Sermon Archive

Moses, Midwives, & the Master's House

Sermon prepared by the Rev. Douglas Clark for August 24, 2014 – Ordinary 21

As you can readily imagine, today's story of Moses in the bulrushes, or the baby in the "basket-boat" (The Message), has been a source of fascination and inspiration for people of faith through the centuries. [ more ]

Jacob and Esau Reconciled

August 3, 2014 - Rev. Doug Clark  -  I invite us as Christians to hope and pray that Israelis and Palestinians find a way to bring an end to the current violence. I invite us as Christians to hope and pray that these bitter adversaries find a way to start down this "long and arduous path" of "dialogue and negotiation." I invite us as Christians to hope and pray that the ancient sacred story of reconciliation between Jacob and Esau might someday be heard as the harbinger of a lasting peace in the strife-torn Middle East. [ more ]

Who Is My Neighbor?

September 22, 2013 - Rev. Doug Clark - One of the ways in which you recognize a good story is how it has an impact on you ... [ more ]

Change (Psalm 78:5-7)

August 25, 2013 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart  Change can be both scary and exciting. We, for instance are heading into the second half of the wedding season here in Milford ... [ more ]


August 18, 2013 - Rev. Doug Clark - The Letter to the Hebrews, according to Thomas G. Long, was written to first-century Christians who were suffering from a kind of religious fatigue, brought on in part by their experiences of abuse and persecution. Twenty-first-century Christians in our culture haven't experienced abuse and persecution for our religious involvement, but we nonetheless sometimes suffer from our own kind of religious fatigue. How can the metaphor of "runn[ing] with perseverance the race that is set before us" help to encourage us in our own days of faith fatigue?

The Last Laugh

August 11, 2013 - Rev. Doug Clark - According to the book of Genesis, when Abraham was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 90 years old, God promised them that in due season, they would have a child of their own, their first and only child, whom they would name "Isaac," which means "laughter." Both Abraham and Sarah laughed in disbelief when they heard this promise. But who got the last laugh in this story?

Abundance (Luke 12:13-21)

August 4, 2013 - Rev. Doug Clark - In Luke 12:13-21, Jesus tells a parable about a "rich fool" who had such an overabundant harvest that he decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones in which to store "all [his] grain and [his] goods." No sooner had he put all his stuff in storage when his life came to a sudden end. What's the moral of this story? Is it "Whoever has the most toys at the end wins"? Or is it "Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions"? [ more ]

Fifty Years Ago (Luke 11:42)

July 21, 2013 - Rev. Doug Clark - Some of you here this morning may remember the delightful comedy duo of George Burns and Gracie Allen, whose TV show entertained many Americans in the 1950's. “Gracie Allen died decades before her husband, and the story is told that after her death, when [George] went to sort through her papers and things, on top of everything in her desk he found an envelope addressed to him. When he opened it, the note inside said, "George, never place a period where God places a comma." ... [ more ]

Worth It (Colossians 1:1-14)

July 14, 2013 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart -  In the midst of suffering and discouragement, what makes life worth it?  Rev. Adam reflects on the first verses of Colossians to consider where our worth comes from and what that means for our collective ministry. [ more ]

Father Figures (Exodus 18:13-27)

June 16, 2013 - First Church Men's Ministry -  Members of our the Men's Ministry Group at First Church reflect on the Father Figures in their lives ... [ more ]

Flyover State (Acts 16:9-15)

May 5, 2013 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart -  Rev. Adam preaches a moving Confirmation Sunday sermon ... [ more ]

Being Faithful (VIDEO: Rev Jim's Farewell Sermon)

April 28, 2013 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco -  (1 Corinthians 4:1) -  I want to begin this morning be retelling the story that I told to you the first time that you offered me an opportunity to preach in this sanctuary. It comes from the the life of Clarence Jordan, who provided the inspiration for the establishment of Habitat for Humanity ... [ more ]

A Short History of Working Together (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)

April 21, 2013 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart -  Rev. Adam gets the farewells for Rev. Jim started with a reflection on the church's 374 years of history--the 360 before Jim and the 14 years that Jim has served as Senior Pastor.  Adam uses Paul's analogy of plants to describe Jim's leadershp and God's constant presence at First Church. [ Read ] [ Listen ]

