Monthly Archives: September 2013

SR: Ambiguity if not Doubt, P20/OT25 22Sept13

Link: Ambiguity if not Doubt, 22 Sept 2013

Summary of what I was saying and why:
Any honest preacher should tell you that this is and exceptionally tough passage to understand and even tougher to preach. The more work I did to understand it, the less I did. So this is my attempt to approach the ambiguity. With more ambiguity.

Theology: theology (faith seeking understanding–Anslem)
Jesus Count: low
Good News: what meanings do we incorporate into our lives?

What did I change on my feet?
In this version I struggled in the middle of the facts we know section. In the other version I struggled more with the conclusion. This wasn’t a sermon that allowed for much change.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I’m not sure how well I folded the This American Life story in. I think that may have worked better in my mind than in my preaching.
The other time I missed my favorite line: “ambiguity if not doubt.” Nothing hung on it, I was hopefully the only person who noticed/cared. But I did.
What did work?
It may be a bit off a reach, or an outright lack, from an exegetical perspective but I’m glad I did this. There is honesty in stating what I (and the larger faithful community) don’t know much less understand. There is truth in the invitation to take what meaning we find to build into our lives.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Lightcap approaches the Unjust Steward as an invitation to prioritize God in our financial planning.

Priest Sibley considers who the story is about–the manager or the master. And I’ll mention that he includes a section of comments/reflections/lingering questions at the bottom of the sermon.

Priest Richards considers what it means to live under someone else’s name (an also references NPR).

(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. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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Ambiguity if not Doubt, P20/OT25 22-Sept-13

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Luke 16:1-13.

The Unjust Steward.  A parable that defies any fully satisfactory explanation.  Of all the crazy things Jesus says, this one is really out there.

The episode of This American Life that I reference is ‘How I Got Into College.”  You can find it here.

Listen:

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SR Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra P19/OT24 2013

Link: Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra, P19/OT23 2013

Summary of what I was saying and why:
We know our stories–the stories of Jesus, the stories of our faith. The stories Paul is an example of. Others don’t understand our references to our stories. Our example is lost in translation.

Theology: Evangelism
Jesus Count: low
Good News: We can tell our stories better.

What did I change on my feet?
So much. At the early service I left out the bit about calculus and English but I hit some of the transitions and the Paul in Athens bit better.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I missed the tie-ins to the passage that I’d written. And I think there was a bit about acting our story out–not instead of telling it but to tell it–that didn’t occur to me.
I always feel awkward with the level of exposition needed with cultural references.
What did work?
I think the Star Trek reference worked. I enjoyed the confusion on people’s face between the first sentence and the realization I was talking about Star Trek. A few seconds of “is the new priest crazy?”

Other sermons I liked:

Priest ‘Chocolate’ Castellan tackles the fullness of God revealed in Luke’s parables.

Bishop Fisher has me wondering how many Churches celebrate Sundays as the Feast of the Found. And how to encourage my Church to start.

(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. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra, sermon P19/OT 23 9-15-13

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with 1 Timothy 1:12-17.

‘Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra’ (2nd episode, 5th season of Star Trek the Next Generation) is about understanding and translation.

Listen:

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SR Community P18/OT23 Sept 8 201:

Link: Community, Sept 8. 2013

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I’ve spent years now wondering about the question I posed: what kind of community lets the tower go unfinished and laughs at the builder? Is that the community we are/want to be?
Then I wanted to create a space for St Peter’s to answer those questions rather than assume any answers.
Because, essentially, what does it mean to be the community that helps finish the tower.
(Also, having preached on Jesus’ comments about families twice this summer, I didn’t have a third sermon there.)

Theology: stewardship
Jesus Count: low
Good News: We are, and are yet becoming, who we want to be.

