The Homiletics Online Blog

A Pastor’s Note of Support from Homiletics Online

By Timothy Merrill | March 19, 2020
Bridge the Gap Image

Dear colleagues in ministry, Just a note to express our support and understanding of the particular challenges we face as pastors during this time of national – global – upheaval. Many of our churches – if not most – are now shuttered because of the possibility of contagion, practicing “social distancing” to minimize the possibility…

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THE P-WORD

By Bob Kaylor | March 12, 2020
The P-WORD

I was recently cruising the buffet at a neighborhood gathering with a lot of “unchurched” (or de-churched, or non-churched, or whatever we’re calling “them” these days) and got into one of those typical conversations that we clergy types tend to stumble into. After some winsome discussion of our golf games and how the baseball season…

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The Great Unfinished

By Bob Kaylor | February 12, 2020
The Great Unfinished

Meals at the Kaylor household are often an eclectic mix of cuisines, with my wife Jennifer being a vegan and our daughter Hannah and I being regular omnivores (me slightly trending toward carnivore). It’s actually been good for all of us to eat a more plant-based diet, and it’s led me to try some things…

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Fitness Center Faith

By Bob Kaylor | January 16, 2020
Fitness Center Faith

One of my healthier rituals is to spend several hours a week at our local fitness center working off the stress of the day and the pounds gained from sipping vanilla lattes — one of my other less healthy rituals. The way I figure it, the two rituals ultimately cancel each other out, so it…

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The Transliterate God

By Timothy Merrill | December 16, 2019
The Transliterate God

I was in a taxi yesterday stuck in slowly moving traffic and happened to glance at the car in the adjacent lane. The driver was thumb-twitching like crazy on his iPhone while his vehicle continued to move forward. I know we have laws against intoxicated drivers, but we should — if we don’t already —…

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Children in Church: Should We Ban Them or Bless Them?

By Timothy Merrill | November 20, 2019
Children in Church: Should We Ban Them or Bless Them?

Last Sunday, I was standing behind the communion altar saying the liturgy, most of which was cobbled together from the United Methodist hymnal and Anglican sources. As I was saying, “Now gathered at this table, O Lord of all Creation and remembering Christ crucified and risen, who was, and is and is to come,” a…

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Numbering Our Days

By Bob Kaylor | November 20, 2019
Numbering Our Days

“So, teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart” (Psalm 90:12, NRSV). The turn of the calendar to a new year brings to mind the perception that time seems to be moving ever faster these days. Perhaps that’s the product of middle age — being on the downhill portion of…

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JON, JOB and INRI

By Timothy Merrill | September 18, 2019

You can credit (or blame) AOC for this column. I mean, she’s the inspiration for the meandering thoughts which follow. You see the initials of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez everywhere. AOC is the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Shortening her name to AOC is a media thing. Much easier to use initials than her…

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Have Yourself a Medieval Advent!

By Bob Kaylor | September 18, 2019

Planning for Advent is one of the most difficult tasks for the preacher, particularly for those of us who have preached a lot of Advents over the years. It’s that time of year when your local big box store has been stocking Christmas items since late September, when Christmas carols play 24-7 on certain radio…

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Put Some Dinner in Your Church

By Timothy Merrill | July 16, 2019
Put Some Dinner in Your Church

By Henry G. Brinton   When I served a multicultural Presbyterian church in Alexandria, Virginia, older white parishioners didn’t always see eye-to-eye with younger African immigrants in the congregation. Disagreements arose over a variety of issues, including worship and church government. But when we sat down for international potluck dinners from time to time, the…

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