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John E. Sumwalt

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John E. Sumwalt is the lead pastor of Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church in suburban Milwaukee and the author of nine books, to be released by CSS in 2007. John and his wife, Jo Perry-Sumwalt, served for three years as co-editors of StoryShare. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS), Sumwalt received the Herbert Manning Jr. award for parish ministry from UDTS in 1997.
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StoryShare

God Restores Our Joy -- Isaiah 65:17-25, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - C -- 2022
Contents “God Restores Our Joy” by John Sumwalt
Keeping Watch -- Matthew 24:36-44 -- John E. Sumwalt -- First Sunday of Advent - A -- 2022
Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. (v. 42)
Loving Our Transgender Children -- Isaiah 62:1-5 -- John E. Sumwalt -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - C -- 2022
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
I Could Have Been an Anti-vaxxer -- Luke 6:17-26 -- John E. Sumwalt -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - C -- 2022
Contents “I Could Have Been an Anti-vaxxer” by John Sumwalt
Liars Hall of Shame -- Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17--4:1 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Contents“Liars Hall of Shame” by John Sumwalt
Good Friday is Cancel Culture -- John 18:1--19:42, Isaiah 52:13--53:12 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Good Friday - C -- 2022
Contents“Good Friday is Cancel Culture” by John Sumwalt
The World to Come -- Acts 16:9-15, Revelation 21:10, 22--22:5, Psalm 67 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Contents “The World to Come” by John Sumwalt
Hope for Our Gay and Trans Children -- Amos 8:1-12, Colossians 1:15-28, Psalm 52, Psalm 15 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 - C -- 2022
Contents “Hope for Our Gay and Trans Children” by John Sumwalt
Valley of the Shadow -- Psalm 112, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - C -- 2022
Contents “Valley of the Shadow” by John Sumwalt
No Sweetness in Pain -- Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4, Psalm 32:1-7 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - C -- 2022
Contents “No Sweetness in Pain” by John Sumwalt
Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly -- 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Psalm 62:5-12 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - B -- 2021
Contents “Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly” by John Sumwalt
Breaking Jesus’ Heart -- Psalm 22:23-31, Mark 8:31-38 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Contents“Breaking Jesus’ Heart” by John Sumwalt
Not Forsaken -- John 18:1--19:42, Psalm 22 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Good Friday - B -- 2021
Contents“Not Forsaken” by John Sumwalt
Waking Up to Racism -- John 15:9-17, Psalm 98 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Contents“Waking Up to Racism” by John Sumwalt
The Billy Graham Test -- Romans 8:22-27, Acts 2:1-21 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Day of Pentecost - B -- 2021
Contents“The Billy Graham Test” by John Sumwalt
We Are Spiritual Bodies -- 2 Corinthians 12:2-10, Ezekiel 2:1-5 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 9 | Ordinary Time 14 - B -- 2021
Contents“We Are Spiritual Bodies” by John Sumwalt
Bread From Heaven -- John 6:51-58, Psalm 111 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - B -- 2021
Contents“Bread From Heaven” by John Sumwalt
Speaking Tender -- Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - B -- 2021
Contents“Speaking Tender” by John Sumwalt
Speaking Tender -- Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - B -- 2021
Contents“Speaking Tender” by John Sumwalt
Truth and Vaccines -- 2 Samuel 23:1-7, John 18:33-37 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Christ The King (Proper 29) - B -- 2021
Contents“Truth and Vaccines” by John Sumwalt
Christmas Come Home -- Isaiah 62:6-12, Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- The Nativity of our Lord - C -- 2021
Contents“Christmas Come Home” by John Sumwalt
Going For The Goal Line -- Mark 1:29-39, Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Psalm 147:1-11, 20c -- C. David Mckirachan, Alex A. Gondola, Jr., John E. Sumwalt, Constance Berg -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - B -- 2012
Contents "She Served Them" by C. David McKirachan

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Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly -- 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Psalm 62:5-12 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - B -- 2021
Contents “Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly” by John Sumwalt
Waking Up to Racism -- John 15:9-17, Psalm 98 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Contents“Waking Up to Racism” by John Sumwalt
Speaking Tender -- Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - B -- 2021
Contents“Speaking Tender” by John Sumwalt

