Love Lives Here

St. Pauls UCC Chicago

Love Lives here is the sermon podcast for St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive church located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, IL, at 2335 N. Orchard Street. For more information about St, Pauls, please visit our website at www.spucc.org. At St. Paul’s, everyone is always welcome, no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey.

All Episodes

This sermon, drawing from Mark 8:34-36, was preached by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald on September 5, 2021 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, an open and affirming church in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship, Sundays at 10am, at 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, and online at spucc.org/streaming.

Nov 18

21 min 6 sec

In this sermon, Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson draws on Ephesians 4-5. Preached at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, an open and affirming church in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship, Sundays at 10am, at 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, and online at spucc.org/streaming.

Nov 18

17 min 34 sec

This sermon draws from observations on John 6:14-15, 24-27. It was preached on August 1, 2021 by Rev. Sarah Garcia at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, an open and affirming church in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship, Sundays at 10am, at 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, and online at spucc.org/streaming.

Nov 18

15 min 31 sec

How are we to understand Jesus' feeding of the 5000 today? Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson provides a fresh look at the familiar story in this sermon, preached on July 25, 2021 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, an open and affirming church were all are always welcome. Please join us for worship on Sundays at 10AM Central Time, in-person at 2335 N. Orchard Street in Chicago, or online at spucc.org/streaming.

Sep 10

15 min 24 sec

A sermon drawing from Mark 6:7-32. Preached by Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson at St. Pauls UCC, Chicago, on July 18, 2021. St. Pauls is an open and affirming church where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM, online at spucc.org/streaming or in person at 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Sep 10

16 min 48 sec

A sermon based on Psalm 24, preached by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald, Senior Pastor of St. Paul’s UCC, a church in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM Central Time, 2355 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, or online at spucc.org/streaming.

Sep 9

21 min 32 sec

A sermon for Pride Sunday, preached by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald on June 27, 2021 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, an open and affirming church in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sunday’s at 10AM Central Time at 2355 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, or online at spucc.org/streaming.

Sep 9

22 min 15 sec

In  Mark 4:35-41, Jesus calms the waves and makes the terrified disciples marvel that "even the wind and the waves obey him!" In this sermon, we look not at how Jesus calms us but how he stirs us, how he empowers us to live creatively in the tension between the "actual" world, and the possible. Preached by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald on Sunday, June 20, 2021 at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Join us for church on Sundays at 10:00am, in person at 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, or online: http://spucc.org/streaming

Aug 30

24 min 47 sec

A sermon for the first Sunday morning, in-person worship since the COVID pandemic began. Preached June 13, 2021 by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald, Senior Pastor of St. Pauls UCC in Chicago. St. Pauls is an open and affirming Christian community in Chicago where all are always welcome.  Please join us for worship, Sundays at 10am, CDT, in-person at 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, or online at https://spucc.org/streaming.

Aug 30

17 min 21 sec

Benny VanDerburgh preaches the final sermon of his pastoral internship. Based on selections from 1 Samuel, and preached during virtual worship on June 6, 2021. St. Pauls UCC is a progressive Christian community in Chicago where all are always welcome.  Please join us for worship, Sundays at 10am, CDT, in-person at 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, or online at https://spucc.org/streaming.

Aug 25

19 min 17 sec

On this sermon for Trinity Sunday, Jeff Carlson brings us a new look at how the Spirit of God invites us to belong to "a community of love that can hold the pain of all creation," and how the "interdependence that is creation is an expression of Trinitarian life." Oh... and you'll meet a most amazing octopus. Preached on Sunday, May 30 during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship, Sundays at 10am: https://spucc.org/streaming.

May 30

13 min 46 sec

A sermon for confirmation, preached on a Pentecost Sunday, with a necessary reminder to all who have been confirmed that we ought to cherish that teenage fire, in our kids and in ourselves. Preached by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald during virtual worship on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10am. https://spucc.org/streaming

May 30

16 min 38 sec

In this sermon on The Ascension, delivered as the COVID pandemic is well into its second year, with hope finally in sight, Rev. Sarah Garcia asks if it isn't time for us all to quit standing and staring and start to "fly" again, as Christians, as a church. Preached during virtual worship on May 16, 2021 at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship on Sundays, 10am Central Time: https://spucc.org/streaming.

