Monthly Archives: May 2014

SR In Which Paul is Wiser, Easter 6 2014

Link: In Which Paul is Wiser, Easter 6 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I love this story. Paul in Athens at the altar to an unknown God.
Early last week, I was talking about some troubling part of theology and how I resolved it for myself with Genesis 1. All things were created good and holy and to the delight of God.
And then Christmas parties in Lent and Easter bunnies during Epiphany-tide became a sermon.
(Also, really stuffed bunnies. Live bunnies are pets and shouldn’t be purchased lightly.)

Theology: Evangelism
Jesus Count: low
Good News: Everything can be used to tell our story of Jesus.

What did I change on my feet?
Not a lot. I found the end on my feet. But this mostly preached as I’d sketched it out.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I think there are so many more stories and examples that I didn’t include. And I think I might have been able to lean into my stories more. Make them examples of seizing the moments to tell my story.
I missed an opportunity to really play with “always be ready to defend the hope that is in you” bit in the Epistle. It could’ve melded in beautifully.
What did work?
Christmas parties in Lent. True family story and joke. Which, this week, served the Gospel.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Baum, Easter 6
“In a romance, the Advocate is not sent to be our helper in the courtroom, but is sent by God to win our hearts. What if God loved the world so much that he sent his only son? Doesn’t Jesus show the ultimate depths of God’s love for you, in that he is willing to lay down his life proclaiming the love of God? Jesus walks among us, preaches the Good News to us, and then . . . well . . . we don’t want to hear it. His courtship is rejected in the Court of Human Hearts.”

Priest Pattison, Easter 6
groping for God, and the courage to go out
“Probably the shortest time to answered prayer.”

My personal rule is that I include preachers from the Anglican/Episcopal tradition. But it is my guideline and this is too good:
Pastor Parker, Paul and Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
“Paul does not just re-interpret the unknown God, but re-interprets the whole religious system. The God that Paul knows is the one who created all things. The God that Paul knows is the one who gives us life and movement and being — and does not require petty sacrifices in order to show mercy. The God that Paul knows, know us — knows what it is like to be born, to live, and die as one of us.”

(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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In Which Paul is Wiser, Easter 6 2014

Robyns SermonsFamily jokes, a Christmas Party in Lent, and Paul in Athens….

 

The lessons can be found by clicking here. I worked most closely with Acts 17:22-31.

 

 

Listen:

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SR: God’s Inn, Easter 5 2014

Link: God’s Inn, Easter 5, 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I got entranced early in the week with the idea of God being the connection between each of our vast creative possibilities. But I couldn’t figure out how to preach it. Then I remembered the story I mention. And sermon.

Theology: eschatology and hospitality
Jesus Count: low
Good News: God has a room prepared, customized, just for you.

What did I change on my feet?
The conclusion. And I did a better job of it at the first service. Later I rambled too much.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I don’t think I got the ‘so what’ part. It was tacked on and I think it felt like it.
What did work?
God’s Inn, infinitely personalizable for you. I want a library theme, myself, all the books.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Campbell-Langdell, The Wideness of God
“Because our hearts should not be troubled, but we must live in a way that gives us life and gives life to the world. We can strive to live in a way that banishes the fear of the powers and expectations of this world and puts work and productivity in its rightful place. To live in a way that allows us to wonder in God, to long for what is to come and to live into the good gift of the now.”

Priest Mix, The Truth about the Truth
“That letting go, that acceptance that I can plant and water, but only God gives growth, that is freedom for me. It allows me to be a skeptic, and a pragmatist, and occasionally a pessimist. Yes, I’m responsible for the work, but God is responsible for the result. It allows me to devote myself to the best scholarship I can, without fear of the outcome.”

From last week:
Pries Arnold. tells the story of a sheep who became a shepherd. Go read it.

(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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God’s Inn, Easter 5 2014

God, out of grace and hospitality, has a room prepared for you.Robyns Sermons

The book I reference is part of Ilona Andrews’ Inkeeper Chronicles.  You can learn more here.

 

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

Listen:

Categories: Easter | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

SR Shepherds, Baptism, and Abundance Easter 4 2014

Link: Shepherds, Baptism, and Abundance, Easter 4 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
Good Shepherd with a bad death coming up. Acts and Baptism. Holding all things in common and stewardship. Abundant life that risks and loses everything.

Theology: stewardship
Jesus Count: low
Good News: We are called to abundant life where all is lost because everything has been given.
What did I change on my feet?
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I had a sermon that was struggling because, as I realized Sunday morning, it was three sermons. Perhaps I’ll tease out just one for next year.
What did work?
There were a couple of good lines in there.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Baum, Easter 4
“This morning, the Good Shepherd is calling you out of your pew to come to the green pastures of this altar, where you will find the live-giving food and drink of new and unending life in him.”

