Posts by rector_emeritus

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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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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