"I have had the opportunity to engage with many ministers in worship planning. From a professional perspective, I can say without reservation, that the worship services I planned with Rob, as guest speaker, were some of the most inspired I have collaborated on."
Rev. Deborah Morris-Bennett, Minister of Music, First Parish of Sudbury, MA
The word sermon derives from the Latin sermo, to converse. I view not just the sermon but the entire worship service as an opportunity to spark conversation and engage the spirit. I want people to leave a service with new daydreams. The selection here, pulled from a 15-year period as lay leader, seminarian and ordained minister, should give you a sense of my preach-ability.
In challenging times when a miracle or two would be welcome, let’s pause to remember that we are often surrounded by miracles, some of our own making.
My first sermon as a newly ordained minister, and the first one in a church post-pandemic. The entire service was prerecorded.
When planning this Pandemic Summer sermon, I asked the worship associate what the congregation most needed to hear. "They're worried, Rob," he said. "Frightened, even." This was my response, a call to creative resiliency.
Two Sundays after I preached this sermon, the same congregation devoted their Sunday worship to discussing it and the ways in which they themselves were showing creative resiliency.
As darkness was giving way to light in so many ways at Eastertime 2021, I brought the message that it's time to think anew about what it means to rise again.
This sermon was inspired by the convergence of Easter, Passover and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
There are several billion contenders for the title, but there is one “world’s greatest mom” we might all agree on: Gaia, Nature, Mother Earth. The World.
This Mother’s Day sermon celebrated not only the beauty but the wisdom of the earth, and how our mothers and mother figures come to symbolize the timeless urge to make things grow — including love.
A crumpled hat comes to symbolize the lessons a son continues to learn from his father, nine years after his father's passing. What we inherit from our fathers—or father figures—can serve as powerful lessons on how to walk through the world with love and grace.
I've delivered Father's Day sermons before multiple congregations and they have been among my most well-received.
Wisdom can be found in many sources, including in a style manual for news writers. In this sermon I described the wisdom of “lowercase life,” the practice of trying to love everyone unconditionally. It’s easier than you think, once you know the rules.
My first online sermon in The Age of COVID-19, before I acquired a better microphone. (That's Petey, our pit-bull rescue, contributing an audio cameo about three-quarters of the way through.)
More than one wise teacher has said that before there can be peace in the world, there must be peace in our hearts. Easier said than done! This sermon explored how to find that still, small voice within that beckons us to tread lightly upon our path and sow peace in the world.
A note to the listener: The audio cuts off the first line of this sermon, which is, "Today's sermon begins with a riddle." The unexpected response from a congregant (who is affectionately known as a cut-up) and my handling of it drew the waves of laughter that follow. A good example highlighting the importance of knowing your congregation.
A sermon early on, when I was packing two or three sermons into one. But it is one I myself have returned to now and then to learn from my younger self that one's life is always a work in progress.
This sermon's focus on memory as perhaps our one true possession is a recurring theme in my sermons and ministry.
What happens after we die? Is there really such a thing as resurrection? This sermon, prompted by the death of my young nephew, was difficult to write but meaningful to give as I attempted to answer these questions.
The bracketed portion on evil was on standby in response to recent acts of violence that were top of mind. I did not include it on this date.