Feast Days

Photo album: St. Michael’s Day Celebration & Parking Lot Blessing

Posted by on Tue, Oct 9, 2018 in Events, Feast Days, News and Events, Photos

Selected photos of the Saint Michael’s Day Celebration and Parking Lot Blessing held on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 10:00 AM 

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Sep. 30, 2018 – Feast of Saint Michael & All Angels – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Sep 30, 2018 in Feast Days, Season after Pentecost, Sermons

What a great day! We bless our new parking lot, (and soon our Rain Garden!), we celebrate our patronal feast day of Saint Michael and All Angels, and we launch our 2019 Giving Campaign. We are St. Michael and All Angels, and today we put all of this in a scriptural context; first that of the Archangel Michael, who with the company of angels fought the dragon, the devil, who was called “the deceiver of the world,” and defeated him, triumphing by the “authority of his Messiah.” We see this day in light of the heritage of Jacob’s dream in Genesis, angels ascending and descending on the ladder between heaven and earth. Whereby God stood beside Jacob giving him and his offspring that land, saying how numerous they would be, and that even when they went away God would bring them back and would not leave until God’s promises were fulfilled. Our context also includes Nathanael, called to be a disciple, and when Jesus names the goodness within him, he asks “Where did you get to know me?” And he is in awe of Jesus, who promises they would see “heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

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Apr. 1, 2018 – Easter Day – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Apr 1, 2018 in Easter, Feast Days, Sermons

The Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Day April 1, 2018 “I have seen the Lord!” She said. The first to speak the good news of the resurrection did not tell us she’d seen the empty tomb, though that troubled her enough to tell about it not once, but three times. She did not tell us he was gone from it. She did not say Peter and the other disciple were with her and could back up her story, because they’d looked and then returned home. She said “I have seen the Lord!” Personal witness, personal experience, she told the undeniable truth seen with her own eyes, and the world has never been the...

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Feb. 4, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 4, 2018 in Epiphany, Feast Days, Sermons

Today we celebrate the feast of Candlemas which honors Jesus being presented in the temple by Joseph and Mary, according to Jewish tradition. Aged Simeon and the Prophet Anna who had long awaited his coming, and are prophet and witness to the fulfillment of God’s promise revealed in the one we call the light of the world.  We first gathered at the entrance with an icon of the ‘Presentation of Jesus in the Temple,’ with candles to symbolize the light of Christ entering, and amidst ‘Candlemas Bells’ (also called snowdrops) which are a sign of purity and life breaking through the ‘death’ of winter. They are often the first blooms to come up as snow begins to melt and there is much lovely folklore about them you can look up or ask me about later. Widely celebrated in England, Candlemas is the first day one is allowed to bring the ‘Candlemas Bells’ indoors, first bringing them to the altar for the feast day to recall the promise of greater light to come, and only after that may they be brought into people’s homes. It falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox; just when we are wearied by the long winter nights and rainy days, we see the hint of lengthening days and the growing light in the world.

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Jan. 7, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 7, 2018 in Epiphany, Feast Days, Sermons

The Judean wilderness setting for Jesus’ baptism as told in the gospel according to Mark is wonderfully real, earthy, and tactile. We hear of people crossing the countryside and being baptized in river water, a man who wears camel’s hair and leather, who eats bugs and honey, the image of the thongs of Jesus’ sandals to be tied. You can imagine that sense of him coming up out of the water himself, it running off his face, then hair and shoulders, and dripping from his clothes as he is startled by seeing the heavens ripped open, and God’s larger-than-life voice that only Jesus hears. It keeps us from pretending baptism is a nice tame ritual, domesticated and abstract in it’s power. No – this is all about the real, tangible presence of God crashing into this world in a new way! Picture that Spirit as a dove descending on him—was it gently lofting down from fluffy clouds, or was it part of that ripping open of the heavens, diving down on John, Jesus and the others at the river, bearing the power of God’s in-breaking just as Jesus hears those words? Did people look up in serene angelic adoration, or did they duck to avoid the Spirit’s swooping speeding path, peeking at the last to see where it landed? I like to think it was the latter and more dramatic real-world scene.

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Nov. 5, 2017 – All Saints’ Sunday (sermon)

Posted by on Sun, Nov 5, 2017 in Feast Days, Season after Pentecost, Sermons

The last two churches I served, as well as the one in Bellingham, where Michael and I were married, all had those grand stained-glass windows with scenes from Jesus’ life and striking images of those we call saints. They’re usually depicted with symbols of their holiness or martyrdom, they seem to glow from within, each is spotlessly attired, with faces that are solemn if they’re men, and sweetly thoughtful if women, and they are all adorned with halos. It’s common practice for priests to be asked about them, and so right away you learn about the saints depicted in your church windows. (Dorcas and Damaris were never mentioned in seminary, but I learned their story!) Coming to Saint Michael and All Angels meant learning about only one “saint”—and none of the usual ones are depicted in our windows. But in a way, many of the other lesser known ones are in here.

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