Sermon

SermonStudio

Now I See -- John 9:1-41 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.
Healing Tears -- John 11:1-45 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
When we came up out of the tomb of Lazarus, the other half of our touring group, who were waiting th
While It Was Still Dark -- John 20:1-18 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
March 7, 1961, was by all appearances an ordinary day.
The Best Send Off Ever -- Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:1-11 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
In the summer of 2004, I had the joy of traveling with Rosmarie Trapp on a five-day, whirlwind story
Pentecost Diaries -- Acts 2:1-21 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
The last time I spoke to Ken was on the phone a few weeks before he died.
How To Stretch A Meal -- Matthew 14:13-21 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
My mother's people, the Longs of Longfield House, County Tipperary, came from Ireland to southwest W
Foreign Territory -- Matthew 15:(10-20) 21-28 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
I grew up "poor" -- or so I thought.
Dreaming Joseph -- Matthew 1:18-25 -- John E. Sumwalt -- 2007
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.
Storm Walker -- Matthew 14:22-33 -- John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - A -- 2007
The call came on a Sunday after church just as we were sitting down to lunch.

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Storm Walker -- Matthew 14:22-33 -- John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - A -- 2007
The call came on a Sunday after church just as we were sitting down to lunch.

Stories

StoryShare

Keep Your Hands Off the Steering Wheel -- 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14, Galatians 5:1, 13-25 -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 - C -- 2022
Contents “Keep Your Hands Off the Steering Wheel” by Frank Ramirez
Hope for Our Gay and Trans Children -- Amos 8:1-12, Colossians 1:15-28, Psalm 52, Psalm 15 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 - C -- 2022
Contents “Hope for Our Gay and Trans Children” by John Sumwalt
Connect the Dots -- Luke 12:32-40, Genesis 15:1-6 -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - C -- 2022
Contents “Connect the Dots” by Frank Ramirez
Valley of the Shadow -- Psalm 112, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - C -- 2022
Contents “Valley of the Shadow” by John Sumwalt
Feels A Little Light -- Amos 8:4-7, Luke 16:1-13 -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - C -- 2022
Contents “Feels A Little Light” by Frank Ramirez
Band of Brothers -- Luke 17:11-19, 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - C -- 2022
Contents “Band of Brothers” by Frank Ramirez
No Sweetness in Pain -- Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4, Psalm 32:1-7 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - C -- 2022
Contents “No Sweetness in Pain” by John Sumwalt
God Restores Our Joy -- Isaiah 65:17-25, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - C -- 2022
Contents “God Restores Our Joy” by John Sumwalt
Keeping Watch -- Matthew 24:36-44 -- John E. Sumwalt -- First Sunday of Advent - A -- 2022
Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. (v. 42)
The Biggest Sinner -- 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10, Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, Psalm 14 -- John E. Sumwalt, Sandra Herrmann, Fanny Lee Seville -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - C -- 2022
ContentsWhat's Up This Week "The Biggest Sinner" by John Sumwalt
When I Fall In Love -- Luke 8:26-39, 1 Kings 19:1-4 (5-7) 8-15a, Galatians 3:23-29 -- C. David Mckirachan, Sandra Herrmann, John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - C -- 2022
Contents"When I Fall in Love…" by C. David McKirachan
Oskar -- Luke 13:10-17, Jeremiah 1:4-10, Hebrews 12:18-29, Psalm 71:1-6 -- Keith Hewitt, John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - C -- 2022
Contents"Oskar" by Keith Hewitt "With Reverence and Awe" by John Sumwalt
Roots -- Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16 -- C. David Mckirachan, John E. Sumwalt, Sandra Herrmann -- First Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Note: This installment was originally published in 2007. Contents
The Arid Spaces In Your Life -- Psalm 147, Ephesians 1:3-14 -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Second Sunday after Christmas - C -- 2022
Contents “The Arid Spaces In Your Life” by Frank Ramirez
Loving Our Transgender Children -- Isaiah 62:1-5 -- John E. Sumwalt -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - C -- 2022
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
I Could Have Been an Anti-vaxxer -- Luke 6:17-26 -- John E. Sumwalt -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - C -- 2022
Contents “I Could Have Been an Anti-vaxxer” by John Sumwalt
A More Honest Light -- 2 Corinthians 3:12--4:2, Exodus 34:29-35 -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Transfiguration Sunday - C -- 2022
Contents “A More Honest Light” by Frank Ramirez
Liars Hall of Shame -- Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17--4:1 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Contents“Liars Hall of Shame” by John Sumwalt
Most Qualified -- Philippians 3:4b-14, Psalm 126 -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Contents “Most Qualified” by Frank Ramirez
Good Friday is Cancel Culture -- John 18:1--19:42, Isaiah 52:13--53:12 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Good Friday - C -- 2022
Contents“Good Friday is Cancel Culture” by John Sumwalt
One Hit Wonder -- John 21:1-19, Acts 9:1-6 (7-20) -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Third Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Contents “One Hit Wonder” by Frank Ramirez
The World to Come -- Acts 16:9-15, Revelation 21:10, 22--22:5, Psalm 67 -- John E. Sumwalt, Frank Ramirez -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Contents “The World to Come” by John Sumwalt
A Stubborn Advocate -- Romans 8:14-17, John 14:8-17 (25-27), Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Day of Pentecost - C -- 2022
Contents "A Stubborn Advocate" by Frank Ramirez

