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Keep the drums rolling . . . with pleasure we announce the top six nominees for our Daringly Awkward Sermon Contest (because social change is a bit  awkward). Three of the following sermons (in alphabetical order by author) will be named winners, with winning preachers receiving $400 each.

Standing up for what you believe is awkward, especially when you yourself are part of the problem. Each of the sermons in some way identifies the struggle of responding to social injustice with compassion and complicity. We’ll announce the winners in our summer issue, Geez 14, set to ship mid-late May.

Thanks to all the sermon contributors,

Aiden Enns, publisher, co-editor, Geez magazine

2009 Geez magazine
Daringly Awkward Sermon contest nominees


Linda’s song – 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 to be featured in Geez 14, ships in May 2009]

Sacrament of word and weed in a Guatemalan prison
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 to be featured in Geez 14, ships in May 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 to be featured in Geez 14, ships in May 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 to be featured in Geez 14, ships in May 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 to be featured in Geez 14, ships in May 2009]

Holy
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 to be featured in Geez 14, ships in May 2009]

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