London Learnings

The other week I had an exciting, and exhausting, week as I learned from London.  We visited many, many churches- two, sometimes three, a day.  At each church, we met with some of the clergy and lay leaders of the parish.  They were all part of The Church of England and the Diocese of London.  Yet, the places were also truly diverse. Holy Trinity/Brompton is Solemn High Mass in the morning, complete with incense and chanting.In the evening, they host a Crossing-type service with a praise band. A new church called E-20 meets on Tuesday nights in a cafĂ© in the former Olympic Athlete’s Village.They share an evening meal together.After the meal there is a basic Christian message. St, James/Picadilly is fairly middle of the road with their liturgy.During the Eucharist they gather around the Altar.I was surprised to see about 5 dogs present.No, the dogs did not receive! The places were as different as could be.Yet, there were some things held in common: The ever-reaching love of God was central.…

**SERMON** Sunday, 24 March 3rd Sunday in Lent

“I can’t do that, God!” “I don’t have enough training!” I don’t know the Bible well enough!” “I know what I want to do with my life- and that is not it!”
Do any of these sound familiar?Have you ever used one of those statements?Several of them?Don’t worry.I am not going to ask for a show of hands.I will, however, say this: you and I are not alone.We are in good company.Many of the leaders and prophets of the Bible are reluctant ministers. ·Jeremiah proclaims he is too young to speak on God’s behalf (1:6-7). ·Isaiah pleads his uncleanliness (6:5) to bring God’s Word to the people. ·Jonah heads for Tarshish rather than go to Nineveh (1:3). ·Joseph is hesitant to go through with his marriage to Mary (Matthew 1:18ff). ·Simon is overcome with a sense of unworthiness when confronted with God’s power in Jesus (Luke 5:1-11) Moses joins that company.The son of Israelites, Moses escaped death at his birth.He is raised in the court of Pharaoh.That gives Moses opportunities he otherwise would have lacked.He…

Love is the Word Sermon for Epiphany 4 2/3/2019

Jeremiah 1:4-10 + Psalm 71:1-6 + I Corinthians 13:1-13 + Luke 4:21-30
You may have noticed by now that our Presiding Bishop is big on love.PB Curry is constantly talking about the love of God in Jesus.A favorite saying of his is, “if it’s not about love, then it’s not about Jesus.”Our Presiding Bishop has said this time and time again: at Episcopal Church gatherings, on the national news, on the radio, and (most famously) at the wedding of Harry and Megan. What ++Michael is saying is not new news.Jesus Himself told his disciples that the world would know that they belong to Him by their love (John 13:34-35).And the Apostle Paul talks poetically about love in his “ode to love."We are used to hearing Paul’s words from I Corinthians at weddings.Many couples find inspiration and encouragement from Paul as they begin their new lives together. However, Paul is not just talking about romantic love.Paul is describing the kind of love and compassion that should typify our interactions with o…

Annual Report of the Rector

This past year we lostVirginia “Sue” MartinPeggy Crane Katherine HeadMaizie Fry Nancy Booker
However, we also added to our number.There were 5 baptisms.7 were confirmed during Bishop Smith’s final visitation in August.The ASA was 40 for the year; this is down a tad from 42 in 2017.46 home communions were celebrated with our shut-in or home bound members. 2018 was a year of restoration.After a long time of raising money, we were able to complete the restoration of our 1929 Kilgen organ.Hedy did wonders with a very sick and outdated organ.She even managed to make a key board sound ok—not as good as an organ, certainly, but we carried on.Your patience during the restoration process is greatly appreciated.And the organ is now sounding better than ever under her capable hands.Thank you to all who made this project possible with their donations small and large.You all made the restored organ a reality! We also carried out some major maintenance and repairs to the church buildings.A new, water-ti…

"Let there be light!" Christmas Eve sermon 12/24/2018

“Let there be light!”
In the opening chapter of Genesis, God’s voice echoes.God’s voice pierces the darkness and transforms the chaos of the deep.Light shines forth.
We gather today amidst the darkest time of year.Just the other day, it was the shortest day of the year. There was more darkness than hours of light.But the darkness is not just an image.For some, the darkness is all too real and all too painful: Loved ones battle drug or alcohol addiction. Violence continues to disrupt our schools and cities. The loss of a family member or close friend turns joy into sorrow. Families are torn apart by divorce and mental illness. Into all of these, God speaks, “Let there be light.”God brings a word of hope and reassurance.All around us there may be darkness and brokenness.Pain and suffering seem to be winning.Yet, God will have the final word. That final word comes to us in a helpless, vulnerable baby.Martin Luther once wrote that he believed God came to us in the form of a baby because babies ar…

The Shoot of Jesse (Isaiah 11)

Anna and the King of Siam is a favourite book of mine.In its pages Margaret Landon recounts Anna Leonowen’s life in the Siamese court.There is one especially poignant scene which I come to again and again.The English school teacher is visiting one of the King’s wives.At the time Lady Son Klin is in disfavour.During Anna’s visit she notices some exquisite art work on Son Klin’s walls.
I see you don’t understand the meaning of it,” Son Klin {tells Mrs. Anna}.“That big green there. . . is like unto me when I was young and ignorant, rejoicing in earthly distinctions and affections.Then you see I am brought as a gift to the King, and only think how very grand I am and how rich I shall become.And there you see that I am drooping and my leaves are withering and beginning to fall.Here I am shattered and uprooted by a sense of sorrow and humiliation.And there I am drifting along an impetuous river to destruction, but by and by a little flower stops my downward course.See how pretty it is!That l…

Didn't See It Coming

great read, especially for clergy but for all who follow Christ.

Carey's message is on target and full of hope.

I enjoy his conversational approach.

It was like listening to a good friend share over coffee.

But not just that, Carey offers concrete suggestions to help counter and avoid these challenges that we all face-- burn out, giving in to pride, negative thoughts, etc.

I received an advanced, unproofed copy.