeply, there comes a time to put an end to our playing at Christianity and to embrace deeply what it means to pick up our cross and to follow Jesus; to choose solid food instead of milk.

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November 20, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

“What Do You Do with the Mad Inside?” (”The Wisdom of Mr. Rogers) Sun, Nov 18, 2018


Sermon title: "The Wisdom of Mr. Rogers: What Do You Do with the Mad Inside?" 

Sermon text: Romans 12:9-21 


Sermon excerpt: 

What did he do with the mad inside? Mr. Rogers got creative and boldly stepped into an industry he knew NOTHING about!

And the world he created to nurture the tender spirits of children was filled with genuine love, teaching them to hold fast to what is good and to love their neighbor. He created a world where it was OK to talk about being mad or sad or disappointed; where humility mattered more than might; and where overcoming evil with good was always the right thing to do.

He created a living example of Paul’s exhortations from Romans 12, a world where the gathered community, children around the country sitting in front of their television sets, they were encouraged to let their love be genuine. 

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November 19, 2018 @ 10:25 pm

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (The Wisdom of Mr. Rogers #1) Sun, Nov 11, 2018


Sermon title: "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" (sermon series: "The Wisdom of Mr. Rogers") 

Sermon text: Luke 15:8-10 


Sermon excerpt: 

When Mr. Rogers asks us, “Could you be mine? Would you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?” he is taking that same risk, making himself vulnerable in the same way, inviting someone to become part of the very fabric of his life.

Inviting someone to be your neighbor is an invitation that can and often is turned down. Being rejected is no picnic. But Mr. Rogers would say it’s always worth the risk.

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November 11, 2018 @ 12:29 am

“The People Standing Here” (All Saints’ Sunday - Sun, Nov 4, 2018)


Sermon text: John 11:1-44 

Sermon title: "The People Standing Here" 


Sermon excerpt: 

During their lifetime, the crowd of saints who stood where we now stand must have seen their faith grow through struggle and suffering. And they must have witnessed first-hand the beauty that God can grow out of tragedy. Their faith in this beauty has sustained the church for generation after generation, just as it sustains us today.

This is our inheritance as descendants of these saints: the knowledge that we are never alone but that we are part of the crowd of saints, the communion of saints; knowing that when our faith slips or when we start to doubt, we can borrow a little bit of someone’s else faith for a while until we find ourselves on steady ground again.

The life of faith was never meant to be lived in isolation, but rather in the company of others, in the crowd standing there together, asking questions and searching for hope together.

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October 29, 2018 @ 10:54 pm

Gifts of Love: “Spurring Each Other On” (Sun, Oct 28, 2018)


NOTE: For a variety of reasons, this is a SUPER-SIZED podcast including more of the service than usual which takes place in the chapel rather than the sanctuary so the sound is a little different.

The anthem ("I Need Thee Every Hour") starts at  21:53 and the sermon starts at 27:47 with an introduction and then the Hebrews reading. 

Sermon title: "Let's Do It!" 

Sermon text: Hebrews 10:11-25 (from "The Message") 


Sermon excerpt: 

You know, the more I think about and marinate in this passage, the more I wonder if it isn’t God saying to us, “Here is my Son, whom I love. He is the greatest gift of love I can give you. He will bleed for you and die for you and love you forever, even on the days when you don’t love him. So what are you going to do with my gift of love?”

And the best response I can think of is that we ought to spend every single breath living these words from Hebrews; to do everything within our power – and with a little help from the Holy Spirit – to encourage love and to help each other out, seeing how inventive we can be in coming up with ways to spur each other on in the faith; and to do it all joyfully and gratefully and enthusiastically.

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October 24, 2018 @ 12:51 am

Gifts of Love - Two Small Copper Coins (Sun, Oct 21, 2018)


Sermon title: "Two Small Copper Coins" (Gifts of Love series #2) 

Sermon text: Mark 12:38-44 


Sermon excerpt: 

On any other day in the temple, this widow and her two small copper coins would have gone unnoticed.

On any other day, she would have slipped in, dropped her last two coins into the treasury, which was either a small box or a special room in the temple, and then slipped out again.[i]

Her gift wasn’t large and extravagant like those who contributed out of their abundance. Those people, those gifts, they would have gotten noticed; they would have gotten a lot of special attention.  

