Sermons by Dina Carter Ishler

Sermons by Dina Carter Ishler

Come by Day and by Night

In the name of God whose glory shines in both darkness and light, Amen. Good morning, everybody, and…congratulations! Since you’ve made it here today that means you’ve remembered to “spring forward”- and survived losing an hour of sleep in the process. This time of year we accept rising and beginning our day in the pre-dawn hours as the trade-off for longer evenings of light, embracing how the sun slips below the horizon later with each unfolding day. Here in central…


Over twenty years ago, in a parenting book I’ve long since given away, I remember reading an account of the Transfiguration story and strongly identifying with Peter. I can’t help feeling a little sorry for Peter because I completely understand why he responded the way he did, a reluctant character in this scene that goes from comical to monumental in just a few words. Taken high up this mountain by Jesus, with only James and John for companions, the physical…


Beloved First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord January 12, 2020 RCL readings, Year A, Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17 Dina Carter Ishler; St. Andrew’s, Shippensburg Baptize us with your Spirit, Lord, your cross on us be signed, that, likewise in God’s service we may perfect freedom find. In the name of God who calls us all beloved, Amen. I am certain I am not the only person here who does not clearly remember…


Second Sunday of Christmas, January 5, 2020 RCL readings Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 84; Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a; Matthew 2:1-2 Here is the little door-lift up your hands, O lift! We need not wander more but enter with our gift. In the name of God who loves us, sustains us and guides us on our way, Amen. Today’s Gospel- actually, all of today’s readings-tell us the story of pilgrimage. They took the journey first- Joseph, Mary on the patient donkey, the shepherds,…

Darkness IS Where Incarnation Begins

This is the ultimate power of this moment out of all the countless moments in human history- now that God has broken into our scarred and tear-soaked world it will never again be exactly the same. It will still be scarred and hearts will still break and darkness will still contend with light but at this very moment hope has been born- and we have been forever changed. Into both heartbreaking and glorious circumstances of our lives this birth will come, just as it did on that holy night and it is as if we too are kneeling there, seeing, wondering, imagining what it can possibly mean to us. We can bring our own gifts of all our human imperfections and longings and raw emotions and utter exhaustion…and lay them down at the manger. There, they will be safe, and so will we, made whole by this moment when all is made one- Emmanuel, God is with us.

For all the Saints

It is a profound moment of community that reminds us we belong simultaneously to both the earthly and the heavenly realms, a oneness with the saints in light that is never more real than on this “thin” day when the veil between Heaven and earth beckons us with its transparency.

Thanksgiving in the in-between Places

Borders can be places of danger and it is no surprise we want to avoid them- we feel vulnerable there, uncertain and exposed. Sometimes, our journeys into unknown regions can lead us across borders that are not physical. We may be afraid of the shifting borders in our families or our communities, may feel lost in regions of economic, social or political disruption. We may feel the pain of past exiles that have marked us individually or as communities, where the borders of race or gender or country of origin have marked us as “the foreigner.”

Lostness and Foundness and the reckless love of God

In the name of God who loves us, finds us, and carries us safely home, Amen. For those of you who have not yet heard this story, I recently became a foster mommy- to five adorable kittens. On a walk last week, I was admiring a neighbor’s  early fall flowers when I saw something move beneath the leaves. It turned out there were four tiny kittens hiding there, frightened and dehydrated and starving. These four were relatively easy to capture-…

Here We Are

Here we are “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And you shall speak whatever I command you, Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. In the name of God who is Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, Amen. Well… look at us! Here we are. Our Sunday morning worship looks a little different than usual, doesn’t it? We are…
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