Pulpit Posts 2017-06-13T16:32:54+00:00

To Serve & Not Be Served

Sometimes we have the idea that if we follow Jesus we are guaranteed to receive a reward. When that happens, we forget that Jesus’ ministry was one of serving others. He gave himself for the sake of others, including suffering for their salvation. In Mark’s Gospel, James and John seized the opportunity to ask for the highest positions of honor in His kingdom, one to sit on His right the other on His Left. Power as the standard of greatness corrupts people. You only have to look at some of our political leaders to see that this is the case. For years, men thought that power belonged to only them. The “Me-Too movement” is changing that and this is good....

By | October 19th, 2018|

Can’t Lose

f you think that the television series Friday Night Lights is a show about football, you would only be partially correct. Based on a book about an actual high school football team in Odessa, Texas as well as a subsequent movie of the same name, the narratives in the show revolve around people and activities in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. The plot follows highs and lows during the high school football season of the Dillon Panthers; we meet the players, their families, and their coach—a committed, compassionate ex-player named Eric Taylor....

By | October 12th, 2018|

The Church and Slavery: From Shame to Lamentation, and Onward to Restorative Justice?

This past Sunday, we kicked off our fall Christian Education series “Foundations of our Faith” with a whirlwind session discussing the history of the Episcopal Church. In order to pare down the information, I relied heavily on Christopher L. Webber’s Welcome to the Episcopal Church: An Introduction to Its History, Faith, and Worship -- a useful primer for new church members. I did have a significant problem, though, with the material presented in the opening chapter on History -- an issue that those present at the forum picked up on pretty quickly too. Although I understand that the purpose of Webber’s volume is to be as inviting as possible to newcomers, I was surprised and disappointed to notice that in a chapter that focused heavily on the church’s history in America, there was no mention of the church’s involvement with slavery. Since I did not do enough to counter that omission on Sunday, I thought I would write a few sentences here to clarify....

By | October 5th, 2018|

Who Are We?

Last week we started our Adult Forums at 10 am in between worship services. The first gathering was Part II of a Question and Answer session that first happened just after I started serving at Holy Apostles. This time the group was smaller; some people had attended the first session, some were asking me questions for the first time. In my narrative and my responses to questions I was incorporating the word “we.” As in, “We did this,” or “We are hoping to do that.” And toward the end of the time, someone said, “You keep talking about ‘we.’ I’m just wondering, who is ‘we?’ How do you define that?”...

By | September 28th, 2018|

Becoming a True Servant

Jesus, in this coming Sunday’s Gospel, opens a discussion by wanting to know what His disciples had been talking about the last few miles of their journey. He of course had been in the front leading them, but behind him, He could hear that they were having a rather heated discussion. Now, that everyone was gathered together and sitting down, Jesus desired to know what it was that had caused such a lively and heated discussion. He wanted them to share, so that they could all talk about it together, calmly and rationally. What the disciples and others that followed did not know was that Jesus knew exactly what they had been discussing. He knew it was about personal ambition, about wanting to be the best, about even wanting to be the greatest. What they did not know was that such discussion didn’t bother Jesus at all. In fact, it allowed Jesus the opportunity to help them understand how they could in fact be the best disciple possible....

By | September 21st, 2018|

Gratitude

What a glorious celebration we shared last Thursday evening! From the opening notes of music in the service to the final bite of food at the reception, the Spirit was evident everywhere. The Celebration of New Ministry was beautiful, made so because every person involved in the process that led up to that evening and in the liturgy itself brought their faith, their dedication, their commitment and their hearts to that sacramental moment. The Book of Common Prayer defines sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward spiritual grace.” This means that sacraments and sacramental rites make visible something that is already happening—like poetry expressing feelings fully realized to the beloved, or laughter embodying delight. Sacraments recognize abounding Grace and make Grace manifest....

By | September 14th, 2018|

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