Posts by rector_emeritus

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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Mother Ann’s sermon preached on June 13, 2021

Posted by on Sun, Jun 13, 2021 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

At the dawn of the 20th century, when empirical science was still new to faith, a young French priest fell in love with geology. Tielhard de Chardin was convinced that if he could learn to trace the hand of the Creator in earth’s cliffs and crevasses, mountain ranges and coastlines, he would disclose the face of God. Chardin persuaded his superiors to send him to university to find out.

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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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