Sunday Sermons

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…)

March 1, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Ash Wednesday

As some of you know, I was a news reporter for many years – for a quarter century in fact. And many years ago, I covered a huge wild fire in Southern California that destroyed an entire neighborhood in San Bernardino, known as the Panorama fire.

It is still listed as on of the worst fires in the history of the West. Some 280 homes burned to the ground and four people died. (more…)

February 19, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

In the Christian and Jewish traditions, we have many words to describe the divine. But there is one word above all others that we hear most often to describe the holy. That word is love.

There are 445 passages in the Old Testament that speak of love, and another 295 passages in the New Testament that speak of love.

And our prayer book is filled with prayers of love. It is truly a book of love prayers. Today we get a full dose on this topic, starting with the opening prayer, or “collect.”

“Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love…” (more…)

February 5, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

I’d like to tell you about a friend of mine of many years. Her name is Doris. She is a few years older than me.

She was born during World War II in Poston, Arizona, in the desert near the Colorado River hundreds of miles from the nearest city. Doris’s family name is Okada. She is Japanese American. Doris was born in an internment camp.

For those unfamiliar with the internment camps, they were established by executive order 9066 of President Roosevelt two months after the outbreak of the war. (more…)

January 29, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

You will not hear a better summation of the entire Bible than with these words from the prophet Micah:

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

To oversimplify — but only a bit — the rest of the Bible is filling in the details. (more…)

January 15, 2017 – The Rev. Pamela Moore

Leadership: Today, Tomorrow and Always

Some of us in this room remember the grainy black and white movies of the 1950s that showed aliens arriving on earth. In the movie, little green men (They were all men. There were no little green women) would find an Earthling and said, “Take me to your leader.” By the way, we know they were green because someone in the movie would refer to them as such. Anyway, what is interesting about that demand, “Take me to your leader,” is the idea that there was one leader on earth who could speak for all the earth’s inhabitants. That there was a leader in charge of everything and who governed all our lives. Someone the alien life forms could negotiate with or tell that we were about to be invaded. Well you and I know that there never was such a person. However, given that we are about to, in less than a week, have new leaders in our country who are responsible for our nation’s welfare and because we as a congregation are about to begin the search for our new leader, it seems to be the right time to ask ourselves what leadership means to us. (more…)

January 8, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Today is the first Sunday of Epiphany – a new season for the new year. This is a season marked by light in the darkness and a sense of new starts for all of us.

As we hear the biblical stories unfold this new year once again, we will hear about people who make new starts. They will have strengths, and flaws, courage and cowardice, and often a mix of both. (more…)

December 25, 2016 – The Rev. James Richardson

Christmas Day 2016

Blessings this Christmas morning!

And blessings on this, the paternal feast day of our parish. Our name is the Church of the Incarnation, and that makes Christmas our parish feast day.

But before we get there, I begin not with the story of shepherds in the field, or magi following a star, or a baby in manger.

I want to start at the end of the story – Easter – because Easter is actually the beginning of the Christmas story. (more…)