Sermons

Listen to the most recent sermons below, or click here to check out our archived sermons.

 

 

 

P Is for Participatory | Feb 10, 2019 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Though we as the church are often called the body of Christ on Earth, all too often we are substituting institution for discipleship. We’ve turned Christ’s organic body into the structure of organization. We yearn for a new sense of purpose that’s based on a relationship with Jesus rather than membership in an organization.

Scriptures:
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

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A Better Way | Feb 3, 2019 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Because the core of the universe is love, and God is love, then God wants us to be like God, to be more loving. God wants us to experience love, to grow in love, to receive love, and to share it.

Scriptures:
1 John 4:7-16
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

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Joy Is the Business of Heaven | Jan 27, 2019 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Many of us learned the song at camp, “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” Unfortunately, too many Christians have that joy so far down in their hearts that no one can see it. That surely was not God’s intention.

Scriptures:
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Luke 4:14-21

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The Strength of the Web | Jan 20, 2019 | Rev. Stephen Welch

As members of the church we can rightly claim membership in the first and most powerful website of all. While the technological world boasts of the connective powers and possibilities available on the internet, the capabilities are paltry, and its visions are puny when compared with this web, which is our church. It’s brought together by the master web weaver, the Holy Spirit.

Scriptures:
Psalm 36:5-10
I Corinthians 12:1-11

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Listen Quietly, Listen Closely | Jan 13, 2019 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Pastor Stephen gets emotional about the hymn “You Are Mine”: “If there is one song that summarizes my ministry—and in my opinion, summarizes the ministry of Jesus Christ—this is it. God is calling you and me to be God’s special child.”

Scriptures:
Isaiah 43:1-7
Acts 8:14-17

Listen to sermon
Listen to hymn “You Are Mine”

 

 
Some Luggage You Want to Lose | Dec 30, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Forgiveness is turning to our forgiving God in worship and praise and offering ourselves and all of our accumulated luggage to God. It’s God who forgives. We must depend on God to take our baggage and send it to the destination where we’ll never see it again.

Scriptures:
Colossians 3: 12-17
Luke 2:41-52

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The Most Perfect Gift | Dec 23, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

At this time of year we are searching for the perfect gift. The truth, though, is that the most perfect gift has already been given to us, the gift of the Christ child, the gift of salvation, of redemption. When we allow the perfect gift of the Christ child to live in our hearts, it changes everything.

Scripture:
Luke 1:39-55

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Christmas 
Pageant: “‘Twas the Night Before…” | Dec 16, 2018 | Children & Confirmands

Our children and confirmands delighted us with an alternate version of “‘Twas the Night Before…”

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Let’s Put This Love Into Action | Dec 9, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
It is our challenge today to put our prayers into action. God wants to use us to change the world.

Scriptures:
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

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What Does This Mean? | Dec 2, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
On this first Sunday of Advent, the theme is Hope. But where is hope in this apocalyptical time?

Scriptures:
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

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What Is the Truth? | Nov 25, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
Do we follow Jesus or do we play it safe? Are we willing to speak truth, even when it means speaking truth to power?

Scriptures:
Colossians 2:1-7
John 18:33-37

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Squirrels and N.U.T.S. | Nov 18, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
Squirrel Theology is in contrast to Dog Theology and Cat Theology. Squirrels use all of their attributes to get to the prize—nuts. They find joy in every moment, as if that is the only moment that matters.

Scriptures:
Psalm 16
Matthew 6:25-34

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Our Giving Demonstrates Our Values | Nov 11, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
Our giving to God does demonstrate our values. It’s an important spiritual truth that giving does not reflect our income or the state of the balance sheet from our financial advisor. It reflects, however, what is the most important to us in the living of our lives.

Scriptures:
Psalm 146
Mark 12:38-44

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We Remember | Nov 4, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
In worship on All Saints Sunday we consciously join together with the saints in heaven and acknowledge and celebrate with those who have gone before. This is a time to be a reminder to us that we are called to be the saints.

