Sermon

Garrett Yates's First Sunday - Pentecost 10 (8/18/19)

Garrett Yates's First Sunday - Pentecost 10 (8/18/19)

“First sermons are a little bit like first dates. Here I am: I want to do well. I want to come off as ‘just right’ – just funny enough, just insightful enough, wise but not lacking in spontaneity. There you are. Wanting to appear a healthy, fun-loving group of people with whom a young rector would love to spend years. But just as I was preparing for a crisp, polished sermon, just as I was hoping for a pleasant and straightforward message of God’s love – here comes Jesus interrupting it all: ‘I came to bring fire upon the earth; I didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword of division.’”

Pentecost 9 - David Urion (8/11/19)

Pentecost 9 - David Urion (8/11/19)

“I love baseball. I really love baseball. If I had been better at it, we wouldn’t be having this conversation together, today, in all probability. I was a catcher, albeit not a very gifted one. Many umpires tend to say things such as ‘I call them as I see them,’ or ‘They are what they are.’ My favorite umpire of all time, however, had a more existential view on balls and strikes. ‘They ain’t nothing until I call them.’ Which leads us to today’s gospel. We are, none of us, anything until we are called, and hear the call.”

Pentecost 8 - Greg Johnston (8/4/19)

Pentecost 8 - Greg Johnston (8/4/19)

“Asteroid 2019 OK passed us by without leaving a mark, and we’re all here today to tell the tale. But it does sharpen the point of today’s parable: This very night our lives could be demanded of us, and the things we have prepared won’t be ours anymore. When an asteroid comes and crashes into the earth, it doesn’t matter if you’re rich in possessions. What you really need is to be ‘rich toward God.’ So then—what does it mean to be rich toward God?”

Pentecost 5 - Greg Johnston (7/14/19)

Pentecost 5 - Greg Johnston (7/14/19)

“The lawyer recites the commandment to ‘love your neighbor’ and asks, ‘Then who’s my neighbor?’ But Jesus also answers the question, ‘What is love?’ Love is to see someone in pain and to be ‘moved with pity.’ But love doesn’t stop there. Love goes to that person, tends to that person, pays for that person’s care. Love follows up with that person. And love demands that others care for that person.“

Trinity Sunday - Greg Johnston (6/16/19)

Trinity Sunday - Greg Johnston (6/16/19)

“You might be surprised to hear me say this, but the Trinity is the most interesting, the most illuminating, and some would say the only worthwhile thing about Christianity. And yet the doctrine of the Trinity is the most boring, the most opaque, and many would say the most stultifying thing about Christianity. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t deny that the First, Second, and Third persons of the Trinity are coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial, and that ‘we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance,’ but… it’s not what gets me out of bed in the morning.”

Pentecost - Kate Elledge (6/9/19)

Pentecost - Kate Elledge (6/9/19)

“It would not have made a lick of difference if one disciple alone in his room, maybe with a candle or some burning sage, was suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in another language. The sudden ability to speak another language would not have been a foundational moment for Christianity. That moment depended on diverse people gathering together in one place and actively seeking God. Nowadays, we call that situation ‘church.’”

Easter 7 - Greg Johnston (6/2/19)

Easter 7 - Greg Johnston (6/2/19)

“Within just months of the resurrection, this joyous victory parade has taken a surprise turn. Jesus, who has seemingly returned to lead his disciples as they transform the world, who appears to have conquered death itself to reign as king over all creation, goes away. He leaves behind a movement of disciples who, far from being dismayed that they’re losing Jesus a second time over, are instead emboldened and invigorated, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as they continue to proclaim in every time and place: ‘The Lord is King.’ So what on earth is going on?“

Easter 6 - Kate Elledge (5/26/29)

Easter 6 - Kate Elledge (5/26/29)

“If we are genuinely Spirit-filled, we will live in keeping with God’s purposes for this world. This means that we have to determine God’s purposes for this world. And how do we do that? We do it right here. As John put it in today’s gospel: ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.‘ (John 14:23)“

Easter 5 - David Urion (5/19/19)

Easter 5 - David Urion (5/19/19)

“If we think about it much at all, the Book of Revelation gives us some pause and discomfort as well-behaved, reserved, decorous Anglicans. Filled with strange images and stories, it’s all a bit too hallucinatory to be entirely comfortable for us. This, it would seem, is the stuff of holy rollers and snake handlers. So how on earth—or heaven, for that matter—are we to understand this book and its messages?”

Easter Sunday - Kate Elledge (4/21/19)

Easter Sunday - Kate Elledge (4/21/19)

“Easter rocks. Easter is a cool holiday. And no, not all holidays are cool. I think we can all admit that Trinity Sunday is boring. Labor Day celebrates work. But Easter—Easter we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death itself. That is boss! That’s enough to make anyone say, ‘Alleluia!’ But did you notice—nobody actually says that in the gospel that we just heard? There’s not even a tasteful Episcopalian ‘woohoo!’ You get the picture that what we think when we picture that empty tomb is not what they thought when they saw the empty tomb.“

Good Friday - David Urion (4/19/19)

Good Friday - David Urion (4/19/19)

“This Gospel we hear, year after year, is an extraordinarily rich one. Today, I would like to stop and linger on the encounter between Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea, and the rabbi Yeshua ben Joseph, as they would have known each other. This is a story set in a particular time and place, but one that I think is remarkably applicable to our time. It’s a story of an encounter between two kinds of power, and two people who had very different understandings of the nature of the universe and this world and the humans who inhabit them…It is a story of a tyrant and a bully confronting something he cannot understand. It is therefore a story for our time.”

Palm Sunday - Greg Johnston (4/14/19)

Palm Sunday - Greg Johnston (4/14/19)

“If Easter is just a fairy tale—if Jesus’ death and resurrection is just a parable from which we have to extract some kind of spiritual or ethical meaning—then I’m not sure that Palm Sunday is worth celebrating with a parade. But if Jesus is our Harry Potter—if Jesus is the one who faces his own death to free us from Death—then Palm Sunday is final opportunity to cheer him on.”

Lent 5 - Kate Elledge (4/7/19)

Lent 5 - Kate Elledge (4/7/19)

“So, I am a huge fan of both the Marvel and DC universes. I know that makes me anathema with certain purists everywhere, but I cannot choose between Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. They’re both awesome…And given the gajillion dollars people have spent on DC and Marvel films, I’m clearly not the only one who likes superheroes and supervillains…Well, I think maybe John the Evangelist was also a fan of superheroes and supervillains.”