My Final Summer Sermon Series
As I have neared my retirement as the senior pastor here at Edgebrook, I’ve been pondering what my last sermons would be. I’ve thought quite a bit about the sermons I will preach in September, my last month as your pastor. As I write this on the last day of May 2022, I still haven’t quite discerned what those last sermons will be. (I’ve been mulling on a theme for this concluding September sermon series, but haven’t quite settled on it yet).
But I’ve also been thinking about my last summer sermon series here at Edgebrook. For almost all of my nearly 28 years as your pastor, I have followed the Revised Common Lectionary in my preaching, especially during the months of September through May. For the last four years, I have preached through the entire Narrative Lectionary, which is a four-year program of preaching the great story texts of Scripture, starting in September and finishing with Pentecost each year.
But when summer comes, I’ve usually departed from the lectionary to preach primarily out of a book of the Bible. Those summer series have run the gamut from series on the Psalms to the book of Revelation. This being my last summer, I have wondered what would be a good concluding summer sermon series.
When faced with these types of questions, I did what I typically do: I prayed about it; I also asked trusted colleagues who have departed a local congregational setting (either through retirement or taking another call) what they have done for preaching their last group of sermons in a local church.
One friend told me he preached a series from biblical books & texts that he had overlooked during his years of ministry. Another friend suggested I go back through my sermons and find those sermons that have particular resonance for me and preach those again (sort of a “Greatest Hits” sermon series). Both these suggestions appealed to me, but didn’t seem quite right.
Then one morning it hit me: preach the texts that have personally helped me, sustained me and transformed me through my years as a pastor. Just preach my favorite texts, and as part of that, share why they have meant so much to me.
About 15 years ago, when I was on a retreat as part of a sabbatical you all gave me, one of the speakers suggested we keep a list of all the texts that have consistently been helpful to us, particularly as pastors. A simple practice, really, but one I had never done before. From that day forward, I started listing those Bible passages that have done that for me through the years. I have written these texts in the back of the Bible I was given when I was ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church.
So, for the summer, I chose several of those passages to share with you in this concluding summer sermon series. My prayer is that these texts, and my sermons based upon them, will, in some measure, be of real help and blessing to you, as they have been to me through the years!
With joyful anticipation,
Summer 2022 Sermon Series: Texts that Have Sustained Me
June 5: Philippians 4:4-7 & Matthew 6:25-34
June 12: Luke 11:9-13
June 19: Guest preacher C.W. Allen from Sunshine Gospel Ministries
June 26: Isaiah 43:1-7
July 3: Pastor Megan Herrold Sinchi will preach
July 10: Church Council Chair Ken Oliver will preach
July 17: Psalm 40
July 24: Matthew 18:15-18
July 31: 2 Corinthians 11:21b-31
Aug. 7: Jeremiah 6:16 & Proverbs 3:5-6