Sermon/Reflection Audio:

Also, please visit our Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ TV Channel. We began live streaming our worship services on September 10, 2017. Like this page, our YouTube Channel is still under construction. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know at Thanks!

September 3, 2017 “I AM” Sermon

August 20, 2017:

August 20th Sermon…
On Sunday, August 20, 2017, I delivered a sermon called, “Who do you say you are?”, reflecting specifically on racism, hatred and moral equivalency in light of our faith and our his/herstory. I was asked to post the audio and the text of my comments, along with this poem called “Flag Salute” written by Ester Popel, following the lynching of George Armwood on October 18, 1933. in Princess Anne, Maryland. The poem also follows here:

Flag Salute was Republished in The Crisis Magazine 1940:
“Editor’s Note: In these days when armies are marching and there is much talk of loyalty and democracy on all fronts in America, it is being said that the strongest defense of democracy lies in the unity of all groups in the nation and a conviction that each has a stake in a democratic government. When it was announced in Washington on October 9, almost simultaneously that the federal anti-lynicng bill had been killed in the Senate and that African Americans would be segregated and discriminated against in the US armed forces, The Crisis received several requests to reprint this poem. It was written after a lynching which occurred in Princess Anne, Maryland, October 18, 1933.”

Flag Salute

“I pledge allegiance to the flag” —

They dragged him naked
Through muddy streets,
A feeble-minded black boy!
And the charge? Supposed assault
Upon an aged woman!

“Of the United States of America”—

One mile they dragged him
Like a sack of meal,
A rope around his neck,
A bloody ear
Left dangling by a patriotic hand
Of Nordic youth! (A boy of seventeen!)

“And to the republic for which it stands”—

And then they hanged his body to a tree,
Below the wind of the county judge
Whose pleadings for that battered human flesh
Were stifled by the brutish, raucous howls
Of men, and boys and women with their babes
Brought out to see the bloody spectacle
Of murder in the style of ’33!
(Three thousand strong, they were!)

“One nation, indivisible”— (“under God” had yet to be added)

To make the tale complete
They built a fire—
What matters that the stuff they burned
Was flesh—and bone—and hair—
And reeking gasoline!

“With Liberty—and Justice”—

They cut the rope in bits
And passed them out,
For souvenirs, among the men and boys!
The teeth no doubt, on golden chains
Will hang About the favored nets of sweethearts, wives,
And daughters, mother, sister, babies, too!

“For ALL!”

June 25, 2017:  Comeuppance

June 18, 2018: Abbondanza! (No apologies!)

February 12, 2017: Forgiveness and pardon…From the heart  (Ray Bagnuolo)

Jesus’ words were to the community of his followers. He was telling his followers that if you are going to be a part of this, your life will be different. Your actions will be different. Your fears will be different. Your joy – beyond your expectation.
Reading Matthew 5:22 ff.

Listen to the choir “Love Grows Here”

February 5, 2017: Traditions! (Ray Bagnuolo)

“I stood there somewhere between stunned and in awe. The infant’s hand was smaller that my thumbnail, her entire head barely the size of my inner palm. I had never seen a person so small, so fragile – so literally close to God and creation in the measurement of tic-toc time and kairos. Everything inside me shifted.”
Reading Luke 2:2-420

January 29, 2017: I don’t care who you voted for… (Ray Bagnuolo)

Matthew’s reading (5:1-12) introduces Jesus’ first extended teaching of Jesus in The Beatitudes. The promises they make are tied to the eternal life of the Spirit; they are the blessings on those who have often found themselves with “less than” in their society. The liberation of these words is that Jesus once again breaks the ties of God from anything that might hold one back on earth. These are the collective “Good News” in a profound way.

January 22, 2017 (Ray Bagnuolo)

Matthew’s reading (4:12-23) points out how we sometimes have to regroup, before we move forward in the ways we are needed. News of John the Baptist’s death surely rattled Jesus and what followed added new energy to his mission.

January 15, 2017: Reading from Mark Luke 4:14-30 (Ray Bagnuolo)

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday
“Twenty six of the ministers and almost 100 of the citizens of the city of Montgomery or were indicted in this boycott. But we realized in the beginning that we would confront experiences that make for great sacrifices, experiences that are not altogether pleasant. We decided about ourselves that we would stand up to the finish, and that is what we are determined to do. In the midst of the indictments, we still hold to this nonviolent attitude, and this primacy of love.”
From The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Montgomery Boycott.

This sermon is from the first weekend that we had planned for my candidating sermon. Church was canceled due to snow, and I offered this until we came together the week later!

Epiphany: Then Jesus Came from Galilee


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