Why The Episcopal Church?

I drove to and from my vestry meeting last night listening to episodes of The Collect Call.  If you don’t listen to Brendan and Holli, I heartily recommend this.  I enjoy it because they are church-y but they are also just plain delightful and entertaining.  Holli and Brendan offer The Collect Call as part of The Acts 8 Moment, a group working to proclaim resurrection in The Episcopal Church.

In the last few weeks you may have seen some of the posts responding to a trio of Acts 8 BLOGFORCE questions: Why the Church?, Why Anglicanism?, Why The Episcopal Church?

I haven’t said anything.  In part because of a busy schedule; in part because I feel like I’ve already commented on these ideas.

There is wisdom in the Church and in this Anglican Tradition.

I stayed in The Episcopal Church (now the Anglican Communion) because this is where I best see Jesus.

It’s been interesting to read people’s thoughts on why The Episcopal Church. In good Anglican fashion, I’ve agreed with some opinions more than others. It is always good to know that we share the cause of love, if not the details.  But then I was listening to Brendan, in the Proper 19 episode.  He made a comment about love being about more than the sum of the reasons we could list.

We can, and have, and will continue to make lists, to have reasons why we participate in and love this Episcopal Church of ours.  We’ll talk about polity and liturgy.

But there’s something more.  Our love for the Church is greater than the sum of our lists, even all our lists.  Our love for the Church has to do with seeing Jesus here, being transformed, and then trying to reason out what and how and why.

We have Church words for this: sacrament and miracle.  The Episcopal Church is a means by which we receive God’s Grace (sacrament) and something that only God can do (miracle). But those words only make sense, and often little enough even then, inside of the Church.

But perhaps we can say that The Episcopal Church is more than the sum of her parts and we’re in love.

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SR: Crosses and Windows, September 2014

It’s been a couple of weeks, hasn’t it? Sorry. A bit of vacation time, a small cold, and a my schedule leapt out of control.

Link: Crosses and Windows, September 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
This is one of the differences between the Canadian and American churches–up here Holy Cross takes precedence over Sunday. My opinion on this varies so it’s a good thing the Kalendar is there to provide a single and consistent answer.
The Cross, however, rarely provides a single and consistent answer. The line to which I was writing, but didn’t get included due to reasons, is that the Cross is a sign and not a sacrament. It points to something, to Jesus.

Theology: Christology
Jesus Count: average
Good News: the point is Jesus, who loves us.

What did I change on my feet?
I wrote a lot of this late and early, and very little on actual paper. So it’s hard to tell. My preaching seems to be swinging through a more extemporaneous delivery phase.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
It preached very somberly. I think there might have been some missed humour with the beginning history. I tend to preach on the theology of the day at times like this more than the lessons, but it could’ve stood a bit more influence or tie in.
What did work?
“If it ain’t (sic) about Jesus…”
And it was.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Lightcap, Repreived
If I can get people to do this just once I will be happy.
(Torey has also been playing with the sermon time a bit and it’s been inspiring to see that kind of creativity.)

Priest Giroux, Hard as Nails
Jesus isn’t offering loopholes.

Priest Baum, Pentecost 14
“He didn’t get a second chance to try to stay in the game. The game itself has been cancelled. There is no debt to work off, or to unrealistically promise to work off. The whole system of debt and debtors was declared invalid. That’s it. The king has declared that mercy will rule in the place of justice.”

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. I indicate both numbering systems.

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Crosses and Windows, September 2014

Robyns SermonsThere can be a lot of fuss about the stuff of a faithful life, especially if we forget it’s purpose.

 

The lessons can be found by clicking here.

 

Listen:

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Witnessing, September 2014

Robyns Sermons“If you are not listened to bring one or two witnesses…”

To witness what?

 

The lessons for today can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Matthew 18:15-20.

 

Listen:

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A Biblical Sin, August 2014

Robyns SermonsViolence? Genocide? Racism?  All that and more….

 

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Matthew 15:21-28.

 

 

Listen:

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SR Walking on Water, August 2014

Link: Walking on Water, August 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I love this story. I love that Peter gets out of the boat. I love that the storm stills. I love that Jesus pulls Peter back out of the water. Which made it really hard to preach. Then I started thinking about why Peter made the mistake of almost drowning. And realized he nearly didn’t…

Theology: People and the power of faith
Jesus Count: average
Good News: Sometimes we walk on water

What did I change on my feet?
I had a bare outline sketched out. I mostly filled it out.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
There’s a moment at the beginning where I say that last week was yesterday. After that I’m not so sure…
What did work?
Part of what I loved about this sermon was my hand gestures. As I’m talking about heaven and earth touching, I’m touching fingers—as if there’s just a point where things just, much like on Sistine Chapel. I don’t know if anyone else made the conscious connection, but I loved it.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Halley, Daring to Dance on Angry Waves
“I Am – the God who Sambas across the storms, Wastusis across the waves, Tangos across the thunder, and does the Hustle across the Hurricanes of our lives and bids us to “step out with faith, step out in courage, step out in joy upon the sea and dance with me.””

Priest Giroux, Help! There is corn in my scooter.
“The great Jewish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer once said, “I only pray when I am in trouble. But I’m in trouble all the time, so I pray all the time.””

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. I indicate both numbering systems.

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Walking on Water, August 2014

Robyns SermonsPeter stepped out of the boat and there was a moment or two…

 

 

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Matthew 14:22-33.

 

Listen:

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Problems, August 2013

Robyns SermonsProblems of grief, problems of food, problems of the world.

 

 

The lessons can be found by clicking here.   I worked most closely with Matthew 14:13-21.

 

Listen:

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SR Parable Mad Libs July 2014

Link: Parable. Mad Libs, July 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I was quickly fascinated by the parable of the treasure in the field. And then even more fascinated by the idea of God finding us.

Theology: Divine Love
Jesus Count: low
Good News: god delights in seeking us out.

What did I change on my feet?
I started to like this idea of rebelling the parable and then I loved the idea of inviting the congregation into that. Interaction always brings some element of surprise, so I had a rough sketch of where I was going and enjoyed the morning.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
If I was going to do it again, I’d also build the second retelling of the parable for interaction.
What did work?
The greatest risk in this style of preaching is not people saying odd things but not saying anything. They responded!

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Andrews-Weckerly, Romans 8, Proper 12
“When our lives have not turned out how we expected, when our loved ones suffer, or when the world seems to be doling out more hatred than our souls can bear, we find leaning on God’s love to be almost impossible.
And yet, that is Paul’s invitation today. Paul takes our broken selves and heaps piles of love on top of us. When we are weak, and we do not even know how to pray, Paul says that the Spirit helps us. The Spirit knows our pain and suffering, and in fact, the Spirit too groans in pain and suffering – with sighs too deep for words. … Every time God’s people broke their covenant with God, God groaned with sighs too deep for words. As God’s son hung on a cross, God groaned in agony over his death. God knows our groans because God groans too. God groans when Christians are forced from their homes in Iraq. God groans when God’s people kill one another in the most holy of lands. God groans when we turn innocent children into political issues.”

Priest Lightcap, Little
“What, I ask you, would Christians of the modern era be,
If we could not occasionally be toppled in our own ignorance and complacence
By something judged as insignificant
That nevertheless had a divine mandate to come into being and flourish?”

Priest Baum, Pentecost 6
Reticular Activating System–just go read

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. I indicate both numbering systems.

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Parable Mad Libs, July 2014

Robyns SermonsParables are stories we’re invited to play with.
This morning we experimented mad lib style.

 

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Matthew 13:31-33,44-52.

 

Listen:

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