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John E. Sumwalt

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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A New Creation -- 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 -- John E. Sumwalt, Debi Lyerly Lawson -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - C -- 2003
I cannot remember a time when God wasn't the source of all that I am.
Saved -- Colossians 3:12-17 -- John E. Sumwalt, Cheryl Kirking -- First Sunday after Christmas Day - C -- 2003
"I may have a story for your book, Cheryl." I had just finished presenting at a women's event, and h
Recovered Memory -- Isaiah 43:16-21 -- John E. Sumwalt, Bruce Stunkard -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - C -- 2003
I was a male glossophobiac. An avoider of spotlights. Stage frightened.
A Christmas Story From Cambodia -- Titus 2:11-14 -- John E. Sumwalt, Patricia Lyon -- The Nativity of our Lord - C -- 2003
I wondered if the village folk ever had potlucks like the Methodists back home.
Maundy Thursday Visions -- John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- John E. Sumwalt, Lisa Lancaster -- Maundy Thursday - C -- 2003
In 1985, I was struggling deeply with a very painful friendship.
An Unlikely Angel -- Luke 2:1-20 -- John E. Sumwalt, David Michael Smith -- 2003
He staggered in fifteen minutes after the traditional holiday hymn sing had begun, plopping with a t
A Single Drop Of Blood -- Luke 22:14--23:56 -- John E. Sumwalt, Wayne Frank -- Passion Sunday - C -- 2003
I was first elected as an Alderman on Milwaukee's south side after a special election in 1973.
A Day Of Pentecost -- Acts 2:1-21 -- John E. Sumwalt, Ellen Sherry -- Day of Pentecost - C -- 2003
I was raised in the Congregational Church.
Steadfast Love -- Psalm 85 -- John E. Sumwalt, Christal Bindrich -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - C -- 2003
My brother died on March 15, 2001, at the age of 56.
Fearless Freddie -- Psalm 25:1-10 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- First Sunday in Lent - B -- 1996
Once upon a time there was a boy known as Fearless Freddie.
Laying Down The Law -- Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Hebrews 9:11-14 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - B -- 1996
Awards Sunday was the biggest annual event at Calvary Church.
Afflicted -- Psalm 22:23-31 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 1996
There was once a little boy whose most prized possession was a light blue cat's-eye crystal marble.
Heads Will Roll -- Mark 6:14-29, Amos 7:7-15 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - B -- 1996
Both management and union leaders were angry with Amos Dresser.
You Shall Not Murder -- Exodus 20:1-17 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 1996
There was once a man who was an active proponent of capital punishment.
The Fear Of The Lord -- Psalm 34:9-14, Ephesians 5:15-20 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - B -- 1996
There was no warning.
Dog Days Of The Soul -- John 3:14-21 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - B -- 1996

Will Work For Food -- Mark 10:46-52 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 - B -- 1996
A well-known politician came into a large American city one day to speak at a political rally.
The Conversion -- Jeremiah 31:31-34 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - B -- 1996
She hadn't intended to speak.
The Trial Of Gilbert Gunderson -- John 18:33-37 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Christ The King (Proper 29) - B -- 1996
Gilbert Gunderson has been the editor of the Willow Bluff weekly newspaper for as long as I, and eve
The Anointing -- John 12:12-16 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Passion Sunday - B -- 1996
Marilyn came slowly down the long stairs of her sister Margaret's big brick house in the suburbs of
Giving All -- Mark 12:38-44 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - B -- 1996
Gerald Fitzgerald was the biggest giver at First Redeemer Church.
Prejudice, Once Removed: The Larry Wasson Story -- Acts 2:1-21 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Day of Pentecost - B -- 1996
The gray-haired man cleared his throat and stood before the circle of his peers, gathered to share t
Painful Waiting -- Isaiah 64:1-9 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- First Sunday of Advent - B -- 1996
The pain was unbearable!
The Lord Always Before Me: Lavinda's Christmas Letter -- Psalm 16 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - B -- 1996
Christmas, 1979

Dear Ones:

No Longer Strangers -- Ephesians 2:11-22 -- John E. Sumwalt, Jo Perry-sumwalt -- Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 - B -- 1996
Milenko and Eldina Sunjic came to the United States as refugees from Bosnia in July of 1994.

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For February 24, 2019:


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Wilton Lewis stood with his hands on his hips, studying the sanctuary wall, not trusting himself to speak. He wanted to spit, was thwarted by the fact that he was inside, and instead swallowed hard and said, “This is vile. Disgusting and vile.” He turned to his right and added, “I apologize, Reverend Cashmore. This does not represent the good people of Port William. You know that, I hope.”

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Since Albert Einstein is considered the genius above all geniuses, he is often credited quotes he never said. (If Einstein said it, it must be true.) That includes the saying that insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result. Actually, it wasn't until the 1980's that he was first connected to that saying, but it doesn't matter who actually said it, because these three scriptures seem to validate the saying.

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Genesis 45: 3-11, 15


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“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you....” (v. 27)

Good morning boys and girls,

First thing I want to say is, I love you little ones. Know why? I just love to give love and to receive love. How many of you know how to hug? (children respond)

Love and hugs are about the same aren't they? (children respond)

Well this morning I'm going to talk about love.

The greatest sermon Jesus ever preached shocked the people. He told them who to love.


David Kalas
Seven years ago, our family moved from southern Virginia to northeast Wisconsin. As you might expect, spring comes later here. Fall comes earlier. And winter is a much different experience in northeast Wisconsin than it was in southern Virginia. The same temperatures that seemed bone-chilling in Virginia are good reason to leave the mufflers and mittens at home in Wisconsin. Of course, many of the retired folks in my congregation here take their cue from the geese and fly south for the winter each year.

Special Occasion