Spirit Alive: What We Need Is More Tuesday Sermons


October 9, 2018

With Heart, Soul, and Mind:

Are We Creating Lasting Images?

 "...A defining moment is a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful. '"

Chip Heath and Dan Heath, The Power of Moments

On Sunday I attended the "Naming Ceremony" at Wilshire United Methodist Native American Fellowship. It was a special time in which Wilshire officially became Great Spirit United Methodist Church. It was a powerful, moving experience. With over 100 people present on Sunday, this congregation, which just a short time ago averaged 12-15 people in worship, immediately embodied their new name, because the church was truly filled with God's spirit. The day was meaningful. The day was memorable. And we witnessed the birth of something new.

 Some years ago, I remember attending a conference on preaching in which one of the presenters said,

"When you preach, do so in such a way that it will be remembered on Tuesday morning." The presenter called this kind of preaching "Tuesday Morning Sermons." It is a concept worth considering. In short, what would it mean for us to do and say things on Sunday that would still be remembered positively several days later?

At a recent Annual Conference Sessions meeting, we took some time at the beginning to debrief June's annual conference gathering in Boise, Idaho, and we went around the table responding to the question:

"What lasting image do you have from our time in Boise?"

People shared a number of significant images...from the return of some of the land at Wallowa Lake Camp to the Nez Perce tribe...to the #MeToo wall....from Yuni Rueda's acceptance speech and charge to us to stand in support of immigrants, following her receipt of The Bishop's Award...to building relationships with each other through our Table Talk conversations concerning the Anatomy of Peace....from participating in the Pride Parade...to the positive vibe and challenge of Leroy Barber's sermon...and of course, there was Duane Medicine Crow's time of teaching us all about the true nature of repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation as he spoke to the Nez Perce tribal leaders on the floor of annual conference. The list was both public and personal...long and impressive...meaningful and memorable.

There were a lot of defining moments that people named. And...what was remembered didn't relate to the specific business that we did at annual conference. Instead, they had to do with how different things touched us in deep and powerful ways.

What we spoke about at the Sessions meeting had to do with the difference between chronos, the Ancient Greek word for chronological or sequential time, and kairos, meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. "Tuesday Sermons" touch something transcendent and transformational...and we realize that we are in God's presence in a profound way....and are transported from chronos to kairos...and soon it will be Tuesday and we will still be thinking about what took place a few days earlier.

So when all was said and done, it felt like there were many "Tuesday Sermon" moments that took place in Boise in June. Times when things that happened then still matter to us now!

It makes me think about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Now that was the ultimate "Tuesday sermon." Think about it for a moment, we still talk about what Jesus said that day nearly 2000 years later! There have been a lot of Tuesdays to ponder Jesus' words since they were first spoken!

So let me leave you with these questions to consider....

What would need to happen in church on Sunday for our faith experience and activity to result in "Tuesday Sermon" feelings?

What if the words that were said, the things that took place, and the actions that we were involved in whenever we gathered mattered in these kinds of powerful ways...and were remembered days later?

Wouldn't these expressions of faith be signs of vitality and health? And...wouldn't they touch those around us in powerful ways as well?

It's Tuesday. What do you remember from last Sunday?

Let us walk in the light of God's love,


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. It seeks to identify where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities. Check out past editions, or subscribe to the email list.




Lowell Greathouse
Lowell Greathouse is the Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church. He looks for places to find where the spirit is alive and help them grow in vitality and fruitfulness. Share with him at lowell@umoi.org