Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 17, 2017 - the 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for the Day (track 1).

I met with the Vestry Stewardship Team this past week to talk about our many ministries here at Emmanuel, and how we can recognize the good stewardship of time, talents, passion and skills, in addition to financial giving, that we already do in our life together.  One of the things we talked about was intentionally creating ‘seasons’ of stewardship of various gifts.  Think of it like a month or two of talking about and celebrating how we are stewards of gifts like our time, God’s creation, our health, our learning, our Sabbath time, our children.  We’re working on a plan to celebrate and recognize and teach about stewardship in different areas, all year long.

We may not have that calendar of year-round stewardship themes worked out and implemented yet, but it feels like the gospel readings in Matthew (starting last week and looking forward a few more weeks) are creating a season for us to talk about stewardship of relationship and community.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 10, 2017 - the 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for today (track 1).

Listen to the sermon.

Welcome!  It’s that Sunday that happens every fall, when we gather to begin the new program year.  Every fall we begin this rhythm of life together again.  We return from wherever we’ve been, or maybe we arrive for the first time.
We come into this place, this space, this community.  We come seeking a place to worship and pray, a peaceful sanctuary from the weariness of the world.  We come eager for companionship on our journey, hungry for learning and growing in faith, and for serving our neighbors.  We come to find community, to find people and God, and God dwelling among us, in our midst.  

That’s what makes us community – God dwelling in our midst, present in our every conversation, action and greeting.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27, 2017 - the 12th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for Today (track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

After a long day of teaching and traveling, Jesus turns to his disciples and asks, “Who do you say that I am?”
Let’s stop the story in that moment and look around.  Jesus is in the hey day of his ministry.  In the chapter leading up to this passage, he has been feeding the thousands, healing people left and right, and dealing with the seemingly-constant theological challenges of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  He and his disciples have just arrived in a new place, and he asks the disciples who the people say he is.  For that matter, who do his disciples say he is.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 20, 2017 - the 11th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for today (track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

I have to confess that after the high emotions of last weekend, this weekend feels light.  Especially with much of North America focused on the eclipse tomorrow.  It’s tempting to again want to think we’ve gotten past racist rhetoric and violence.  That the mess of emotion and chaos is all swept up and put away. So we can just look to the sky, and marvel at the sun and moon and earth all aligning. We want to be awed and comforted by something non-violent, something predictable, something cosmic in scale.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13, 2017 - the 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for the Day (track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

In this stormy world of chaos and doubt, Jesus appears to us in the darkness of our fear and he says, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

If you heard any news this week, you may be feeling despair about the state of our world and nation.  Maybe feeling like the winds of chaos are swirling, and it’s hard to see how we can hold out hope.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 6, 2017 - the Feast of the Transfiguration

The Readings of the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

Happy August!  Happy Seafair Sunday!  Happy Feast of the Transfiguration!  

Today, August 6, is one of the highest holy days in our church calendar - and we really only celebrate it when it falls on a Sunday, which happens about every 6-9 years.  We also remember the transfiguration of Jesus on the last Sunday after Epiphany, which generally falls in late January or early February.  Before we go any further, the transfiguration refers to Jesus’ face shining like the sun and his clothes becoming dazzling white.  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30, 2017 - the 8th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for Today (track 1).

Listen to the Sermon.

Today is one of my favorite feast days of the entire year because today we remember William Wilberforce.  You might remember a movie about his life called “Amazing Grace” that came out about 10 years ago. Born into wealth in England in 1759. Elected to the House of Commons at the age of 21. He used his eloquence and charm, informed by his faith, to crusade uncompromisingly and single-mindedly for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade - for the entirety of his 45 years in the House.  The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 had its final reading in the House of Commons just 3 days before his death, and became law the following year.

What I love about William Wilberforce is his passion and persistence in holding out a vision that the society he lived in could and should change, to be more just and life-giving for a class of people who were essentially invisible.