Posts by rector_emeritus

Mother Ann’s sermon preached on Aug. 29, 2021

Posted by on Sun, Aug 29, 2021 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

Following the first Easter, as Jesus ascended into heaven and God’s Spirit descended on the disciples, they felt amazingly energized—yet quite unsure just how to go on. For three long years Jesus had personally led them by word and example. Now he commissioned them to serve as a spirited committee of twelve to build up the Church—a bit like commissioning an eager new vestry, without providing them with a building, a priest or a Prayer Book.

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached on Aug. 22, 2021

Posted by on Sun, Aug 22, 2021 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

The Bible is brilliant at expressing what it’s like to journey with God. For example, listen to Yahweh speaking through the prophet Hosea: ‘When Israel was a child I loved him…I taught him to walk and took him up in my arms…like a father lifting an infant to his cheek…I bent down to him and fed him…Though Israel is bent on turning away from me, how can I give him up? My compassion grows warm and tender, and I will return my people to their homes. For I am the Holy One in their midst.’

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached on Aug. 15, 2021

Posted by on Sun, Aug 15, 2021 in Feast Days, Season after Pentecost, Sermons

In the times BC—before cameras—word pictures recorded life’s really big moments, and book by book the Bible grew into an immense family album, preserving a wealth of sacred memories for future generations. This morning we will savor memories of Mary, mother of Jesus, whose life we celebrate today.

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached on Aug. 8, 2021

Posted by on Sun, Aug 8, 2021 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

Jesus was a controversial figure during his lifetime. Consider today’s Gospel, in which he boldly introduces himself as “living bread that came down from heaven…for the life of the world.” That stunning promise drew in many listeners. But not everyone. Skeptics on the scene wrote him off as merely “Jesus…son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know.” They treated him as nobody special. At the time, no one could say for sure which response to Jesus was the right one…the disciples’ awe, or the scoffers’ disinterest.

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached on June 20, 2021

Posted by on Sun, Jun 20, 2021 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

Recently I saw a write-up of research by psychologist Paul Piff. Piff studies what he calls the experience of “small self”—that is the sense of awe we get by being part of something much bigger and more important than we are. He points out that one of the simplest routes to this sense of smallness is surrounding ourselves with vastness, like staring out at the ocean, or up at the clouds by day or stars by night. Or maybe finding a hill with a view and climbing it, or visiting an ancient fossil bed, and running a finger over its sandy surface. Another way to shrink is to immerse yourself in great music, art or poetry, or lock eyes with a newborn baby, or ponder the sunbeams streaming through your window. The whole point is to give yourself over to the moment and lose yourself in it. Piff’s research shows that allowing ourselves to be awed like this leads to deeper generosity of heart, an openness to helping others, and richer relationships with reality.

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