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The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

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The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker is pastor/head of staff of United Presbyterian Church in Peoria, IL

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Presbyterian Church (USA)

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United Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

Presbyterian Church (USA)

United Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker is pastor/head of staff of United Presbyterian Church in Peoria, IL, where he has served since 2009. Previously he served as the solo pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Delavan, Il.

Stephen has written sermons and writes sermon reviews for Lectionary Homiletics, and has published articles with The Wittenburg Door, Preaching, and Relevant Magazine.

Stephen earned a bachelors degree in religious studies from the University of South Carolina, his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. from McCormick Theological Seminary.


Latest Content by The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

Looks Can Be Deceiving

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

It's Friday of Holy Week, Good Friday, and Jesus is crucified. Mark's account of the event is stark, painful, and lonely. Even after Jesus breathes his last, a Roman centurion gets in one last barb. "Truly," he says, with a smirk and roll of his eyes, "this was God's son."

To the jaded centurion it looks like Jesus of Nazareth died like countless other Jews. The charge against him reading "King of the Jews" must be a joke. Kings aren't crucified next to common criminals.

Read full article...
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

Failures Are Not Final

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

On Thursday of Holy Week, the disciples fail Jesus. Again. Thursday's story is one of a gracious meal, a desperate prayer, and an obedient son. But it is also a story of human failure: disciples who can't stay awake and keep watch, disciples who run, disciples who betray, disciples who deny, religious leaders who conspire to murder, and judges who miscarry justice. Maundy Thursday hits me harder than any other day of Holy Week because I know the story so well. I've lived it. I've failed, too. I've failed Jesus.

Read full article...

Other Recent Content by The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

April 01, 2015

An Unreasonable Act

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

It’s Wednesday of Holy Week. We know who Jesus is, and we know what is coming. What do we have to break open for Jesus today, if not our hearts?
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

March 31, 2015

Because There Are Widows

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

It's Tuesday of Holy Week. How can we live, what can we do, because there are widows? Who is giving their last? Who needs to know they are not last in the Kingdom of God, but first?
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

March 31, 2015

Think of the Ravens

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

In light of "Religious Freedom" laws like the one recently passed in Indiana, we need to think of the ravens.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

March 30, 2015

Is It Time to Turn Over Tables?

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

It's the Monday of Holy Week, so is it time to follow Jesus' example and start turning over some tables?
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

August 06, 2014

Dying In Someone Else's Armor

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

When staring down the giants, will you die in someone else's armor, or face the giants with your own assets: your unique gifts, skills, and experience.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

August 04, 2014

An Open Letter to My Church on Same-Sex Marriage and Every Other Kind There Is

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

An open letter to my church in response to our denomination passing legislation that permits pastors officiating at same-sex marriage ceremonies.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

July 12, 2013

Choose the Form

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

The Ghostbusters had the choose the form Gozer of the Destructor. God chose the the form of a servant. As Christians, we have to choose the form of the church.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

June 05, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness and Out of Clothes

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

Did the writers of Star Trek Into Darkness really trust their story? Does the church trust its story?
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

April 18, 2013

A Man Who Never Would

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

What should be the foundation of our world and our lives? A dialogue between Doctor Who and Genesis might just give us the answer.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

April 16, 2013

To Fight Monsters

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

Fairy Tales teach us that there are monsters and bad things that may want to hurt us. The great ones tell the story of a hero who fights monsters without becoming one.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

October 18, 2012

Fool's God

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

In order for us not to worship a fool's God we need to accept that the foolishness of the cross is the wisdom and power of God. Wisdom doesn't equal certainty, wisdom is trusting in the crucified God. If you'd like to watch the video of this sermon as your read you can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ9j6-OlAfc&feature=plcp
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Transcript

October 02, 2011

How Do We Get to Holy?

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

In light of Paul's teaching in Philippians, the Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker explores the question, how do we get to holy? And discovers we may already be there.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

September 02, 2011

Labor Day and the Kingdom

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

The dangerous message in some parables you probably don't want to preach about around Labor Day.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

August 15, 2011

Taking Stock

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

Fear and hope drive the stock market up and down, but they don't just affect our investing decisions. Fear and hope stand as opposites throughout the scripture, like a bull and bear glaring at each other. When we take stock of our lives, what role have fear and hope played?
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

April 20, 2011

Isn't It Ironic

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

A look at the Irony of Mark's Passion story, especially the centurion's last statement about Christ on the Cross.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

April 14, 2011

Death as Gift

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

Was death always part of God's plan? Is it possible to see death as a gift rather than an enemy?
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

March 30, 2011

Not the Speech I'd Hoped For

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

When Peter rebukes Jesus and Jesus says, "Get Behind Me Satan," I always hope for a triumphant and inspirational speech to follow that would bring everyone back together.  Jesus gave a speech, but it isn't the comforting speech I'd hoped for.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

March 17, 2011

Lent Reflection: The Great Do Over

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

Like Phil from City Slickers,we are offered a great do over. Lent is the time to reflect on what that means for our lives.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

March 10, 2011

Lent Reflection: The Sharp Knife of a Short Life

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

A reflection on the popular song "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry for Ash Wednesday and Lent, and a word of hope from the Apostle Paul.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

December 11, 2009

At the End of the Day

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

We typically can fall into the trap of thinking that every day is the same and there is nothing new under the sun, but Advent breaks us of this way of thinking by promising a new day is coming at the end of the day. Mary, perhaps in Broadway style, sings of this certain hope.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

June 05, 2009

Safe in the Sanctuary

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

What has your church done to make sure the sanctuary truly is a safe place on Sunday morning? How do we balance the desire to protect our flocks while living out of faith rather than fear?
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

May 24, 2009

Foolishness

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

Do you ever yell at the television or a book because you cannot believe what a character is doing or about to do? Sometimes characters in stories can be so foolish, but nothing compares to the foolishness on display in the pages of scripture.
The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker Article

May 16, 2009

He Will Make It Enough

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker (PCUSA)

Bring what you have to Jesus and he will make it enough.