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Showing posts from August, 2015

Beloved, Be A Light

Proper 17B, 2015, St. Clement’s Scripture appointed for Proper 17B can be found at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=217

“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”
The island of Maui emerged through the volcanic activity of the Volcano, Haleakala.  Growing up on the side of this dormant volcano, I was ever aware of the relationship between the sun and the earth.  From sea level, you can watch the sun gradually rise up from behind the volcano’s dome.  And, as the sun dips you can see the shadow cast by mountains and the interplay of light and shadow on the slopes of the volcano.  
Rising from the caldera and sinking into the sea with the attendant breezes and tides, the smell of salt and burnt sugar cane. T…

In Which We Embrace Scandal

Proper 16B  St. Clement’s 2015 Scripture appointed by the Revised Common Lectionary can be found HERE
Scandal
Most of us were raised to be respectable.  Taught to say the “right thing” to wear the “right thing” to avoid controversial topics and making a scene.  
And, some of us, were raised to find our own selves offensive. Too loud, too feminine, too masculine, not masculine enough, too opinionated, too fat, too thin, too much, too little, not opinionated enough, too dark, too light, not right...
At all. 
And, so many of us diminished ourselves...quieter, gentler, softer. Seeking to fit into this box or that. And, this quieter, gentler more acceptable life...some of those of us found this life, not life at all.
And so the choice would come, would the price of the scandal be our life or would the scandal bring us life? 
What a strange thing, to find ourselves, as ourselves, the scandal!  
When I was in middle school, I had a teacher who knew that he himself was a scandal. The whisper…

Jonathan Daniels, Ruby Sales, and the Life of the Saints

Proper 15B, 2015
There are not many Americans in the 20th century which our larger tradition would call martyr.  But there are two such names inscribed in the Chapel of Saints and Martyrs of Our Own Time in Canterbury Cathedral. One is Martin Luther King Jr.  The other? A seminarian from Episcopal Divinity School, then called Episcopal Theological Seminary, Jonathan Daniels. 
I bring his name to this place, to St. Paul in 2015, because we need to know him as one of us.  I bring his name to this place, St. Clement’s, because we need to hear of his life and witness within the context of our worship. I bring his name here, because the specifics of his death remind us of who we are and to whom we belong. I bring his name here because I read the news and the Bible and I advocate for those policies which seek to stand between that which is love and that which is hate. I bring his name here because we pour the water and eat the bread for a reason. I bring his name here because it is his nam…

Thirst, A Sermon for Pentecost 14B

Scripture appointed for today can be found here
Thirst
Today we speak of dignity, of seeking and serving Christ in all persons.  Today we speak of putting aside the work of evil in the world.  Today we give thanks for the waters which have opened up to us a new way of life.
Today we covenant, with God, with each other, with an infant who has yet to crawl--that we are working for something beyond ourselves.  Today we will break bread and drink from a common cup--and in that partaking we will be reminded that each relies on each.  We will be reminded that in the ritual of body broken and consumed we are partakers of the resurrection.  
But, today is not easy.
Today is not complete.
Today, we remember the hungry, the oppressed, the imprisoned, the impoverished and those who thirst for the waters of righteousness.
Today we speak of those myriad throngs clammering for the dignity we proclaim and the beauty we extoll.  
Seek and serve Christ in all persons.
This is a heavy work, a hard wor…

Out of Order

In looking things over, I realized that I'd not published two sermons...so now things are out of order!
For the most recent sermon (for August 2nd, 2015) please go here

Peace Be Still

Pentecost +4
There is a children’s story that many of you probably know...”going on a bear hunt”, and all week the refrain from that story has been with me. “There’s no way over it, no way under it, oh no, we've got to go through it...”
From one side of the sea to the other...no way over, no way under, no way around...just through.  In a boat, on a journey, to the other side.  
The youth and adults who departed for pilgrimage can surely relate to this notion of the journey to the next place.  As they waited for the megabus on Friday morning (the first leg of their trek to Ireland) I can imagine that many of them wished there were some way to JUST get there--without the exhaustion and work and anxiety of the journey. 
And, having experienced the intentional and ongoing work of formation that accompanies the ordination process, I can imagine there were times when Dan wondered if he would ever get across to the other side!  
Are we there yet?  The rather comic, and real, refrain tha…

Too Many Stairs

Because He Ascended, So Too May We Ascend...
“St. Philip’s was built when people thought that the more stairs you had to climb, the close you’d get to God”.  We looked up from the sidewalk surrounding the old stone church, to the red doors cheerfully situated at the top of 20 some odd stone steps.  It was a warm autumn day, and I was getting a tour of one of the churches I would be serving as a youth outreach worker--the church which hosted the offices for the four yoked congregations we served.  
To get into the sanctuary at St. Philip’s you had three choices--all of which involved multiple stairs.  There was the aforementioned entrance on Denison Avenue, 20 steps up; then the entrance on West 33rd, maybe 6 steps; and then, if you came in through the parish offices, a long, dimly lit hallway, steps down to a gym, and a narrow flight up to the sanctuary.  
It was hard to get into St. Philip’s.  Up was the only way in. And, while the original architects may have imagined the place to be a…