Scriptures:
Psalm 146
Mark 12:28-31

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Do Justice | Oct 28, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
It was another tough week in America. There were threats of bombs for many public servants. And then Saturday, in worship, our sisters and brothers were murdered, for no other reason than hatred, racism. That influence and impact needs to come to Ripon to be aware that this is significant to us as well.

Scripture: Micah 6:8

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Hearts AND Hands | Oct 21, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
Jesus wants us to be last.

Scriptures:
I Thessalonians 5:4-11
Mark 10:35-45

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It’s Who We Are | Oct 14, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch
Jesus lobbed a spiritual hand grenade at the rich young ruler, telling him to go and sell everything he owned and give it all away.

Scriptures:
Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 10:17-31

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World Communion Is All About Neighbors | Oct 7, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Today is World Communion Sunday. This is Christ’s table. No one is turned away for any reason. Ever.

 

 
What Makes You Cry, Church? | Sept 30, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Jesus did not try to curb his tongue when denouncing all those who take unfair advantage or practice outright abuse against the little ones, the poor, the weak, the young, the old, the sick, the outcast.

Scriptures:
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Mark 9:38-50

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!! | Sept 23, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

With chutzpah and humility Jesus is challenging you and me today.

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Come and Dare to Risk | Sept 16, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

The challenge being offered to us today is to live the faith, to dare to actually be a disciple of Jesus with integrity, with all that we do.

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Joy Is a Decision | Sept 9, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

When we live out our faith as if it is a funeral service, we have forgotten what the Gospel is really about. The joy of the Lord is the best part of our faith. The Bible is a book of joy.

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Alter? Altar? How About Table? | Sept 2, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

The communion table teaches us that we’re a community, and there’s a place at this table for every person.

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We Become Christians by Acting Like Christians | Aug 26, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Sometimes it is in making believe that we come to believe. Faith is something we have to act as if we have in order to have it.

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Creation Is Precious | Aug 19, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

At an outdoor service Pastor Stephen shared Chief Seattle’s Speech of 1854, a powerful statement on the environment, culture, and the future of humanity. It is our responsibility to take care of God’s creation.

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Why Are YOU Here? | Aug 12, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

When we are motivated by our fears and are afraid that we are the only ones left and that no one understands and everyone is out to get us, God’s message to us is that fear is a liar, and you are not alone.

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The Work of God | Aug 5, 2018 | Rev. Kevin Mundell 

God wants us to know that we are loved, and loved in a way where we don’t have to impress God with anything, but then can freely love ourselves and our neighbors. We do things for them for their sake, not for ours.

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You Raise Me Up | July 29, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

The world needs more encouragers, and that’s the role our faith community needs to play.

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Tearing Down the Walls | July 22, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Walls. Everywhere we have walls. We are the Church that is called to tear down those walls, to tear down the walls of hate and hostility and build bridges of love and reconciliation.

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Abundantly Free | July 15, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Every minute of our lives God declares we are worthy. That’s how God created us. Period.

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Get Out of Your Head | July 8, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

Faith in Christ is more than an intellectual assent or an agreement. It’s believing with the heart, with our will, with adoration, with our actions.

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The Heart Calibrates the Hands | July 1, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

If you’re not giving your whole self, then you’re missing the message of life that Jesus brings to each one of us.

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Open Up Your Lives | June 24, 2018 | Rev. Stephen Welch

In today’s scriptures from James and 2 Corinthians there is a profound implication that rests upon each one of us, to not just talk the talk of faith, but to live it.

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Gospel Music | June 10, 2018 | Wisconsin UCC Gospellers 

The Wisconsin UCC Gospellers brought the message in song: “Jehovah Jireh,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” and “He Never Failed Me.”

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Farewell | June 3, 2018 | Rev. Joanna D’Agostino 

After serving us for almost six years, Pastor Joanna bids us farewell as she goes to another call at Lakewood Congregational Church in Ohio.

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