May 30

16 min 1 sec

In this sermon, Benny VanDerburgh, the Pastoral Intern at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago, reflects on Psalm 98:4-9 and Acts 10:44-48. Preached during virtual worship on May 9, 2019. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM: https://spucc.org/streaming

May 30

17 min 33 sec

Jesus famously said,  "I am the vine, and you are the branches."  But what does he mean by that – and how can that enliven us not just as individuals, but as the church, inextricably intertwined with the one who loves and defines us?  In this reflection on John 15, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald offers a powerful look at a real life story from life inside the vine at St. Pauls. Preached during virtual worship on May 2, 2021. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM central: https://spucc.org/streaming

May 30

20 min

What does it mean today that Jesus is our Good Shepherd? And how are we to regard ourselves as his sheep in an era that coined "sheeple" as an insult, a denigration?  In this sermon, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald reflects on Jesus's self-description as the Good Shepherd, from John 10: 11-17. Preached during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive, open and affirming church in Chicago. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM: https://spucc.org/streaming

May 30

19 min 57 sec

In this sermon for the second Sunday after Easter, Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson explores Luke 24:36-48, and how Jesus appeared to the disciples and demonstrated the materiality of Gods love for us ("I am not a ghost!"). Jeff challenges us, after another week of tragic killings, to explore our own connection to the life and the creation that God loves and wants for us, and how we might find a new direction in the call of the risen Christ to repent. Preached on Sunday, April 18, 2021 during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM Central Time: https://spucc.org/streaming

May 30

19 min 37 sec

How do we reckon with Jesus's scars, and our own, in the light of the resurrection? In this sermon, preached the Sunday after Easter, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald reflects on John 20:19-31. From virtual worship on April 11, 2021 at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive, open and affirming church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM Central: https://spucc.org/streaming

May 30

14 min 35 sec

In this Easter sermon, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald asks, "Who are you after Easter?" Preached on Sunday, April 4, 2021 during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, Chicago.

Apr 5

21 min 12 sec

Do we as Christians really recognize what makes for peace? In this Palm Sunday sermon, Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson reflects on Jesus' lament (from Luke 19:29-40) that we don't – and also he explores the demanding ways that Jesus says we still might. Preached on March 28, 2021 virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, Chicago.  Please join us for worship Sunday mornings at 10AM Central: https://spucc.org/streaming​.

Apr 1

15 min 52 sec

The Karl Barth quote that contributes the title of this sermon speaks to the visceral intersection of grace and sin, life and death, and, as Rev. Matt Fitzgerald puts it in this sermon "The truth of the universe" that we are forgiven. So, if you don't think so-called liberal churches preach about sin and salvation, take a few moments to hear a progressive pastor describe how "Jesus died in order to put your sinning self to death."  Preached during virtual worship at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM Central: https://spucc.org/streaming

Apr 1

19 min 47 sec

In Luke 20, Jesus quotes Psalm 118: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." But do we today recognize our own foundational, essential people? Rev. Sarah Garcia reflects on the impact of the pandemic, and how one group in particular has had their essential status overlooked or taken for granted. Preached during virtual worship on March 14, 2021 at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago. Please join us for worship Sundays a 10AM central:  https://spucc.org/streaming

Apr 1

18 min 10 sec

People in a pandemic don’t need a  pollyannaish look at God; we need God's presence. Matt reflects selections from Psalm 91, how the seventy disciples Jesus sends out in Luke 10 found the power of God's presence, and how we as a church can still find it together and  “stomp on scorpions and kick lions.” Preached on March 7, 2021 during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us on Sundays for worship at 10AM Central Time: https://spucc.org/streaming​.

Apr 1

21 min 34 sec

A sermon for the second Sunday in Lent, based on Psalm 6, and Jesus' echo of it in Luke 13:22​-30. Preached by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald on February 28, 2021 during virtual worship at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago. Please join us for worship Sunday's at 10AM Central Time: https://spucc.org/streaming

Apr 1

22 min 32 sec

A sermon for the first Sunday of Lent, drawing from Psalm 91: 1-4, Luke 4:1-13...and the poetic insights of Daniel Berrigan. Preached by Benny VanDerburgh, Pastoral Intern at St. Pauls UCC, Chicago, during virtual worship on February 21, 2021. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM: https://spucc.org/streaming​

Apr 1

16 min 17 sec

In this week's sermon, Jeff reflects on Psalm 40:21-31, and asks if we can lift our eyes and hearts up out of our screens, to see beyond ourselves. Preached during virtual worship at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago, a vibrant, progressive Christian community where all are always welcome. Please join us for church on Sundays, 10AM Central Time: https://spucc.org/streaming

