Resources for Congregations – Sermons, Clergy Connect, and Congregations in Transition

Lutheran CORE wants to be of support and assistance to orthodox, confessional congregations in every way that we can.  Three of the ways in which we are seeking to do that are through a catalog of sermon resources, Clergy Connect, and Congregations in Transition.

I have spoken with lay leaders of congregations that are either too small or too remote to be able to find and call a pastor.  Other congregations are in the process of calling a pastor, and at this point do not have an interim.  Some of these congregations have a pastor who is available to come, preach, and preside at communion once or twice a month.  Many times it is a retired pastor, or a chaplain in a nearby care facility, who is able to help out.  I have spoken with some pastors who travel a great distance in order to provide care for the people of God.  Because of the distance, some of these pastors will preach and lead worship one Sunday a month, and then write and send sermons which a lay leader in the congregation can deliver on the other Sundays of the month.  There are many different kinds of situations, and many different kinds of arrangements that have been made.  We want to thank all of the lay leaders of congregations who “step up to the plate” and all the pastors, including retired pastors, who help meet the need.

We are also very grateful to Cathy Ammlung, NALC pastor and former secretary of the board of Lutheran CORE.  Cathy has a special passion and heart for smaller and/or more remote congregations and congregations that do not have a pastor.  She has begun the process of compiling a resource bank of sermons that lay leaders could use on the Sundays when their congregation does not have a pastor.  She describes her concept and vision in an article in the March issue of CORE Voice.  A link to that article can be found here.

Many thanks to all those who have already responded and sent Cathy one or more of their sermons.  If you have not already done so, please consider sending her one or more of your sermons which can be added to this resource bank.  Sermons will be organized by topic, Scripture passage, and Sunday of the church year.   Please email her your “best sermons” at

Another resource I want to lift up is Clergy Connect.  A link to this page on our website can be found here.

Many congregations have reported how difficult it is to find an orthodox, confessional, Great Commission minded pastor.   An anticipated increase in the number of retirements of pastors post-COVID, and the decrease in the number of seminary enrollees, will make and have made this situation even more severe.

We invite you to post your position on our website.  If you check out the page you will see the kind of information that other congregations have provided.  Congregational search committees are asked to submit church name, location, description of the position and the congregation, and contact information.  Vacancies can be emailed to   

Third, if you have a pastoral vacancy, please also consider our Congregations in Transition ministry initiative.  We have a group of (mostly) retired Lutheran pastors who have been trained to be transition coaches.  They are able and available to help congregations whose pastors have retired or resigned, or soon will be retiring or resigning, maintain stability and momentum in regards to the congregation’s vital ministries during the transition process.  For more information check out our Transitions page or contact

March 2021 Newsletter

Send Me Your (Best) Sermons!

I have a soft spot in my heart for small congregations, congregations of any size in transition, and churches whose isolation and resources make it difficult to field an “emergency fill-in” pastor, much less an interim or called pastor. That’s one reason I compile hymn suggestions and write intercessory prayers, even though they are widely used by congregations of all sizes and staffing. Churches without a regular pastoral presence have enough to do without crafting prayers, selecting hymns to go with the appointed tests… or figuring out how the Word will be faithfully preached every week. That’s what I want to talk about now.

Yes, there are sermon resources online. They’re hit and miss. They may have great illustrations but lack theological “meat”. They may be unorthodox, at odds with classic Lutheran doctrine, or overly pedantic. The Board of Lutheran CORE hopes to provide a data base of solid, biblically faithful, and doctrinally orthodox sermons for congregations to download when the need arises. Maybe they’re house churches or are facing a long vacancy with few prospects for interim pastoral leadership. Don Brandt and his brilliant Congregations in Transition (CiT) initiative helps address some of the challenges such churches face. Or maybe the pastor took ill on a Saturday night and a supply preacher isn’t available. It’d be a blessing for them to have one place to search for good sermons to use: by Scripture, day in the church year, or topic.

So this is a call for pastors to help out congregations in such situations. I want your sermons! Please email them to

  Here are some basic criteria:

  1. When you submit a sermon, make a note at the beginning as to the main Scripture(s) referenced; the day in the church year/lectionary for which it is appropriate; and, if applicable, the general topic. That way we can cross reference sermons so they can be searched in several ways.
  2. Select sermons that you’d entrust to a layperson in your own congregation to preach if you couldn’t be there.
  3. No “First-person” sermons. They’re too unique to you.
  4. Similarly, be careful about mentioning situations or people that may be specific to your own congregation and difficult to modify to be of more general use. If a person’s situation, however, may be more universally shared, please change names to protect the innocent!
  5. Avoid using sermons that feature time-sensitive topics or express specific personal political beliefs. They don’t transport (or age) well.
  6. Sermons should be full manuscripts, not notes, lists, or talking points. Please check for, and correct, errors in grammar and spelling!
  7. If possible, sermons should take under 15 minutes to preach. Someone else will be using your words, style, and thoughts. That’s harder (mentally and physically), than using their own.
  8. I will edit very lightly: Grammar, spelling, factual errors, or the stray name of a parishioner (for privacy’s sake). If I think any other edits need to be made, I will ask your permission.
  9. Please don’t have your feelings hurt if a sermon doesn’t appear online. It may be a time factor and it’ll show up later. If I think a sermon is simply not suitable for use as per the criteria I’ve listed, I may ask you to either modify it or withdraw it. It does not mean I think it’s a bad sermon or you’re a bad preacher!

This is going to take some time to compile, organize, and put online. You can be selecting and submitting topical sermons immediately, as well as sermons from later in Cycle B (2nd half of Pentecost, year of Mark). But also start setting aside, editing, and submitting sermons that can be used in Cycle C (Year of Luke). I will try to give folks a heads-up when more contributions are needed. Again, please send stuff as Word documents to

Thank you!