A congregation gathers on a Sunday morning. There has been a lot of preparation. The altar has been set, bulletins have been printed, the heat turned up. The choir has practiced. Worship begins with The Word: Scripture and sermon, hymns and prayers have challenged and inspired. At God's Table, all come to to be reconciled to God and one another through Christ's body and blood. Renewed and strengthened we are Sent to live into our calling as apostles in the world. But first... the fellowship of coffee hour awaits. The Church, St. Paul said, is the body of Christ and each a member. It's true! Never perfect, filled with all sorts and characters and yet, a beautiful living organism of God's grace.
Will He find Faith on Earth?
Rev. Jean Jersey
Retirement brings lots of gifts and one that I particularly treasure is the opportunity to study new areas and discover interests I never knew I had. So it is that in retirement I found myself part of a small four-person poetry group. In five years we have looked into an amazing number of poets, some I knew about and some I had never heard of. This month we are reading David Budbill, a Vermont poet who recently died, and I have been so surprised to find myself laughing out loud as I read his work. I don’t laugh out loud very often, and these days I find very little to laugh about at all so to hear myself chuckling away was startling. It made me wonder when I had stopped laughing, when I had allowed that part of myself to atrophy. Now there are certainly plenty of reasons not to laugh just now. It takes courage just to listen to the news. This country is facing some very very serious questions that will not be resolved no matter who is elected next month. Questions about race, about policing, about a new kind of cold war with Russia, about freedom of religion, inequality of wealth, lack of job opportunities, and immigration reform. And the aftermath of the election will bring its own questions. Behind all of these questions and the ones yet to come is a Massive Cloud of Fear. We are a fearful people and we are surrounded by folks who play on those fears every day. It is done so skillfully that sometimes we are not even aware of being manipulated until we find ourselves endorsing something we really don’t believe in and are shocked to discover what we have thought or said.
Read more: This Week's Sermon
Sighs too deep for words
The Spirit helps us in our weakness… and intercedes for us with groaning and sighing. The God who searches our hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And it is Christ Jesus, raised from the dead who also intercedes for the us. (Ro 8:26-27)
There are moments in the life of a faith community when it feels like the walls have come tumbling down. It might feel like that time now at St. John’s. Loss comes in many forms, whether it is dear ones who have moved away who nonetheless remain part of us. Other times sickness and ill-health or aging necessitate changes, precluding the body of Christ from being rejoined on a weekly basis at God’s Table. Then a swift and sure blow such as the sudden, unexpected death of Phil Plumb comes and takes our breath away.
Read more: Rector's Message
"We are the Episcopal Church, welcoming all and practicing our faith through worship, discipleship, fellowship and service."
Transcripts of earlier sermons