**SERMON** "SNAKES!!" 3-11-2018

Numbers 21:4-9 + Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 + Ephesians 2:1-10 + John 3:14-21

“Snakes!Why does it always have to be snakes?” These words, of course, come from that daring adventurer, Dr. Indiana Jones.Going through a booby-trapped cavern– no problem!Taking a leap of faith across a giant chasm- piece of cake!Nothing can stop Indy . . . except for snakes!Indy speaks for many of us.An estimated 36% of Americans are afraid of snakes.I know I am!Noah could have left them off the Ark. So it is no wonder that a plague of poisonous snakes cause panic in the wilderness.A pit of snakes causes sheer terror in the Israelites’ camp.To put this scene in context a little bit, Israel is on their way to the Promise Land.Moses has led them out of Egypt to freedom.Then the whining begins: are we there yet? No, that is not really what they say.God’s people start to complain.Where is the food?What about water, we need water?With miles and miles of wilderness ahead, things take on a different perspective.Egypt begins…

**Sermon** "Spring Cleaning" 4 March 2018

The Rev’d Dawn-Victoria Mitchell + Trinity~St. Paul’s/Hannibal The Third Sunday in Lent B + 4 March 2018
Exodus 20:1-17 + Psalm 19 + I Corinthians 1:18-25 + John 2:13-22

I had the pleasure of going to the Holy Land twelve years ago.I was with, you may remember, with some pastors and their church members from Kansas City.We saw many sights during our 10 day trip.In Jerusalem we saw the Temple Mount and the Garden of Gethsemane.We also journeyed with Jesus as we walked the Via Delorosa, or the Way of the Cross. Just before we followed Jesus from His trial to the Crucifixion, our Guide gave us some important information.Chaim warned us that pick pockets target tourists on the Via Delorosa.He advised us to keep our bags in front of us, with our arms holding them close to our bodies.Men were encouraged to move their wallets to front pockets. I was taken aback by Chaim’s instructions.The Via is supposed to be a sacred place, a holy place.The presence of thieves in a place that should be about re…

A Holy Lent

II Kings 2:1-12 + Psalm 50:1-6 + II Corinthians 4:3-6 + Mark 9:2-9

Our Lenten journey is soon to start.  In a few days, we will hear again the ancient call to observe a holy Lent.             Normally when we think Lent, we think about giving something up.  We give up something we really enjoy as a way of helping us feel the depth and power of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.  Coffee, chocolate, dessert, and meat on Fridays are the most popular things that are given up for Lent. However, I also like to think of Lent in terms of deepening my spiritual life.  So, I also like to take something on for Lent to help strengthen my relationship with God.  Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list.  I offer these ideas as a way to help get us started. Take part in the Good Book Club.  The Club starts today with reading Luke 1:1-56.  If we follow through, we’ll have read two whole books of the Bible over Lent and Easter.  As I have mentioned before, there are several different ways in which you a…

**SERMON** "Who is This?"

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 + Psalm 111 + I Corinthians 8:1-13 + Mark 1:21-28

Jesus’ power and authority amaze them.  Ancient cultures venerated the old and the wisdom that comes with experience.  Here is Jesus, about 30 years old.  He has not had any formal training beyond Hebrew school.  Yet, Jesus speaks with authority.  His words drip with knowledge and insight.  So, the people wonder, who is this?  Is this a prophet, like Moses? You see, shortly before his death, Moses promises that God’s people will not be abandoned.  God will raise up new leaders, new prophets, like Moses.  The prophets will be known for speaking God’s word to the people.  The role of these prophets will be to call God’s people back into relationship with God.  Of course, not all prophets will be true.  There will be false prophets.  So, it is no wonder the people wonder, “Who is this?” The answer comes in a most unlikely place . . . from one who should not even be there in the first place.  Mark tells us that the man is…

**SERMON** "Come, Follow Me!"

Annual Report of the Rector               21 January 2018 Trinity Episcopal Church/Hannibal, MO        The Rev’d Dawn-Victoria Mitchell
In memoriam:              Raymond S. Mannigel                          Cynthia Brown Rohrer                                     Elizabeth “Betty” Berry Atkins            Lorna May Cann Roberson
Some facts:                  The Average Sunday Attendance for 2017 was 42; this is up 1 from 41 in 2016. Seven participated in Episca101 during the fall.  45 Private Home Communions were made in 2017.  I made more visits to our sick, shut-in, or home bound members.  I always offer Communion during these visits, however I leave it up to the individual if they would like to receive.
Highlights:             Two much needed committees were added by the Vestry.  You will read or hear about these during the Annual Meeting.  The first committee is an Auditing Committee. This committee will do period spot-checks on our finances and make preparation for formal audits much eas…

The Twelve Days of Christmas

In preparation for Christmas, let me say to you and your loved ones, "Merry Christmas!!"

Did you know that Christmas is not just one (1) day?!

That is right! 

The celebration of Jesus' birth is so important that it lasts for twelve (12) days!!!

In my family, we observe the 12 days by keeping up our trees until Epiphany (6 January).

You may remember the popular carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

A friend recently gave me a forwarded article that related each of the 12 days to an important Christian teaching.

The "True Love" is God, while me is the believer.

Day 1     Partridge in a Pear Tree     Jesus on the cross

Day 2     Turtle Doves                      The Old and New Testaments of the Bible

Day 3     French Hens                       Faith, hope, & love (see I Corinthians 13)

Day 4     Calling Birds                      The 4 Gospels (Matthew,  Mark, Luke, & John)

Day 5     Golden Rings                     The first 5 books of the Bib…

**SERMON** Bearers of the Light

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 + Canticle 15 + I Thessalonians 5:16-24 + John 1:6-8, 19-28

Several years ago, in 1996, I had the privilege of going to the Holy Land.  I traveled with a group from Kansas City to Tel Aviv.  We were on a Romanian airline.  At one point in the flight I needed to get up.  As I was waiting for the lavatory to be unoccupied, a flight attendant started taking to me--- in Romanian!!  I just stood there ah, ah ah. You see, she thought I was Romanian.  And I do not speak Romanian!  When she realized that I did not understand her, the stewardess quickly switched to English.  This has happened several other times in my life.  I have been mistaken for Spanish and Italian, as well.  Of course, the answer is . . . I am Greek.  A similar thing happens to John the Baptist.  He is there by the Jordan River.  John speaks with power and authority.  We read more about John’s message in Luke chapter 3.  John tells those who have food to share with those who don’t.  Those who have an ext…