Summer 2021 Edition of First Press Express is Here!

cover of First Press Express Summer 2021

The very first edition of First Press Express is here! Get caught up with the latest news from this summer. Read the opening sermon notes from Pastor Johanna below or click here to download a PDF of the full edition.

Sermon Notes from Pastor Johanna

Our culture is facing a kind of burn out after fifteen months of coping with the pandemic and its effects. Many people are feeling as if they have more work than they can handle; they lack control; they aren’t appreciated; and they are having to go it alone.

At the same time, it has struck me that over the last few months the liturgical year has been trying to lead us out of this state of burnout. On Ash Wednesday, we confirmed that we are mortal and affirmed that the time to take action is now. Through Lent, we were reminded that it takes practice to move forward and continue to strive. On Easter, we heard the good news that life can be good, bright, and sweet. Then on Pentecost, we acknowledged that it’s a good thing to be at church because the church has the power to summon and infuse the Spirit’s energy, its intoxicating drive, heat, and fire, into us.

There are people who face objections and obstacles to their faith as “the world” often views us as crazy when we stand up for our beliefs. But that’s okay because, like those disciples on Pentecost who were mocked for speaking other languages – and accused of being drunk on new wine! – we Christians are all learning another language, namely, the language of love. We are all here to support one another, and to be there for those of us who are feeling lost and burned out.

Rev. Dr. Johanna McCune Wagner