Recognizing Jesus (VIDEO: Bryan Niebanck)

Easter Sunrise - March 31, 2013 - Bryan Niebanck - (Luke 24:13-35) - If Jesus were to appear to you as an ordinary man walking down the street, would you recognize Him?  If your mind was filled with all the distractions of your life, including  ... [ more ]


March 10, 2013 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart - The sermon focuses on the frustration of the "good" son in the wake of his brother's dissolute living and the forgiveness his father offers that brother; Adam declares that it's the father's unrelenting love for both his sons that makes him the prodigal father and a portrait of how God's love seeks to keep the circle of the human family unbroken. [ more ]

Who is Going to Know? (Luke 4:1-13)

March 3, 2013 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - In an article about temptation, David Brookes described what he called the 19th century hydrolic model of how to be a good person and how to resist temptation... [ more ]

My So-Called Christ

February 17, 2013 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart -  Rev. Adam uses the angst of modern teenage life (and baseball caps) to reflect on the human desire both to be seen and not seen and to interpret Luke's version of the Transfiguration story.  The semon lifts up how God transfigures us in the likeness of Christ and points us toward Christian ministry. [ more ]

The Book of Eli

January 27, 2013 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - In the movie, The Book of Eli, Denzel Washington portrays a traveler named Eli. Eli is on a journey west in post apocalyptic America, an imagined time after the great wars have leveled the cities. ... [ more ]

Going Public

January 20, 2013 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart - On this weekend when our nation's President will be reinaugurated we hear from John's Gospel about the inauguration, the bringing about of, the beginning of, Jesus' public ministry. You see, before today's story Jesus had already spent a couple of days organizing his Cabinet, collecting his inner circle ... [ more ]


December 2, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco -  A number of years ago, executives at a Texas airport faced a troubling customer relations issue. Passengers were lodging an inordinate number of complaints about the long waits at baggage claims. So in order to respond to these complaints executives increased the number of baggage handlers ... but, the complaints continued ... [ more ]

Time for God

June 17, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - Everyday we have to make decisions about how to use our time. Time for work, time for family, time to rest, time for every matter under heaven. Time to love God, love our neighbor, and love and take care of ourselves. In the scripture page that I read to you from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus decides that both he and his apostles ... [ more ]


Easter Sunday; April 8, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - For most of our adult lives, my wife Sherry and I have spent a portion of our summer on Martha's Vineyard. An island of unparalled beauty, it has held a special place in our hearts and the hearts of our children, and other family members as well. In the town of Vineyard Haven, there is a commontory of land ... [ more ]

God's Love Lifted Up

March 18, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - This morning, as we baptized the children, you all stood up, and faced the cross, you acknowledged your faith in the triune God. During our worship together we repeatedly sing the Gloria and the Doxology, praising God and acknowledging the glory of God ... [ more ]


March 11, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon. A camera in the lunar module povided live television coverage as Neil Armstrong climbed down that ladder to the surface of the moon. And, I can remember watching that on television and ... [ more ]

The Unspoken Vow

March 4, 2012 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart - Saying something out loud can change everything. A statement, an accusation, a question or a promise on our lips, that is left unsaid, charts a future down one path while speaking it from our lips leads us elsewhere. I think that a lot is left unspoken in our lives ... [ more ]

The Last Alleluia

February 26, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - My mother was raised on a farm up in Glastonbury, Connecticut. And, when I was growing up we would sometimes go out to visit on Sundays. My grandmother lived in a very old farmhouse, where she and my grandfather had raised six children ... [ more ]

Dazzling Possibilities

February 19, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - This morning we stand at a point of transition in the Church year. This morning is the last Sunday in the season we call Epiphany. Next Sunday will be the first Sunday in the season of Lent, and this Wednesday, which we call Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of that 40 day period of Lent leading up to Easter. It's 40 days, not including Sundays ... [ more ]

Naaman's Land

February 12, 2012 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart - Have I been crying? No. I haven't been crying. Ok, yes I have. But don't tell anyone about it. You of all people could probably better than anyone why I've been crying. I've just come back from my journey, and I wanted to thank you, Rebecca ... [ more ]