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A Stubborn Advocate -- Romans 8:14-17, John 14:8-17 (25-27), Psalm 104:24-34, 35b -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Day of Pentecost - C -- 2022
Contents "A Stubborn Advocate" by Frank Ramirez
Connect the Dots -- Luke 12:32-40, Genesis 15:1-6 -- Frank Ramirez, John E. Sumwalt -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - C -- 2022
Contents “Connect the Dots” by Frank Ramirez
UPCOMING WEEKS
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Advent 3
29 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
35 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 4
32 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
34 – Children's Sermons / Resources
30 – Worship Resources
32 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Christmas Eve/Day
27 – Sermons
130+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
40 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For December 11, 2022:

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: A video camera. One on your phone is just fine.

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready for our story? (Let them respond.) Awesome! Let’s go!

We have talked about a guy before whose name was John the Baptist. Who remembers and can tell me who John the Baptist was? (Let them respond.) He was the man God chose to tell everyone about Jesus coming to help them, wasn’t he? (Let them respond.) Well, one day, John the Baptist had a big problem.

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
“Hey Bill.” Jim made his way through the departing crowd and stuck out his hand. “Great meeting.”

“Yeah, it was a great meeting.” Bill smiled and shook the other man’s hand. “Thanks for being a part of it. I remember when I mentioned the 12-step program, you were doubtful.”

“You made a believer out of me.” Jim smiled back. “ I didn’t want to admit how much of a problem I had but you refused to accept my excuses and refused to give up on me. You changed my life.”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
Much of the music that accompanies this season of the year emphasizes sights. Classic Christmas season songs like “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” and “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” celebrate so many of the sights that traditionally accompany this time of year. And it is, to be sure, a feast for the eyes, with the snow, the lights, and so many decorations in houses, yards, streets, and stores. It is small wonder, therefore, that children are filled with excitement by this season.
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
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Bonnie Bates
Isaiah 35:1-10

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
Jesus told the people to report what they saw; that the blind were receiving their sight, the lame were walking, the deaf were hearing and poor were hearing good news. In our worship today, let us explore whether that is still true in our society today.
Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, sometimes I don't expect much from Christianity.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm more comfortable when I don't expect very much.
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm afraid of being disappointed.

SermonStudio

Charles L. Aaron, Jr.
How different things must have looked for John behind prison walls. If ever the word "free spirit" applied to anyone, it applied to John. He said what he wanted to say, without holding back. If the scholars are correct that he was an Essene, then he had gone into the wilderness specifically to get away from everyone. The Essenes wanted to worship their way, with no interference from anyone. Now, those prison walls confined John.

John N. Brittain
"Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" It's not just children of a certain age who ask that question, although they certainly do. I've been on a number of trips in the past few years with delayed flights, missed connections, and lost luggage, where I've been the one asking the question.
Tony S. Everett
Our text centers on God's promised action in the wilderness. Have you ever seen photographs of the wilderness areas in the land of the Bible; for example today's Israel, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran? The wilderness is a rocky, dry, and barren space. In the same day, temperatures may vary from a blazing 100 degrees Fahrenheit to nearly freezing. Food and water are scarce. Wild beasts and even bandits prowl around seeking to devour unsuspecting travelers. The wilderness can be a very scary and lonely space.
Beverly S. Bailey
Hymns
Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming (UM216, PH48, NCH211, NCH127)
Cold December Flies Away (UM233)
I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath (UM60, PH253, NCH166)
Psalter 146 (UM858, PH254)
My Soul Gives Glory To My God (UM198, PH600, CBH119)
Prepare The Way, O Zion (PH13)
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (UM196, PH1, NCH178, CBH122)
O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing (CBH110, PH466, NCH110, CBH42)
Santo, Santo, Santo (CBH400, NCH400, UM65)

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