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Cathy Venkatesh

Catherine Venkatesh is an Episcopal priest who has served congregations in Michigan and Massachusetts. Presently taking time to be home with her young daughter, she also volunteers at a local Episcopal retreat center. A graduate of Williams College and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, she has completed additional degrees in Development Economics and Forestry. Prior to entering the ordained ministry, she worked in environmental research and policy. She lives with her family outside Boston and travels regularly to India, where her husband?s extended family resides.
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Commentary

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Welcoming stress -- Isaiah 5:1-7, Hebrews 11:29--12:2, Luke 12:49-56 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - C -- 2016
In this week’s gospel passage Jesus says, “What stress I am under!” How often do we make this claim,
Transformed lives -- Acts 5:27-32, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 20:19-31 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Second Sunday of Easter - C -- 2016
For me, the deepest proof of Jesus’ resurrection comes from the transformed lives of his followers.
Looking back, looking forward, resting where we are -- Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:12--4:2, Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a) -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Transfiguration Sunday - C -- 2016
Today’s story of the Transfiguration, heard each year on the Last Sunday of Epiphany, invites deep r
Saved by faith -- 1 Kings 21:1-10 (11-14) 15-21a, Galatians 2:15-21, Luke 7:36--8:3 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 - C -- 2016
Our readings this week draw us into the tricky territory of works righteousness and the eternal temp
Who's in? Who's out? -- Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - C -- 2016
Today’s readings introduce us to three groups of outcast people: the exiles in Babylon, Paul in pris
Easter in Advent -- Isaiah 35:1-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Third Sunday of Advent - A -- 2016
The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally one that emphasizes joy.
Healed for service -- Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - B -- 2015
When I was in seminary, I spent a summer working as a chaplain in a Roman Catholic hospital.
New Creations -- Exodus 20:1-17, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, John 2:13-22 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2015
In each of our lessons today, we encounter God’s people starting over and finding their way into
A commandment to love -- Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2015
“Love one another” sounds so simple, but can be so hard.
Taking and offering -- 2 Samuel 11:1-15, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - B -- 2015
When do we have enough?
Wisdom and folly -- 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14, Ephesians 5:15-20, John 6:51-58 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - B -- 2015
Are we to be fools for Christ, or wise as serpents (and innocent as doves)?
Climbing in the light -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Good Friday - B -- 2015
The story of God's love in the Bible focuses on Jesus. But Jesus did not appear in a vacuum.
Recognizing the kingdom of God -- 1 Samuel 15:34--16:13, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17, Mark 4:26-34 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 - B -- 2015
God does not judge by appearances, but by the heart.
Wisdom's gifts, God's embrace -- Proverbs 31:10-31, James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B -- 2015
We are blessed today with inspiring words from the Wisdom tradition in both the Hebrew and Christian
Making sense of suffering -- Job 38:1-7 (34-41), Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 - B -- 2015
All of our lessons today address suffering -- of humans and of Jesus in his passion and death.
The end... and the beginning -- 1 Samuel 1:4-20, Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25, Mark 13:1-8 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - B -- 2015
Advent is a season of anticipation, but as we near the end of the season of Pentecost our readings a
It's judgment day -- rejoice! -- Zephaniah 3:14-20, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Third Sunday of Advent - C -- 2015
Messages of God’s judgment can be hard to hear, and feel at odds with the fast-approaching celebrati
Family wounds and God's grace -- Genesis 21:8-21, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - A -- 2014
In one of my former parishes, the wife of retired pastor led us in a Bible study of the book of Gene
Choosing to love -- Deuteronomy 30:15-20, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Matthew 5:21-37 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - A -- 2014
Here we are, the Sunday after the sentimentality and excesses of Valentine's Day.
A holy Lent -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 2014
Imagine life in a northern farming community a couple of centuries ago. It's early March.
Which parade? -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 26:14--27:66 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2014
This Palm Sunday afternoon, I will be joining a festive Walk for Affordable Housing organized by a l
Lives transformed -- Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2014
What if the resurrection happened and no one told anyone about it?
The power of names -- Exodus 1:8--2:10, Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - A -- 2014
"What's in a name?
Getting what we (don't) deserve -- Exodus 16:2-15, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - A -- 2014
God is not just by our human ways of accounting.
Law and life -- Joshua 3:7-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, Matthew 23:1-12 -- Cathy Venkatesh -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - A -- 2014
God gives the law to the Israelites as a blessing and guidance for new life after generations of pro
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First Sunday in Lent - A
Sandra Herrmann
The scriptures for today bind together the beginning of sin in the world, our salvation from sin, and Jesus’ own vulnerability to the temptation of the devil. We see that the devil is very clever (or that we can be very clever in fooling ourselves about our motives and the possible ramifications of our attitudes and actions).  
First Sunday in Lent - A
Bethany Peerbolte
Jesus sets the bar high by resisting temptation even from the imagination of the devil. To show just how amazing that accomplishment is this lesson will put temptation in each kids’ hands. You may have seen the videos of kids in a room alone with a marshmallow. They are challenged to not eat the marshmallow then left alone in the room. The kids obviously struggle with the temptation to eat the marshmallow. For this lesson you can use marshmallows or Oreos, both are relatively allergen free.