Remembering the Faith

February 5, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - My wife, Sherrie, and I have a granddaughter who lives in New Jersey, not a long distance, but a difficult ride through and around New York City, so we don't get to visit as often as we would like. However we have this wonderful computer program called skype that many of you know about. And, through a phone call on our computer we can talk and we can see each other. Well Olive just turned two, and one of the things that we do when we skype is we sing the ABC Song... more ]

Devil's Food Cake with Sinful Chocolate

January 29, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - If you buy orange juice at thestore, you may have your favorite variety, probably of the kind that advertises itself at 100% juice, and not made from concentrate. But, have your ever wondered why every glass of it tastes exactly the same, given the variables of sunlight and water and soil? That's because the flavor of store bought fresh squeezed orange juice is a prime example of better living through chemistry ... more ]

Invitation Only

January 22, 2012 - Rev. Dr. Adam E. Eckhart - Some people like to think that our church's outgoing Moderator, Mike Tylutki, is a hard-nosed, take no prisoners kind of guy. Maybe, it's because he works in the banking industry. Maybe, it’s because he has been formed by the experience of raising, with his wife Becky, three intelligent, ambitious and competitive sons, over the last 21 years. Or maybe it's because his six foot, six inch stature makes him appear a little intimidating, I however, know Mike Tylutki a little bit differently ... [ more ]

Choose Life

January 1, 2012 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - ... Years later when he had finally gotten his people to the gateway of the promised land, and it had been one rough journey, he addressed them in what would be his final instructions. He says "Choose life, so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him ... [ more ]

The True Voice

December 25, 2011 - Rev. Adam E. Eckhart - Earlier this year the British newspaper journalist Joe Tuckman wrote, "The language of Ayapaneco has been spoken in the land now known as Mexico for centuries. It has survived the Spanish conquest, seen off wars, revolutions, famines and floods. But now, like so many other indigenous languages, it's at risk of extinction.There are just two people left who can speak it fluently -- but they refuse to talk to each other..." [ more ]

The Jesus I Meet

December 18, 2011 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - Last Sunday we had our Christmas Pagent here at First Church, and our children told us the story of the Nativity. And, on Christmas Eve we will tell it again in our service of Lessons and Carols ... [ more ]

The Comfort Zone

December 4, 2011 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - Comfort, O comfort my people. We have comfort inns, and we have comfort  suites. We have comfort windows and comfort bedding. We have comfort stations, and indoor comfort, and outdoor comfort, and southern comfort ... [ more ]

Something Really Little

Novemer 27, 2011 - Rev. Adam Eckhart - Tom Junod wrote in an Esquire article about Mister Rogers: "A boy told his friends to watch out, that he was going to do something really big the next day at school. And the next day at school, the boy took a gun and shot eight classmates who has clustered for a prayer meeting. Three of them died.  When Mister Rogers heard about it, he said, 'Oh, wouldn't the world be a different place if he had said; "I'm going to do something really little today?"'"
In today's parable, Jesus suggests that the something really little about the mustard seed ... [ more ]

The Least of These

November 20, 2011 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - The comedian, Stephen Colbert, is a devout Roman Catholic. If you have watched his show or his comedy routines, you might have a hard time picking up on that, because he is ruthless in satirizing the Christian Church in general, and the Catholic Church, in particular. But, that is only possible because there is plenty of hypocrisy in the Church to work with ... [ more ]

This Side of the Door

November 6, 2011 - Rev. M. Ashley Grant - At Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Atlanta, the main doors feature a life-sized Christ, raised in elaborately carved mahogany. Jesus stands in sandaled feet and a draped garment. A halo encircles his head with the words, "Come unto me and I will give you rest." ... [ more ]


October 30, 2011 - Rev. Dr. James P. Tudesco - Our lives are filled with transitions, some of them good ones, some of them not so good. Some transitions we plan for, others sneek up on us. The birth of a child causes a transition in the life of a young mom and dad, nothing is quite the same after that ... [ more ]

Stewardship Update

October 23, 2011 - Good morning. On behalf of the Stewardship Committee, I'd like to thank all of you for listening in on our update for Stewardship 2012. I'd like to take a moment, however and thank our leader, Letty Corrado, who has done a fabulous job the last few years ... [ more ]

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