Posts Tagged With: faith

Nathan’s kind of Faith, July 2018

Morsels & Stories: We read through some of the Questions and Answers from Good Goats.

Sermon:  Today David gets told not to build a temple for God.  But I think this is actually a story about Nathan.

The lessons can be found by clicking here (link). I worked most closely with 2 Samuel 7:1-14a.


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Palm Sunday 2018

What moments of denial are in your past_ Your future_Morsels & Stories: I talked about what I say during the welcome announcements and why.

Sermon: Peter denies Jesus three times before the rooster crows twice.  What can we learn from Peter’s history of getting it wrong?

The lessons can be found by clicking here. (link) I worked most closely with Mark 14.1-15.47.


Categories: Holy Week, Lent, Sermon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abraham’s Laughter, Lent 2 2018

How is God's Promise making you laugh today_Morsels & Stories: I read “The Spy on Noah’s Ark” from The Spy on Noah’s Ark: Bible Stories From the Inside Out



Sermon: Why do you laugh?  Why did Noah?


The lessons for today can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Genesis 17:1–7 15–16.



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Family, Christmas 1 2014

Robyns SermonsSimeon and Anna meet Jesus in the temple.  It’s a family meeting of sorts.
The lessons can be found by clicking here.  I worked most closely with Luke 2:22-40.


(I was using a back up recording system so the audio is not great.  My apologies.)


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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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Praying My Future

I started seminary the fall after I graduated college.  I moved across the country and, as it happened, away from a Church situation that was…unhealthy…for me.  It had been difficult for more than a year before I left.  I felt I had little community at my Church; I was not being fed spiritually. I even thought about switching denominations.  I couldn’t.  I wanted and needed a better community.  And I was about to move 2,000 miles away from the support I did have.

With no way to fix the situation I was in and no control over what would come, I prayed.  I started with no idea which seminary I would attend and no information about my future classmates.  Knowing that another unhealthy community would nearly kill my life in this Church I loved and wanted to serve, I prayed.  For my classmates, for how our community would be, for who we would be and become together.  For eighteen months,  I prayed my future, in blind faith that it might be true.

There was a moment where I knew.  Knew that seminary, along with all of its challenges, would be better, would feed me.  I kept praying–to remind God and myself.

One of the most frequent questions I hear (and I suspect most priests hear) is about the purpose and efficacy of prayer.  Do we pray to a God who listens?  A God who answers?  Why are there fewer miracles?  Why are so many prayers unanswered? Our  answers are tepid at best.  Of course God listens, wants to answer.  Miracles were likely natural cures in a time without scientific understanding.  ‘No’ is an answer.  We have to trust that God knows what we need better than we do.  Prayer is a meditative exercise meant to change us.  Worst of all: Miracles are knowledge of the presence of God.

I don’t know.  My prayers are often unanswered.  I have not witnessed a miracle, God’s intervening action in the world.  It often seems that I am praying into a void or as some sort of meditative exercise not communication with the God who calls me beloved.

But I also know that my seminary class was a healthy community where I was nurtured and healed.

For the past eighteen months I have been again been praying my future, from long the first moment I knew my time there was coming to an end.  I prayed for my Churches as I always had.  I also prayed for the Church that was calling me as their priest.  Long before I started searching, long before I had any idea where I would be looking, I prayed.

I prayed for their discernment, for my discernment, for the palpable movement of the Holy Spirit.  As I discerned with different Churches, I added prayers for them specifically.    As I kept looking, as the months stretched out, as I heard “not you,” as friends started to delightedly announce new positions and I had nothing to announce.  I prayed.

Now, after so many prayers:

I am delighted to announce that I have been called as the next rector of St Peter’s Anglican Church in Edmonton.

Categories: Church, My Life, Priest's Life, Theology | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

SR: Shaky Foundations, Proper 8 YrC 6-30-13

I’m not reviewing last week’s sermons because they are part of a larger whole. I preached half of the week, Mike preached half. I don’t believe that our preaching can be unentangled but only half of it is mine to comment on.

Unfinished Thoughts:

“Stand Firm”
“Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.”
I am reminded of how shaky and uncertain this firm foundation of faith can seem.
Those apostles and prophets? I’ve read my Bible–this is not the way I want my foundation to look.
We become part of the foundation–through the grace and to the glory of God.
Stand firm, despite the shakes, our deep uncertainty about this, because, so long as we build, others will stand on our shoulders.

Sermons I liked:

Priest Castellan points out that “when you rely too heavily on just the outward stuff, you can run into trouble.”

Bishop Rickel said “…we use water and oil and hands and history…” and went on to remind us how much of life is about choice.

Priest Sinclair remembers that The Church has not always behaved well and calls for the fulfillment of the ministry we have been called to.

Priest Arnold with “We want to live good and holy lives, but there’s just so much to do first.”

Priest Linman quotes FDR and preaches about the Fruits of the Spirit in relationships.

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SR: Faith, Doubt, and Community

Link:Faith, Doubt, and Community

Summary of what I was saying and why:
This is always a fun text for me. The perennial question of how unquestioning faith is or should be is one worth revisiting. This year Steve Pankey wrote about what the Greek actually says and I started thinking. There are plenty of people, good faithful people who don’t always believe everything. Even what we’d like to consider the basics.
That has been preached a lot but I remembered an exercise from EfM that let a group explore the things held in common and the things we disagreed on. So I slightly modified that, explored how to introduce and tie things together, and brought my whiteboard out.

Theology: relationship
Jesus Count: low
Good News: faith is practiced in relationship

What did I change on my feet?
Anytime you introduce a lot interaction into a sermon it becomes hard to script too much. I had a pretty good sense of what I was going to say at the beginning and the end. I was fairly sure my congregation would go along with the middle. This time I was right.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
This is a hard question to answer with this kind of a sermon.
What did work?
Most of this sermon depended on there being a space where people could speak honestly–or at least honestly enough. That seemed to happen this time.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Arnold highlights the Eucharists beautifully “Through our prayers, God’s grace, the movement of the Holy Spirit, Christ is present for us to touch, to eat, to drink his life into our own.”

Bishop Fisher considers what the interim week was like for Thomas.

Priest Pankey followed his post with a great sermon, “Don’t Doubt Thomas”

Deacon Pam reminds us how important the woundedness of Jesus is.

(Don’t see your sermon or a sermon you liked? Maybe I don’t know about it. Leave me a comment with a link and I’ll take a look.)

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