The Immediate Word

First Sunday in Lent - A
Dean Feldmeyer
Mary Austin
Ron Love
Christopher Keating
Thomas Willadsen
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
For March 1, 2020:
  • Right, Wrong, Whatever by Dean Feldmeyer — The fruit of the forbidden tree in the Eden story represents more than disobedience; it represents moral responsibility and Adam and Eve are hungry for it.
  • Second Thoughts: What Happens in the Silence by Mary Austin — Lent’s invitation is to love the quiet the way Jesus does, and to meet up with him there.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

First Sunday in Lent - A
Sandra Herrmann
The scriptures for today bind together the beginning of sin in the world, our salvation from sin, and Jesus’ own vulnerability to the temptation of the devil. We see that the devil is very clever (or that we can be very clever in fooling ourselves about our motives and the possible ramifications of our attitudes and actions).  
First Sunday in Lent - A
Ron Love
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Psalm 32
Ash Wednesday - A
Mark Ellingsen
Ash Wednesday is time to stress our sorrow for sin and the way out, a chance to stimulate our awareness of sin as well as the need for and urgency of repentance, along with a Word of God’s forgiveness.

Joel 2:1-2,12-17
Ash Wednesday - A
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Joel 2:1-2,12-17 
With the Presidential Primaries starting to shift into high gear, it is time for Americans to get serious about politics and the future of our nation, to seek to right the nation’s wrongs. For John Calvin this lesson is a message of urgency that we need.  He wrote:

The object of the narrative then, is to make the people sensible, that it was now no time for taking rest... (Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol.XIV, p.44)

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First Sunday in Lent - A
Bethany Peerbolte
Jesus sets the bar high by resisting temptation even from the imagination of the devil. To show just how amazing that accomplishment is this lesson will put temptation in each kids’ hands. You may have seen the videos of kids in a room alone with a marshmallow. They are challenged to not eat the marshmallow then left alone in the room. The kids obviously struggle with the temptation to eat the marshmallow. For this lesson you can use marshmallows or Oreos, both are relatively allergen free.
Ash Wednesday - A
Bethany Peerbolte
Lent can be an odd time for church kids. They are intuitive and can sense that something has changed. If we do not seek to explain why the mood and tone of the community has changed it can be a scary time. We talk more about death, especially Jesus dying, so we need to prepare kids for what is coming.

Say something like:

StoryShare

First Sunday in Lent - A
David O. Bales
Contents
"Thorough Temptation Of The Thoroughly Human" by David O. Bales
"One Man" by David O. Bales



Thorough Temptation of the Thoroughly Human
by David O. Bales
Matthew 4:1-11
Ash Wednesday - A
Peter Andrew Smith
John knocked at the door and waited. His heart was pounding in his chest and he was sweating. He wouldn’t be surprised if Suzy slammed the door into his face. What he had done to her, what he had done to their marriage, was simply unforgivable. His heart leapt when the door started to open and he froze when Suzy’s father, Mark, stood before him. From the look on his father-in-law’s face there was no doubt that he knew what John had done.

The Village Shepherd

First Sunday in Lent - A
Janice B. Scott
We in the West have an interesting culture in which we quite like to be shocked. Many of us enjoy films which are shocking to a greater or lesser degree, and it sometimes seems to be that the higher the rating, the more popular the film. Even huge natural or man-made disasters have a worrying degree of entertainment value in the way they are presented to us over and over again on our television screens. We meanwhile sit in our armchairs munching our chocolates feeling scandalised or shocked or disturbed, but seldom switching off the set.

SermonStudio

Ash Wednesday - A
Elizabeth Achtemeier
Sometime between 500 and 350 B.C., post-exilic Israel experienced a devastating locust plague, followed by a drought. That experience is described in Joel chapter 1. And certainly the people suffered under the dreadful effects of those disasters. But the message of the prophet Joel -- prompted not by the natural disasters, but given him as a revelation from the Lord -- is that the Israelites face a still more terrible disaster if they do not repent and return to their God. "The day of the Lord is coming, it is near" (2:1).

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