HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series from July 30, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series from July 30, 2023

Whether you call them homilies, sermons, or talks, there’s a lot you can learn from the spiritual leaders in our community. While in a perfect world, you’d have time to listen to everyone, that simply isn’t possible for most with limited time to spare. To help, we’ve surfaced and summarized the teachings from the audio sermons of some of the most influential priests and pastors from around town and in the Christian sphere.

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Fr. Mike Schmitz


In this week’s homily, Fr. Mike discusses the theme of games and their connection to life as a Christian. He starts by acknowledging the irony of not liking games but talking about them for the past few weeks. He shares some of his favorite word games like Code Names and Scrabble and talks about how certain games, like Pick or Spot It, can be frustrating due to the constantly changing environment.

Fr. Mike then introduces the concept of the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act), used by fighter pilots and decision-makers. He emphasizes the importance of orientation, which involves setting aside mental models and accepting the current situation to make the right decisions.

The homily then connects this idea to the life of faith, where the board constantly changes and the environment is ever-shifting. Fr. Mike emphasizes the need to be prepared for the changing circumstances and opposition that come with pursuing a life of grace and following Jesus. He shares his own experience of praying for guidance in life and realizing that God usually reveals the next step rather than the entire plan.

Fr. Mike explores the gift of understanding and its significance in recognizing the value of the Kingdom of Heaven and the life of grace. He mentions the parable of the man who finds a treasure in a field and joyfully sells everything to buy the field. This parable illustrates the need to fully commit to Christ and not just partially dabble in faith. He encourages the listeners to trust God in the ever-changing journey of life and see the changing environment as an opportunity rather than a burden to say yes to Jesus every day. The homily ends with the Latin phrase “Sevos Pachim Parabellum,” meaning “If you want peace, prepare for war,” reminding Christians to be prepared for the challenges of following Christ.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church


Joel Thomas emphasizes the importance of embracing diverse perspectives and maintaining meaningful relationships even with those who hold different beliefs. He raises the concern that people today are too quick to distance themselves from others who disagree with them, leading to a lack of growth and empathy in society. He challenges the audience to consider how many of their relationships would be unaffected if they found out their friends voted for a different political candidate. He argues that avoiding challenging contradictions and surrounding ourselves only with like-minded people makes us simpler-minded and stunts our personal growth.

Thomas draws from neurological research to explain how interactions with differing views stimulate new neural pathways and cognitive function, promoting personal growth. He quotes Proverbs, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,” to illustrate how differing opinions, when met with respectful engagement, can make individuals sharper and stronger. Thomas suggests that the fear of being threatened or rejected by those who disagree with us is at the root of cancel culture and encourages listeners to cultivate relationships based on understanding, empathy, and a willingness to forgive.

He advocates for being clear about foundational beliefs and values, remaining curious about others’ perspectives, and being cautious about allowing negative emotions to cloud our judgment and ruin relationships. Thomas shares a personal story of conducting self-imposed 360-degree feedback to learn from his team and improve his leadership by actively listening to differing viewpoints.

The sermon concludes with an exhortation to build meaningful, interdependent relationships with people who challenge us, reminding the audience that true growth and resilience come from confronting contradictions and not insulating ourselves from a diversity of thought. It encourages individuals to embrace Christ’s example of sacrificial love, pursuing genuine understanding, and empathy with others, regardless of differing beliefs or opinions.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church

Above + Beyond

In this sermon by Ben Stuart, he shares an illustration of his experiences in planting Passion City DC about 60 years ago. He and his wife, along with other families and individuals, moved to DC to launch a church, praying for God’s power and transformation in the city. They formed community groups, combining information, connection, and prayer for the wind of the Spirit to blow and bring about change. Their efforts bore fruit, and they witnessed people coming to faith in Jesus and growing in their relationship with Him. Over time, the church grew, facing challenges like limited space, but they continued to pray for God to make a way and expand their capacity to reach more people.

Through their above-and-beyond campaign, they believed in God’s increase and exponential expansion in their church and the city. They celebrated the opportunity to move to the Lincoln Theater, almost tripling their seating capacity while staying connected to the Shaw neighborhood. They also secured a nearby building for expansion, creating more space for Passion kids, bloom, and offices. Despite the financial challenges of renovating the new spaces, they were confident that God would provide for their needs. Additionally, they planned to support other ministries in their city and globally as part of their above-and-beyond giving. Ben emphasized the importance of gratitude for God’s work in their midst and encouraged the congregation to continue living and spreading the message and character of Jesus for His glory and the salvation of more souls.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

The sermon by Kris McDaniel focuses on Romans 8:26-39. The passage highlights the power and love of God in the lives of believers, especially during times of weakness and suffering. McDaniel emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit in helping believers pray and interceding for them when they are at a loss for words. He highlights that God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. McDaniel acknowledges that life is filled with hardships and challenges, including persecution and distress, which may make it difficult to hold onto faith.

Paul, the author of Romans, wrote this passage from a place of deep suffering and impending death. Despite facing trials and potential threats, Paul is convinced of the unfailing love of God. McDaniel stresses that Paul’s words are not just triumphalistic claims but reflections of a man who has genuinely wrestled with his faith amid suffering. He emphasizes that God is near to us even in our weaknesses and pain. McDaniel urges the listeners to believe that God can work through difficult circumstances and that faith in Him can sustain believers through trials.

The preacher draws attention to Paul’s question, “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” and his subsequent listing of potential challenges like hardship, distress, persecution, and even death. McDaniel points out that Paul’s conviction goes beyond these challenges and includes a broad range of obstacles such as angels, rulers, things present, things to come, powers, and all of creation. Paul firmly believes that nothing can separate believers from God’s love.

In conclusion, McDaniel encourages the congregation to reflect on their own struggles and what might be threatening their faith. He urges them to be honest about their challenges and to believe in the durability of faith, just as Paul did. The sermon emphasizes that through the power of the Holy Spirit and the unwavering love of God, believers can find strength and hope even in the midst of life’s most difficult

Listen to the full version here.

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