Posts by rector_emeritus

Mother Ann’s sermon preached Feb. 14, 2021

Posted by on Sun, Feb 14, 2021 in Epiphany, Sermons

This morning we look on as the prophet Elijah strides through the Promised Land. You and I might stumble over the place names he visits, but the Israelites know them all by heart. They are sacred places where God had been encountered in the past, at crucial moments when the people needed to find their way forward. At this place God spoke through that prophet, and the Israelites were led over there; then God spoke through another prophet, and they were again led onward.

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached Dec. 20, 2020

Posted by on Sun, Dec 20, 2020 in Advent, Sermons

We rarely ever hear a leader of ours confess that he is not Godsend to the world people thought he might be. Rarely do we hear him admit whom he is not if greatness is presumed; ‘No, I’m not the most favored guy, not the one who can do it all or who knows it all. I am not who you hoped I would be.’ It’s even more unlikely that he would say so to important authorities or to his base followers.

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached Aug. 30, 2020

Posted by on Sun, Aug 30, 2020 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

Recently I’ve been reading a book that my niece recommended. Her teenagers are currently transitioning from high school to college, and she is taking stock of what parenting looks like now. What new roles and relationships are being forged? What gifts can one generation offer another? What is the unfinished business of the family?

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached Aug. 23, 2020

Posted by on Sun, Aug 23, 2020 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

In the course of this pandemic, I am picking up a new life skill.  Because I cannot see whether masked faces are smiling at me or turning up their noses, I am starting to read more subtle signals. Eyes for instance, whether people are inviting engagement or averting in disinterest.  Brows too, whether they are arched in questioning or lowered in scowling.  Beyond that I am learning to take cues from body language—hand gestures, to be sure, but also posture and gait.  Not being able to read people by what they are deliberately communicating, I am learning to read them by their expressive actions.

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Mother Ann’s sermon preached Aug. 16, 2020

Posted by on Sun, Aug 16, 2020 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

Recently an old friend called to see how I was doing. We swapped stories about socially distant visiting with grandkids, ordering groceries online, and resorting to Zoom for worship and meetings.  Then our conversation broadened to challenges facing our whole nation—the relentless pandemic, the racial tensions, the struggling economy—and a note of deep sadness slipped into her voice.  It seemed overwhelming to her that peace and prosperity were faltering from coast to coast, and that the upcoming presidential race promised even more heat, and even less light. She ended with a lament that struck right at a preacher’s heart: “I really don’t need to hear one more sermon,” she sighed, “about way back then, when Jesus fed 5000 and walked on water.  I need to hear a message of hope for all of us, for today.”

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