Priest Collins, Lead us not into Penn Station
“Jesus gives us much credit, I believe, maybe too much. I wonder, do we really know God’s voice when we hear it? I don’t know that we always do. I’ve spoken to many a faithful Christian, good people who try to live good lives, who try to avoid temptation and Penn Station alike. And very often, these folks struggle to hear God’s voice, strain to hear the loving voice of God in times of trial and loss.”
Priest Downs, With: Jesus, Shepherds, and Feeling Alone
For Jesus to guide us, however, we have to let go; trusting that the way Jesus leads us doesn’t pass only through abundant fields, but desolate valleys. In many ways, that’s the proof we need, for doing things “right” doesn’t yield universally happy results. We are assured there will be valleys and we are assured His presence, whether or not we feel it.

(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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Shepherds, Baptism, and Abundance Easter 4 2014

Robyns SermonsA Good Shepherd (with a bad death) and a baptism which binds us to all  of it.  That we may have life abundantly.

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked with John 10:1-10 and Acts 2:42-47.

 

Listen:

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We Make Our Song

I sat at the deathbeds of three Churches. That was the ministry I was called to. It was not the ministry I expected. It was not, in the way that death never is, the ministry I wanted.

I could see all the ways the story ended differently. More money, more people, more energy. Some of my fictional endings might have worked. Some of them rested on three years of sleeplessness. The story might have ended differently, but my real ministry was to help it end well.

After three deathbeds I stayed in my Church, in my priestly orders, and was terrified. Becoming a “Church Closer” is not the long term ministry I want, in no small part because I fear it would drive me out of the Church. A Church closing, your Church closing breaks your heart and eventually it would be too much.  Eventually I feared I would break.

When I moved for a new call, a new chapter of ministry in a new Church located in a new Diocese and country, I was asked the question we are always asked, “Who are you? Where are you from? What have you done?”

I am from Montana, from the United States, from the Episcopal Church. My family, my life, my friends. This stories are easy to tell.

I closed three Churches.
This is not the story you want to tell. Not in a Church that has told and believed a story of fear and scarcity. Not in a world where success is valued and death is failure.

An insightful colleague asked what those deathbeds taught me.

A deep understanding of resurrection.

I sat at the deathbeds of three Churches. I lived the story that did happen, not the one we all may have wished and dreamed and hoped for.

Three deathbeds. A Church that is scared the story it tells about it’s demise is more than a rumour.
I refute the idea that the church is dying. I look forward long and active years in priestly ministry.

Why?
A deep understanding of resurrection.

We talk about a theology of abundance as if discussion of what our people and money and energy can do is enough. As if abundance will drive out the fear which even perceived scarcity brings.

Christianity, Jesus, is never about enough. Or more than enough.

Jesus is about driving out fear, not to replace it with the paltry offering of ‘enough,’ but to offer the reverent fear, the awe, of and holiness. Jesus is about the extra mile, finding lost sheep, and celebrating. Jesus is about the impossible.
Jesus is the Christ who is Risen.

I believe, my lived theology tells me, that abundance is not about the reality of enough when we think we have too little. Abundance is Resurrection.easter flower

Because enough runs out. Sometimes we have too little. Sometimes we sit at deathbeds.

And then we remind ourselves that even at the grave we make our song:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

A theology of abundance is weak.

Resurrection is strong. Resurrection is impossible. Resurrection is abundant.
Resurrection is Divine.

The Lord is Risen Indeed!
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Categories: Church, Theology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

SR: Amid the Crumbs, Easter 3 2014

Link: Amid the Crumbs, Easter 3 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I was not supposed to preach this week. But due to email and schedule mishaps I did. There were two bits of the Gospel that had grabbed me. When Jesus asks the disciples what thugs had happened and the brokenness of the breaking of the bread.

Theology: Eucharist
Jesus Count: average
Good News: God amidst the crumbs.

What did I change on my feet?
Everything. At the early service I focused on our answers to Jesus’s question. At the late service I took a swing at the brokenness of the bread. At both I was thankful for the Holy Spirit. And remembered why my sermons take 8-16 hours of prep.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
So much. At the first service I veered to far into relativism. At the late service my language got sloppy–a little more prep and attention to that would have made the sermon significantly better.
What did work?
The Holy Spirit. 🙂

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Romanik, Strangers
“The disciples share a meal with a stranger, and that stranger is revealed to be Jesus Christ himself. It’s important to notice that the disciples do not simply provide Jesus with food for his journey; they invite him to sit at table with them. The disciples do not simply provide for the stranger; they invite the stranger into a relationship.”

Priest Baum, Easter 3
“And so now, under the spiritual anesthesia of not recognizing the resurrected Jesus, Jesus will do what needs to be done. He begins with Moses and all the prophets, and shows them how the scriptures point to exactly what has happened. Jesus can explain to them why he is the answer to their hopes.”

Priest Downs,
“All this Walk and Talk was critical to move the story but it is here, in the stopping, sharing, and eating that it comes together.”

Bishop Fisher, Broken. Whoa!
“And after we break the bread, broken pieces are placed into our hands.
And mysteriously, by eating this broken bread, we become one Body in Christ to serve the world.
By eating broken bread, we are resurrected.
For God only resurrects dead things.
God only raises those who are broken.”

(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.

Categories: Sermon Review | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Amid the Crumbs, Easter 3 2014

Robyns SermonsThey recognized him in the breaking of the bread…

 

The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Luke 24:13-35.

Listen:

Categories: Easter | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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