Sunday Sermons

June 17, 2018 – The Rev. Rod McAulay

Gardener, Healer, Guide

Jesus teaches in parables. Mark says he only talked in parables. These parables typically used metaphors to open the meaning of something deeper – the kingdom of heaven or the meaning of neighbor, for example – and, as parables do, they often had a surprise twist at the end. Many of the metaphors used by Jesus involved agrarian images, shepherds and sheep, vines and vine branches, and, today, growing grain and mustard seeds. The Bible, as a whole, is dense with agricultural images: the psalms sing with references to plants, forests, cattle, sheep, birds of the air and fish of the sea. Our lesson today from Ezekiel talks of a great, thriving tree, a huge cedar with great boughs that produces fruit and offers shelter to birds of all kinds. (more…)

June 10, 2018 – The Rev. Pamela Moore

We Are Family

This morning I want to talk a bit about God’s family. Desmond Tutu once said, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” In the best of all possible worlds we are born into families where there is lots of love, kindness, support and care. If you have ever witnessed the birth of a child, you have hopefully experienced what it is like to be part of such a joyous occasion. One in which there are hopes and dreams for a good life for this new person and a commitment on the part of the parents and caregivers to do their best to provide all that is needed for the child to thrive and be healthy. (more…)

May 20, 2018 – The Rev. Pamela Moore

Pentecost 

A Time for Evangelism

“Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love thee and worthily magnify thy Holy Name”

Jesus told the disciples,26 “The Helper will come—the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me.27 And you, too, will speak about me, because you have been with me from the very beginning. (Good News Translation).

There are, in that passage, two very important ideas. One is that Jesus will send to his followers a spirit that will help us understand the truth of who God is. The second idea is that we are expected to share our experience of Jesus with others. (more…)

May 6, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Last Sunday at Incarnation

In the gospel lesson this morning, we hear about how Jesus has been with his disciples through many ups and downs, many storms, and many joys. He is soon to leave them.

As Jesus prepares to depart, he has a new name for these disciples: he now calls them “friends.”

Well, I don’t have disciples, and that would be a very bad and ridiculous idea anyway.

But I am proud to call you friends.

My friends, this is my last Sunday with you. I am enormously grateful to you – each and every one of you – for the time we have spent together. (more…)

April 29, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

The first lesson we hear this morning, from the Acts of the Apostles, is among my favorite stories in the Bible. But it is a story that, I suspect, is probably much overlooked by many people.

The reason I love this story is it explodes all kinds of assumptions about religion and religious rules. So I’d like us to spend a little time with it.

The story begins, like many of these stories do, with an angel. When you see an angel show up, you know something important is about to happen. (more…)

April 22,2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Today we celebrate what is commonly known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Good Shepherd Sunday is one of these unofficial church holidays we get each year that isn’t listed on the calendar exactly, but which comes with the same regularity as Christmas and Easter each year.

Good Shepherd Sunday can sound a little cuddly and fluffy. You might think of this like the beautiful window behind me. (more…)

April 1, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Easter Sunday 2018

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

The Lord is Risen Indeed!

On that first Easter morning, long, long ago, there were no Alleluias! No Christ is Risen Indeed!

No Easter candle, no hymns, no lilies, no spring wardrobe.

No Easter bonnets. No yellow shoes. No hot buttered cross buns.

No, none of that. (more…)

March 30, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Good Friday 2018

The posse comes for Jesus in the dead of night. He is dragged away like a common bandit in shackles to be mocked, tortured and killed.

His most courageous follower, Peter – the one who Jesus calls “the Rock” because he is so steady – follows at a distance. Peter – the rock – makes his way in the cold darkness to a fire in the courtyard where Jesus is taken. He is near enough that he can see Jesus interrogated and hear his words.

Then suddenly fear grabs Peter by the throat. (more…)

March 25, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Palm Sunday

Yesterday, many of us picked up signs and marched in towns and cities all over the world to remember those who have died from gun violence.

Today we pick up palms all over the world to begin Holy Week and to march once again to Easter.

As each day of this most holy of weeks unfolds, we will remember the final events in the life of Christ.

Today we stop at the arrest of Jesus. (more…)

March 18, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Warning: This sermon contains adult content and violence.

Let’s see if that holds your interest.

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It is hard and risky work being a prophet. It is not a job you volunteer for. The people you thought you knew and trusted may not want to hear you words. When they do hear you, they might want to kill you.

Being a prophet can get you thrown into a dungeon or a deep well. (more…)

March 11, 2018 – The Rev. Pamela Moore

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Gospel:  John 3:14-21

What If?

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Have you ever wondered what the world would have been like if humans had never sinned? What would it be like now if the world said, “We are done with this sinning thing. What if, having recognized the destruction and devastation that comes from violence, resentments, jealousies, lies, wrongful use of power, domination, false superiority, errant justifications, and anger, the world said, “Enough. We have done this enough, and it is long since time to stop.” (more…)

February 25, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Second Sunday of Lent

Today we meet up with Jesus once again on the road as he brings hope and healing wherever he goes.

In the Gospel of Mark, there is a cascade of these healing stories, one after another just before the passage you hear this morning.

As Jesus travels the countryside, he heals everyone he meets. He does so with no regard for following established religious rules. He heals everyone, rich and poor, male and female. (more…)

February 18, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

First Sunday of Lent

“The heavens were torn apart and the Spirit descended like a dove.”

This past week, I was privileged to attend a luncheon honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Living Room.

For those unfamiliar with this remarkable place, The Living Room is a day shelter for women, many of whom live on the streets or in their cars, and many of whom are escaping domestic violence.

And some of you may not know this: This parish founded The Living Room. (more…)

February 14, 2018 – The Rev. James Richardson

Ash Wednesday 2018

Today, as we do on this day once a year, we will smear ashes on our foreheads, and hear these sobering words: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

This is the one day of the year that the Church sets aside to remind us of the frailty and uncertainty of life, and indeed, to remind us of our mortality.

I’m not sure we really need much reminding of that this year. (more…)