Editorial

Awkward sermon winners

For our second annual sermon contest we invited “Daringly Awkward” sermons. We asked you to stroll up to our pulpit and speak with conviction about the awkward moments, issues and circumstances that arise when one leaves the status quo in pursuit of a fairer more spiritually healthy society.

For our second annual sermon contest we invited “Daringly Awkward” sermons. We asked you to stroll up to our pulpit and speak with conviction about the awkward moments, issues and circumstances that arise when one leaves the status quo in pursuit of a fairer more spiritually healthy society.

Instead of naming a first, second and third place set of winners, the judges named three top sermons, each of which gets a $400 prize.

WINNERS

Beehive rug
by Leslie Barnwell
Hazelton, British Columbia
All the flowers on the beehive rug vibrate, shift. The red ones rise. They now sit three inches from the floor and the green and blue ones sink lower, lower… I hear a hum, faint, as if bees return from away. Or it might be a baby crying. [Full sermon featured in Geez 14, Summer 2009.]

Not one of those
by Brenda Melles
Kingston, Ontario
I’m debating whether to stop calling myself a Christian. I’m not sure what triggered the temptation to abandon the label entirely. Possibly it was my friend’s latest Sunday family meal, whose sincere conversation centred around the question, “Is Obama the Anti-Christ?” [Full sermon featured in Geez 14, Summer 2009.]

To pull the cord
by Jonathan Wright
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I’m on a bus. The electric poles sticking out of the top scrape along in their efficient way, but I don’t notice them – the earbuds in my ears drown out sound effectively. My eyes are open though: a man, older than his age prescribes, stumbles onto the bus, probably drunk or high… . [Full sermon featured in Geez 14, Summer 2009.]

HONOURABLE MENTION

Maximum security: A prophetic gringo goes deep into the Guatemalan penal system
by Chris Hoke
Skagit Valley, Washington
The warden at the high security Guatemalan prison for gang juveniles told me I’d have to wait before doing a Bible study this afternoon with the inmates. I would have liked to use the time in prayer and quiet. But I’ve got the Standard Gringo In Central America Diarrhea… . [Full sermon featured in Geez 14, Summer 2009.]

The bliss of ignorance
by Dan Schreiber
Champaign, Illinois
“This area is controlled by guerillas,” Pastor Israel announced, as if telling us our tea was made in India. “We have special permission to be here. Except the guy I got permission from got shot.” [Full sermon featured in Geez 14, Summer 2009.]

Tell me the old, old story
by Mandy Smith
Cincinnati, Ohio
There are certain things we just don’t say in church. Perhaps a few choice words come to mind. Well, today I’m going to be bold – I’m going to say some of them. Here I go (take deep breath): “God Bless You.” “Jesus Loves You.” Are you ready for the big one? [Full sermon featured in Geez 14, Summer 2009.]

Issue 14

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 14, Summer 2009, The Awkward Issue.

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Issue 14, Summer 2009

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