Feb 8

14 min 41 sec

What does "fear of the Lord" really mean? How, in this already fearful time, can it possibly be the beginning of wisdom, as Psalm 111 says? And how should it shape our posture toward a loving God, and an often unloving world? This sermon was preached on January 31, 2021 by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald during the virtual worship service of St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian community where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM CST: https://spucc.org/streaming

Feb 5

19 min 35 sec

What can an outraged Jonah, commanded again to go to Nineveh, tell us about our own era of outrage? In this sermon, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald reflects on Jonah 3:1-10. Preached on Sunday, January 24, 2021 during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, a vibrant, progressive Christian church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM CST: https://spucc.org/streaming

Feb 5

16 min 58 sec

In this week's sermon, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald contemplates the baptism of Jesus in the context of our chaotic times. Based on Mark 1:4-11 and preached on Sunday, January 10 during the virtual worship of St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM CST: https://spucc.org/streaming

Feb 5

27 min 7 sec

Welcome to Love Lives Here. In this week’s episode we have a sermon for Epiphany Sunday, by Rev. Sarah Garcia. Preached on January 3, 2021 during virtual worship at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, a progressive Christian community in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for online worship Sunday mornings at 10AM Central time at spucc.org/streaming

Jan 5

16 min 7 sec

Welcome to “Love Lives Here,” and this week’s sermon for the first Sunday after Christmas... in the time of COVID. Preached by Senior Pastor Rev. Matt Fitzgerald on December 27 during virtual worship at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive Christian community in Chicago. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM Central Time at https://spucc.org/streaming

Jan 5

18 min 36 sec

In this sermon for the fourth Sunday of Advent, Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson shines a new light not just on Mary but also on the infusion of grace that is the mothering love of God. Preached during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago. Please join us online for worship Sundays at 10AM Central Time, at spucc.org/streaming.

Jan 5

11 min 40 sec

For the second Sunday in Advent, Rev. Sarah Garcia reflects on Isaiah 40:1-11. Preached on December 6, 2020 in the virtual worship of St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM, online: https://spucc.org/streaming

Dec 2020

17 min 11 sec

For the first Sunday in Advent, Pastoral Intern Benny VanDerburgh reflects on Mark 13:24-37...on what it means to stay awake, as Jesus exhorts us...and on the power of imagination, as poet Diane Prima examines it in her poem "Rant." Preached during virtual worship on Sunday, November 29 ,2020 for St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us online for worship Sundays at 10am Central Time: https://spucc.org/streaming

Dec 2020

19 min 35 sec

For Totenfest Sunday, Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson reflects on Genesis 35. Preached November 22, 2020 at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive church in Chicago where all are always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM Central: https://spucc.org/streaming

Nov 2020

14 min 16 sec

With a little help from the poet Philip Larkin, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald reflects on the story of Jacob and Esau, to help us see how God loves our less-than-perfect families, and how we might, too. Based on Genesis 27:6-29, 41. Preached on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive Christian church in Chicago. Please join us for worship Sunday’s at 10AM: https://spucc.org/streaming

Nov 2020

16 min 10 sec

What happens when we put anything before God? Rev. Matt Fitzgerald reflects on the story of Abraham and Issac from Genesis 22:1-19...and on our own unsettling time. Preached on Sunday, November 8, 2020 during virtual worship at St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago where everyone is always welcome. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM CST, https://spucc.org/streaming

Nov 2020

10 min 36 sec

In this episode of “Love Lives Here,” Rev. Sarah Garcia reflects on the story of Abraham and Sarah, based on Genesis 17:1–8; 15–22. Preached on Sunday, November 1, 2020 during the virtual worship service of St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive church in Chicago where all people are always. Please join us for worship Sundays at 10AM, spucc.org/streaming

Nov 2020

22 min 13 sec

What does it take, what does it mean to believe in 2020? How do we reconcile modern reality with the absurdity of faith? What does it take to say yes to God? In this sermon, preached on Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2020, Rev. Matt Fitzgerald looks for inspiration to the story of Abraham. Delivered during virtual worship at St. Paul’s UCC, a progressive Christian church in Chicago. Please join us on Sundays at 10AM: http://spucc.org/streaming

Oct 2020

17 min 29 sec

What will we learn of ourselves during this crisis? What will we become? How will we find favor with God in an unfavorable time? In this week’s sermon, part of the Series “Beginning a New Beginning,” Rev. Matt Fitzgerald takes a new look at the story of Noah. Preached on October 18, 2020 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive community of faith, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where all are always welcome.