What did I change on my feet?
This question is almost impossible with a more interactive sermon. I started and ended where I planned. No huge gaffes occurred in the middle.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I’m not hugely pleased with the how I expressed the stewardship that is built into being community.
What did work?
I loved how willing people were to answer. They don’t know me well here yet and this is atypical ground for most parishes.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Jones points out why this is not exactly Jesus’s ‘weed out’ class.

Priest Romanik considers where the cost meets the reward.

Bishop Edwards talks about money but even more about what the Church is doing for Christ.

(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. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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Community, a sermon for P18/OT23 9-9-13

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Luke 14:25-33.

Unfinished towers and warring kings–which may be about neither.  This is an interactive sermon, I hope it can be heard and understood.  My apologies if not.

Listen:

Notes Bene:

>The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman numbering system. So Proper 18 is also Ordinary Time 23.  On the day I fully understand the whys and wherefores, I’ll attempt to explain it.

>Due to the new audio system (which, I have an audio system at St Peter’s!) and not having pockets (a confluence of wearing a skirt and not having my own vestments) this recording is not the usual quality.

 

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Moving Lists

In the last month almost everything has changed. I’m living in a new city and country; part of a new Diocese in a new Province, rector of a new parish, and settling into my new apartment. Everything is more than fine.  Not only is the dog still with me, but Edmonton, my parish, and the Diocese have been incredibly welcoming.
In all of these changes, there are a few things I want to be mindful of.

Sermons
I work at the art of preaching. I don’t want to let those disciplines get lost in the bustle of moving, unpacking (someday, someday), settling in, and learning all the new things. The two largest parts are enough time for writing (a rule of thumb I’ve found to be true is 1 hour of prep to 1 minute of preaching) and sermon reviews.

Clergy groups
One of the most dangerous parts of ministry is the sense of isolation. Clergy groups help prevent this. Denominational, ecumenical/interfaith, age/gender, interest/focus, however the group comes together it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone.

Being part of my community
It is nearly impossible to minister to people and a community you don’t know. To be the priest I want to be, I need face to face interactions–becoming a regular at a few places, regular routes for dog walks, and the time and energy to explore a new place. (And I have a lot of new places.)
Also keeping and growing my online communities. Some of how I got here is due to Twitter; some of what keeps me happy and sane are friends spread across many (and international) borders. I need the ideas, support, and insight from this cyber-cloud of witnesses.

Reading Time
I love reading. Reading, and particularly reading with time to process, analyze, and apply, is where ideas, creativity, and informed opinions come from. Time for reading, for sitting immersed in a good book, is easily lost. In the moment it is possible to think reading isn’t more important than the crisis of the minute…and it may not be. But not reading can become the crisis of the month and year.
I will be blocking off several hours a week for reading.

Office hours
There’s office work and then there are office hours. In the past year or so, I let not having an office keep me from posting specific hours where my office door is open to people dropping by. And I plan on borrowing an idea from a friend and having office hours both in my office and at a local tea place.

Liturgical and Educational Planning
Sometimes good ideas happen at the last minute. But often advance thought and planning keep me from falling into ruts or simply reaching for the closest answer. Sitting down to think a season and a year ahead help keep me mindful of what is happening when and why.
And my inner introvert appreciates knowing what’s ahead.

Self Care
Sleep. There’s self care and then there’s sleep. A lifetime of restless sleep has taught me both the importance of sleep and that it must be a priority. When I’m not conscious of how much sleep I need vs how much sleep I’m getting, I don’t get enough. Part of this is self-policing (turn the TV off or put the book down) and part of it is scheduling (how many nights I work).
Quiet Days. One of the habits I’ve noticed in priests I admire is the habit of taking a quiet day. One day a month where nothing is scheduled but time is set apart for prayer, contemplation, and reading.

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Who’s holding the door? A sermon for Proper 17 9-1-13

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Luke 14:1,7-14.

Jesus is at a Pharisee’s house for dinner and comments on who tries to sit where.  How do we signify importance and how should we?

Listen:

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