Sunday Sermons

July 9, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t win. You know the feeling?

That seems to be what Jesus is saying in today’s gospel lesson: First you criticize John the Baptist for being too strict, not sociable, and never enjoying a meal, and then you criticize Jesus for eating and drinking too much and being glutton. (more…)

July 2, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Independence Day Observed

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Once a year, on this Fourth of July weekend when we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, I like to tell a story. It is a story not well known but should be. (more…)

June 25, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Who are your people?

Some years ago, my wife, Lori, and I were visiting her relatives in a small, rural town in central Louisiana.

We pulled into a gas station and the attendant – they still pump your gas there – looked in the car and appeared puzzled for a moment.

Then he asked Lori if she was a “Guillory.”

She replied that she was Guillory, on her mother’s side.

I didn’t know that. But this guy knew who her relations were just by looking at her. (more…)

June 11, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Trinity Sunday

Today is Trinity Sunday, the day the Church sets aside for preaching about this ancient — and obtuse — doctrine of the Trinity. It is perhaps no accident that the Church saves this teaching moment for the start of summer vacations.

In many churches, the task of explaining the Trinity falls to a seminarian. It’s kind of a rite of passage: Let’s see how fast the seminarian gets in trouble.

But since we have no seminarian, you get me. (more…)

June 4, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Pentecost

This is a red-letter day like no other on our church calendar. Today is Pentecost, the official birthday of the Church. Happy birthday folks!

Pentecost is loud, bright, and very red. Pentecost has it all: fire and water; doves descending, wind blowing, and the sound of many languages speaking all at once.

There is nothing small about Pentecost. (more…)

May 28, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Seventh Sunday of Easter

What makes your soul dance?

Does your soul dance when you listen to music, or the birds singing on an early morning walk?

Does your soul dance when you gaze at the the sky on a clear summer night, or feel the sand between your toes on a walk on a beach?

What makes your soul dance? (more…)

May 21, 2017 – The Rev. Pamela Moore

Sixth Sunday of Easter

No Orphans Here 

My mother died when I was 22 years old. Her death was hard for me because in addition to being my mother, she was also my best friend. That was not always the case. We had great difficulties during my teenage years and it was only after I moved out of the house at 18 to go to school that we had enough space between us for our love to grow and to flower into the beautiful thing it became. I grew up with my mother and stepfather and as close as I was to my mother I was equally distant from my stepfather. So, when he died 2 decades after my mother I was surprised at how deeply I felt his loss. What also surprised me was the sense that in addition to being an orphan, I lost for a time my sense of self. It occurred to me then that I no longer belonged to anybody. Having never married, I was nobody’s wife, no body’s mother and now nobody’s child. This sense of not belonging to anyone was deeply felt despite my having brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends who loved me and still do. (more…)

April 16, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Easter Sunday

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Get up, go to Galilee. You will see him there. Get up!

Well, don’t go just yet. You can wait until after Communion.

But you heard the angel: Don’t get too comfortable, put on your traveling shoes. You have places to go.

Your journey of faith – your journey of life – begins again today. (more…)

April 15, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Easter Vigil

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

What we do tonight is very ancient – and very new.

Tonight, we stand with people long ago who the lit the fires of hope, and told the ancient stories of creation, deliverance and resurrection. They faced impossible odds and certain death, and still they proclaimed “Alleluia!” (more…)

April 2, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Fifth Sunday in Lent

You and I are made from bones and flesh, and we sometimes life in dry valleys and in the tombs.

But we are more than this.

You and I are made from grace. You and I are made for love. You and I are made from and for eternity.

In this life, we are made for glimpses of heaven. We don’t have to wait for the next life to see if only we look. (more…)

March 26, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Fourth Sunday in Lent

We are in the season of long gospel lessons and it is easy to tune them out; easy to not hear them, or see what the gospel writers would have us see.

Blindness is not just a physical affliction of the eyes. Blindness can be an affliction of our minds, an affliction of our hearts, and affliction of our souls.

What is it that we don’t see because we don’t notice – or don’t want to notice?

What is it we don’t hear because we are surrounded by so much noise and distractions we cannot hear? And what is it we don’t hear because we don’t want to hear it? (more…)

March 19, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Third Sunday in Lent

In the gospel lesson this morning, Jesus talks in riddles – lots of riddles.

I have a question for you – but it is not a riddle.

Do you have a place where you feel at peace? A place where you feel calm? A place where you feel at one with life?

To put this in the terms of the gospel lesson this morning: Is there a place where you find living water?

I want to tell you about a place where I find living water. (more…)

March 12, 2017 – The Rev. Pamela Moore

Let Go and Let God

Jesus Said: “Love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Last week Pastor Jim shared with us the importance of repentance, turning around or turning back; today I would like to add to that thinking another type of turning; turning over. Turning back to God and turning one’s life over to the care of God seem to me to go hand in hand. Neither one is easy. Both require a willingness to surrender the ego and/or the parts of ourselves that are holding us hostage to beliefs, behaviors and ideas that impede our spiritual growth and development. Turning one’s life over to God and leaving it there requires courage, patience, trust and faith. This act of surrender takes one out of the driver’s seat, challenges our notions of autonomy, and in a way, asks us to become as helpless and as dependent as a newborn child with the hope that a God we cannot see, touch or feel will care for us and provide what we need when we need it. It is no wonder that asking us to let go of all we think we know about life, to embrace a way of being that is so dependent and trusting, can make it feel like we are birthing into being a new self. It can be painful and hard. And yet the reward, a new life in Christ, makes it all worthwhile. (more…)