Oct 2020

15 min 51 sec

What can we learn today, in these fractious times, from the ancient story of two brothers…Cain and Abel? Join Rev. Matt Fitzgerald as he explores what the story can teach us about grace, and ourselves. Preached October 11, 2020 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive Christian community in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where all are always welcome. Come worship with us online, during these socially distanced times, Sundays at 10AM, at spucc.org/streaming

Oct 2020

20 min 37 sec

How do we get past our tendency to lay blame and live into a healthier sense of accountability – and forgiveness? In this, the latest sermon in our “Beginning a New Beginning” series, Rev. Sarah Garcia reflects on Genesis 3:1-13. Preached Sunday, October 4, 2020 during the virtual worship service of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago, a progressive congregation where all people are always welcome.

Oct 2020

12 min 36 sec

How can we find peace and centering in this chaotic time? In this reflection on the creation story from Genesis (read in the middle of this sermon by Breanna Coe) Rev. Matt Fitzgerald encourages us to unplug from the noise around us and plug-in to the beauty, the color, the hope of God’s creative act. Preached Sunday, September 27, 2020 during the virtual worship service of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago, a progressive congregation where all people are always welcome.

Oct 2020

28 min 54 sec

How to we heal the fractures and divisions in our lives, especially now? In this, the last in the sermon series “Resisting Empire,” Jeff Carlson draws from parts of Romans 14 and 15 to look at how we are called to offer the welcome and love that Jesus brought us. Preached on September 20, 2020 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago, a progressive community of faith were all are always welcome.

Sep 2020

12 min 40 sec

In this week's "collaborative sermon,” proceeding from Romans 12:4-6, Matt and 21 St. Paulers explore what it means to be gifted, to appreciate each others talents, and to help each other keep that ol' body called the church in shape. Preached on Sunday, September 13 ,2020 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, a progressive community of faith in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Sep 2020

16 min 11 sec

What could the Book of Romans possibly have to say about Black Lives Matter, and Christians' responsibilities in the chaotic, divided times of 2020? And what would a white pastor and a Black parishioner discover riding side-by-side during a #BLM protest in Kenosha? Find out in this sermon, drawing on Romans 12:11-21, and preached by Rev. Matt Fitzgerald on September 6, 2020 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Sep 2020

23 min 42 sec

What does it mean to place your life before God as an offering, and what difference could that possibly make in these turbulent times? Rev. Matt Fitzgerald looks at Romans 11:36-12:3 and asks us to look at our everyday duties, choices, actions… our whole lives... in a new light, as offerings that God can use to transform us and the world. Preached on August 30, 2020, at the virtual service of St. Pauls UCC, a progressive Christian community in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood where all are always welcome. Join us for worship on our website, spucc.org/streaming, Sundays at 10AM CST. St. Pauls United Church of Christ. 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, IL.

Sep 2020

21 min 38 sec

What is power, from a Christian perspective? In this sermon, part of our series on “Resisting Empire,” Rev. Sarah Garcia reflects on Romans 8:31-39 and what it teaches us about the having, use and sharing of power. Preached on August 23, 2020 – still in the midst of the pandemic – during the virtual worship service of St. Pauls UCC in Chicago. St. Pauls is a progressive Christian Church in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Join us for worship online, Sundays, 10AM CST, at spucc.org/streaming. St. Pauls United Church of Christ, 2335 N. Orchard Street, Chicago, IL 60614.  No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

Aug 2020

16 min 49 sec

On this episode of Love Lives Here, St. Pauls United Church of Christ Associate Pastor Rev. Dr. Jeff Carlson preaches “Glory“,  looking at Romans 8:26-28, and what glory means in earthly empires versus for those seeking the kingdom of heaven. This sermon was preached during our virtual service due to the COVID-19 lockdown on August 16, 2020. For more information about St. Pauls, a progressive church in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, please visit our website www.spucc.org. We invite you to join us for streaming worship Sundays at 10AM, on our website. St. Pauls United Church of Christ, 2335 N. Orchard St. Chicago, IL.

Aug 2020

15 min 34 sec

How can we pray when we have no words? When we don’t know how to pray? When we don’t even think we want to pray? Rev. Matt Fitzgerald looks at Romans 8:26-28...at the current, challenging moment...and even at the last “word” of Christ to help us understand how God steps in to pray for us. This sermon was preached (from the middle of a cherry orchard) on August 9, 2020, during our virtual service,due to the COVID-19 lockdown. For more information about St. Pauls, a progressive church in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, please visit our website www.spucc.org. We invite you to join us for streaming worship Sundays at 10AM, on our website. St. Pauls United Church of Christ, 2335 N. Orchard St. Chicago, IL.

Aug 2020

17 min 20 sec