A homily about how King Herod does the wrong thing, what he knows is the wrong thing, just to save face and make good on a bad promise. And how the Governor of California resembles that. 

Please, I suggest you listen to the sermon in the link below. I went way off the text this time, but feel free to browse the text notes that are added for your convenience.  Cary

Sermon delivered at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, of San Francisco, by Cary Bass-Deschenes 

July 12, 2015  - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

"King Herod and the Governor of California" - Lectionary text from Mark 6:14-29

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In which I talk about the work of the hands, how pastors are expected to do miracles and how everyone is commissioned by Jesus.  

Please, I suggest you listen to the sermon in the link below, but feel free to browse the text notes that are added for your convenience. 

Sermon delivered at St. Mark's Lutheran Church of San Francisco. 

July 5, 2015  - Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

"Hands" - Lectionary text from Mark 6:1-13

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A sermon reflecting on the Charleston attack and how the dominant paradigm has to change before this boat sinks with us all on it.  

Please, I suggest you listen to the sermon in the link below, but feel free to browse the text notes that are added for your convenience. 

Sermon delivered at The Heritage of San Francisco. 

June 21, 2015  - Fourth Sunday after Pentecost


"Deep Doctrine" - Lectionary text from Mark 4:35-41

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A sermon reflecting my attempt to navigate the treacherous waters of the doctrine in the Christian Church used to describe God that we refer to as Holy Trinity

I suggest you listen to the sermon in the link below, but feel free to browse the text notes that are added for your convenience. 

Sermon delivered at St. James Lutheran Church of San Leandro

May 31, 2015  - Holy Trinity Sunday

"Deep Doctrine" - Lectionary text from Romans 8:12-25 & John 3:1-17

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A sermon responding to Elizabeth Eaton's statement on the creeds, on where the creeds stand in relation to modern society and the power of clouds. 

The text notes I preached from are after the sermon audio for convenience, however, I suggest you listen to the sermon audio, because there were numerous changes during the delivery.  It is in the delivery of a sermon in the midst of the people of God which is where he Holy Spirit is doing the strongest work within me; and there will not only be some changes to the notes but also emphasis and intonations that don't occur in the notes. 

Sermon delivered at St. Francis Lutheran Church of San Francisco

May 17, 2015  - Ascension Sunday

"Creeds and Clouds" - Lectionary text from Acts 1:1-11 & Luke 24:44-53 

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A sermon on how to read from one's unique perspective, and how to listen to others

The text notes I preached from are after the sermon audio for convenience, however, I suggest you listen to the sermon audio, because there were numerous changes during the delivery.  It is in the delivery of a sermon in the midst of the people of God which is where he Holy Spirit is doing the strongest work within me; and there will not only be some changes to the notes but also emphasis and intonations that don't occur in the notes. 

Sermon delivered at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oakland

May 3, 2015  - 5th Sunday of Easter

"Reading Baltimore" - Lectionary text from Acts 8:26-40

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A sermon on the nature of familiarity and the love of a Lord who shepherds his flock, laying down his life.

The text notes I preached from are after the sermon audio for convenience, however, I suggest you listen to the sermon audio, because there were numerous changes during the delivery.  It is in the delivery of a sermon in the midst of the people of God which is where he Holy Spirit is doing the strongest work within me; and there will not only be some changes to the notes but also emphasis and intonations that don't occur in the notes. 

Sermon delivered at St. Matthews Lutheran Church of San Francisco

April 26, 2015  - 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)

"Shepherd's Voice" - Lectionary text from John 10:11-18 and Psalm 23

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A short homily on the nature of human beings and when leaders don't fulfill our unrealistic expectations.

The text notes I preached from are after the sermon audio for convenience, however, I suggest you listen to the sermon audio, because there were numerous changes during the delivery.  It is in the delivery of a sermon in the midst of the people of God which is where he Holy Spirit is doing the strongest work within me; and there will not only be some changes to the notes but also emphasis and intonations that don't occur in the notes. 

Sermon delivered at United Lutheran Church of Oakland

March 29, 2015  - Palm Sunday

"Fickle People, Loving God" - Lectionary text from Mark 11:1-11 and Mark 14:1-25.

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In which the preacher discovers glory for God in the most unlikely places. 

The text notes I preached from are after the sermon audio for convenience, however, I suggest you listen to the sermon audio, because there were numerous changes during the delivery.  It is in the delivery of a sermon in the midst of the people of God which is where he Holy Spirit is doing the strongest work within me; and there will not only be some changes to the notes but also emphasis and intonations that don't occur in the notes. 

Sermon delivered at United Lutheran Church of Oakland

March 22, 2015  - Fifth Sunday in Lent

"Glorifying Him" - Lectionary text from John  12:20-33.

Listen to sermon audio here




The following is a paper I wrote for a class I took in my final semester in seminary.  Someone on Facebook recently asked me if they could read it, and I'm more than happy to provide.  

The original date of this is May 23, 2014. The date of this entry, however, would be my official publication date. 

 Lutheran Reclamation of the Sacrament of Confession and Absolution

Spirit in the Church ST-2378

Cary Bass-Deschenes

May 23, 2014


Even though the rite of Confession and Forgiveness is available in the Lutheran Church both individually and corporately, most Lutherans are not even aware of it, and even fewer consider it a sacrament. However, a Lutheran understanding of confession and absolution as a sacrament goes all the way back to Martin Luther, and is delineated as such within the Book of Concord, the collection of all of the 16th century basic documents that provide a Lutheran understanding of theology. Although private confession and absolution was subsumed into a rarely used rite during the Age of Enlightenment, it has nevertheless remained a staple means of grace in the Lutheran church, and re-emerged in the Twentieth Century during a period of renewed excitement in unity and liturgy that sought to unify Lutheran rights with a restoration of what was uniquely Lutheran in the 16th century and a keen eye on how Martin Luther and the early Lutheran fathers worshiped and taught. This essay will look into that history as well as the developed Lutheran understanding of sacrament, provide some explanation of how the rite of Confession and Forgiveness is performed in the world today, and offer insight as to how meaningful the rite is and how it can be, as a sacrament, a way of bringing us into closer communion with other Christian denominations.

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