But no one would have ever known this widow and her little gift of love, her two small copper coins, had even been there.


[i] NRSV New Interpreter’s Bible, note on 12:41, p. 1835.


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October 17, 2018 @ 8:20 pm

Gifts of Love - Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength (Sun, Oct 14, 20181)


Sermon title:  "Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength" 

Sermon text: Mark 12:28-34 

Sermon excerpt: 

Growing up near Pittsburgh, I can’t help but think of Fred Rogers when I hear the word neighbor. Through his children’s programming on public television, Mr. Rogers shaped generations of young minds, teaching love, kindness, and respect for others.

As an ordained Presbyterian pastor, he loved God by loving his youngest neighbors. He loved God by honoring the image of God in each child, valuing them in a way grown-ups often forget. Valuing them the way Jesus did.

He loved God by taking the time to explain difficult things to children in a careful way; things like divorce and death and racism.

In the days of the Civil Rights Movement, there was an evening news story of a hotel manager dumping bags of pool chemicals into the hotel pool while several African-Americans were swimming in it. It is a horrifying video to watch.

And in one of the next episodes of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” we see the radical Mr. Rogers sharing a kiddie pool with Francoise Clemmons, the African-American man who played Officer Clemens on the show.  At the end of the scene, he even helps Officer Clemmons dry his feet with a towel.

Sometimes a simple gift of love is the only lesson we really need to see.

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October 9, 2018 @ 1:12 am

Season of Creation - “I see humans but no humanity” (Sun, Oct 7)


Sermon title: "I see humans but no humanity." 

Sermon text: Mark 10:35-45 


Sermon excerpt: 

Jesus draws them together for a little talk.

He doesn’t reject them; he doesn’t even rebuke them, really. He just gently chastises them, saying (and this is from the Allison paraphrase version of the Bible), “I know you want to be great. But being great according to this world is to be harsh and tyrannical, to abandon your humanity and to become utterly selfish.

In my world, in the kingdom of heaven, to be great is to be a servant and to live for the sake of others, to become vulnerable in order to trust like a child.”

Jesus is at this very moment living life the way God intended humans to live from the very beginning, serving and not being served. And the disciples are faced with the choice of serving themselves or serving others.

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October 2, 2018 @ 8:59 pm

Season of Creation - “Keep It Holy” (Sun, Sept 30, 2018)


Sermon title: "Keep It Holy" 

Sermon text: Exodus 19:1-25 


Sermon excerpt: 

Left standing at the foot of the mountain, they are relieved yet still terrified. They dare not enter into God’s presence. Even though Moses has consecrated them, making them ritually clean, and they have washed their clothes, they know they are still separated from the holiness of God by their sinfulness. And they have never more aware of their sinfulness than on that day.

God has drawn a line, set limits around the mountain, and commands them to keep it holy. To cross into territory designated as off limits will result in death. Instead, they stand in awe of the holiness of the Lord manifested and displayed in the creation.

The root of the Hebrew word for holy means separation or withdrawal. God is intrinsically holy by nature and necessarily separated from creation and humanity.[i]

Yet God longs for fellowship with humanity; God longs to be in relationship again with those who have been made in his own image. But sin keeps humans separated from God.


[i] “Holiness, Holy,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, p. 598.

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September 26, 2018 @ 6:55 pm

Season of Creation - “What the Heavens are Saying” (Sun, Sept 23, 2018)


Sermon title: "What the Heavens are Saying" (Season of Creation sermon series) 

Sermon text: Psalm 19


Sermon excerpt: 

No less than Bach, Beethoven, Handel, and Haydn – all master musicians – have used the words of this psalm to delight and to preach to listeners throughout the ages using the images and reflections of God in Creation.

Yes, you heard that right: they used these words to PREACH to their listeners. For in fact, that’s what the Creation does: it preaches to us of God’s glory.

The Creation, the heavens above and the earth below, witnesses to God. God’s glory is preached through the sunrises and sunsets; in the ocean waves; and in the stars in the sky. 

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Allison Bauer Sermons
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