USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Archive

Archive

February 1, 2004: “Free for Nothing, Good for Something” – Rev. Cecil Murray

“The greatest freedom is freedom from yourself,” Rev. Murray says in this sermon about freedom, relationships with other people and finding passion in life. He emphasizes the importance of treating other people …

USC’s Spiritual Exemplars Project to Uncover Stories of Hope

The Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) at the University of Southern California is embarking on an ambitious project to tell 100 stories of exemplary individuals inspired by their spirituality to …

Jamila Afghani: Educating and Empowering Women in Afghanistan

Jamila Afghani is an advocate for women’s rights and education in Afghanistan. She is the founder and chairperson of the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization, which provides literacy training, income generation projects …

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Denis Mukwege Keeps the Faith in the Face of Violence

I had the privilege of interviewing 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Doctor Denis Mukwege in 2017 in the small country of Armenia, where he was a finalist for the Aurora Prize—a $1 …

December 12, 2000: “Enough is Enough” — Rev. Cecil Murray

In this sermon, Rev. Murray warns his congregation against materialism. He reminds them that Jesus is number one, and that nothing besides Jesus is permanent. Rev. Murray also reminds his congregation not …

August 10, 2003: “Cry Me a River” — Rev. Cecil Murray

In this sermon, Rev. Murray speaks about problems in the community, specifically how the work ethic has diminished, and people seem to be losing motivation or giving up. However, Rev. Murray reassures …

August 14, 1994: “It Only Takes a Few” — Rev. Cecil Murray

In this Sermon, Rev. Murray talks about being God’s prisoner–or a prisoner of love–meaning that you “disturb the peace” of the status quo and make compromises for the sake of the Lord. …

August 16, 1998: “To Be Abashed or to Abound” — Rev. Cecil Murray

In this sermon, Rev. Murray encourages his congregation to push through hard times not with self-sufficiency, but with clear-eyed knowledge of their situation and “Christ-sufficiency.” He encourages them to continue to have …

August 21, 1994: “I Hear You Knocking But You Can’t Come In” – Rev. Cecil Murray

Pastor Murray in this sermon talks about “bubble Christians,” who think that their way is the only way and do not have an open mind. “You ain’t been baptized; you just had …

December 19, 1999: “Are You Really Looking for Jesus?”

In this Christmas sermon, Rev. Murray addresses the differences between the practice of Christianity out of duty versus out of love. He poses the question, “Are you coming to church or are …

Medicine, Masculinity and Marketing: Trends to Watch in Religion in 2019

In the past year, we have seen our 2018 trends to watch come to fruition with stories of the supernatural, trust in institutions, activist healers, faith-based political organizing and women stepping up …

How Can Christians Support Donald Trump?

This piece was originally published by Religion News Service. As a student of American evangelicalism, I am frequently asked how Christians can support Donald Trump. I stop myself from going into lecture …

Holy Spirit: A Progressive Episcopal Community in Silver Lake

Holy Spirit is a small, “off the books” experimental congregation affiliated with the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese. Members describe in this video how Holy Spirit started as a home Bible-study group and …

Community Connection: Najuma Smith-Pollard on #MeToo in the Black Church

The USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement organized a meeting of women leaders in the Black Church about #MeToo this fall, prompting an article in the L.A. Times. Following the article, …

April 30, 2000: “Stand the Storm, It Won’t Be Long”

In this sermon, Rev. Murray compares dark or difficult periods in our lives to storms. “Storms make sailors…and when storms come, you don’t have to get stormy. You don’t have to raise …

Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisoning New Solutions

Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisoning New Solutions Kimberly Kay Hoang and Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, editors (Abe Books: 2014)           This unique collection of original essays investigates …

April 25, 2004: “How Much is Enough?”

Reverend Murray speaks about how we have become consumed with materialism. We want too much and pursue only our own pleasure. We have to be careful to not become corrupted by greed. …

April 20, 1997: “Tipping, But Not Paying the Bill”

In this sermon, Rev. Murray emphasizes putting God first. He says “worry is a sin,” because “worry is trying to have two number one’s in your life.” However, he notes that while …

April 12, 1992: “Heaven Has a Cover Charge”

Pastor Murray encourages his congregation to be committed. “When there is no commitment, there is nothing at all,” he says. To get to heaven, there must be a lot of working, struggle …

April 19, 1992: “There’s Always a Third Day” (Part Two)

Pastor Murray redefines death as a condition where you only see the negative in life. He accuses many of practicing “dead religion,” or not coming to church for the Lord but to …