The Rev. Jessie Gutgsell is a recent graduate of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and soon to be Assistant Rector of St. Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor, MI. In her free time, Jessie enjoys playing the harp, biking and being with her husband Joe and their dog Sloan.
Sermons and Bible Studies
1 Kings 21:1-10, (11-14) The story of Naboth’s Vineyard is one of the more memorable stories we find in First and Second Kings. It is a troubling story of the lust for power, jealousy, and deceit. The story is also complex, full of characters, unfamiliar cities, and unexpected plot twists. We have four main characters: Ahab […]
Micah 5:2-5a Micah was one of the famous 8th century BCE prophets in the Old Testament (alongside Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea). Micah was primarily concerned with preaching justice and calling people to action while proclaiming a message of hope. Readers may associate Micah with his most famous verse: “And what does the Lord require of you […]
Acts 2:1-21 Here we have the familiar and yet still hard-to-believe story of the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles. It comes in the first section of Acts where the focus is largely on Peter and his ministry. The second major section of Acts (starting in chapter 13) will turn to focus more on Paul’s […]
Acts 10:34-43 This passage from Acts is situated at a crucial point in the story of the Acts of the Apostles. The first account of Paul’s conversion comes in Chapter 9, and then Paul’s three missionary journeys are detailed in the chapters after our selection for this week. One might expect that the beginning of […]
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 This story of God giving Abraham the covenant is the second time readers hear of this same covenant-granting process. The first account of the Abrahamic Covenant can be found in Genesis 15. Scholars determined that these two accounts are from two different sources for the Hebrew Bible (the J and P sources, […]
Genesis 1:1-5 It’s hard to imagine more familiar words than the opening of Genesis, isn’t it? “In the beginning” the famous first words ring. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the words of my Old Testament professor, Dr. Robert Wilson, as he led us through the Book of Genesis: “Don’t confuse familiarity with understanding.” So […]
Isaiah 40:1-11 The book of Isaiah is one of the most well-known and well-loved prophetic books of the Old Testament. Scholars tend to recognize four major divisions within the book: First Isaiah (Chapters 1-39), Second Isaiah (Chapters 40-56), Third Isaiah (Chapters 56-66), and the Isaiah Apocalypse (Chapters 24-27). Our reading for today comes from the […]
Genesis 29:15-28 The stories of Jacob, along with the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph, are part of the ancestral stories of the second part of Genesis. This particular story of Jacob and Laban’s convoluted relationship follows the first cycle of Jacob stories where his relationship to Isaac is also one filled with trickery. Jacob’s […]
Acts 17:22-31 The Book of Acts marks a shift from the gospel focus on the acts of Jesus to an emphasis on the life of the early church. This passage contains Paul’s speech to the Athenians in which he reveals the identity of the “unknown God.” The context of this speech provides a rich back story. […]
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