Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson, superintendent of the North Central District of the Florida Conference, will be the featured preacher for two upcoming Sundays on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, a nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program, according to a prepared statement from the program's producers. The sermons also will be accessible online at Day1.org.
Haupert-Johnson's sermons will be geared to the Advent season, starting with Christ the King Sunday on Nov. 23. Her sermon that day is drawn from Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24.
|Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson|
“Today’s Hebrew Bible lection describes the reign of God without king imagery,” Haupert-Johnson said. “God comes as a shepherd. God’s shepherds have failed to do their job. God’s shepherds have not sought the lost or healed the sick or done what God called them to do… God takes off and joins the search. God has left the building.”
Her second sermon on the program, “Waiting in Lag Time,” is tailored for the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30. It is based on Mark 13:24-37, which describes the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory. In it, Haupert-Johnson asks, “What do we do with this in-between time, this lag time? How do we handle the waiting, especially when things seem to be falling apart all around us?”
Haupert-Johnson was appointed to the district by Florida Bishop Ken Carter in 2013 after serving as co-pastor with her husband, Allen, of First UMC, Ocala. She had a career in law before responding to her call to ministry.
Previous pastoral appointments include churches in Tampa, Cape Coral and Lakeland. As district superintendent, she oversees 83 churches in north central Florida, a diverse area of large and small churches that includes urban, suburban and rural communities, as well as a Native American ministry, a large camps and retreat center near Leesburg and a vibrant campus ministry at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
She is a graduate of the University of Florida and its College of Law, as well as Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where she serves as chairperson of the Candler Alumni Board.
The radio program will include interviews with Haupert-Johnson conducted by Wallace, who is also executive producer.
Haupert-Johnson told Florida Conference Connection she was excited to be invited to preach on the program.
"I really like the program," she said. "I've listened to it for a long time. I thought it would be a great opportunity."
Recording sermons for radio was a first for the seasoned preacher, who was accustomed to being part of televised worship services at First UMC, Ocala. Those broadcasts were live, whereas the radio presentations were recorded in advance.
"I really appreciated the opportunity for do-overs," Haupert-Johnson quipped.
Knowing her words would be heard without visual cues, however, prompted her to craft her sermons a little differently while taking care to speak in a natural, conversational way.
"You have to think about how your words are going to come across," she said. "It's a different animal."
“Day 1” has been broadcast every week for 69 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta. For more information, call toll-free at 888-411-Day-1 or check the program’s website, http://day1.org.
-- Susan Green, managing editor of Florida Conference Connection, contributed to this report.