Showing posts from September, 2018

Sunday Homily - September 30, 2018 - What is Prayer?

St. Theophan the Recluse  (1815-1894) I. What exactly is prayer? Well, perhaps this may not be the greatest time to ask, especially since we’ve been praying for the past 15 minutes. I mean, goodness sake, our service is in that red book                       called the Book of Common Prayer.                     You would hope that we know                    what prayer actually is, right? Or, do we actually know what it is? For example: What parts of the service so far do you think was prayer? Which parts were not? Have we all been praying thus far? Have we not yet begun to pray? Are you praying right now that the preacher                                would get on with the point? Even though we might joke about it a little,         the nature of prayer is of vital importance for us Christians. And, I find, when I’m stumped about something, I need to go to the experts. And the nice thing is that we in the Christian tradition hav

Sunday Homily - September 23, 2018 - Be Good, Not Great

Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet Icon I. There is an orphanage near New Orleans called Fair Haven Orphanage. It is on a large plot of land in the wetlands of Louisiana, where they raise cows for beef, and where they have fire ant hills the size of small tractors. There is a ranch-style house that the kids call home. Rock and mortar for the walls, rough sawn cedar for the gable roof. On those humid Louisiana days, a young teen girl, We’ll call her Sasha (name changed for privacy purposes) has started to herd the cats for the day. That is, if those cats were all the boys and girls that had a bit too much energy after breakfast. Sasha watches them each and every day, putting bandaids on their scrapes, carrying the 4-year-old who has gotten too tired, and tucking them in to bed after a long day. Now, Sasha is not a volunteer nor is she paid for her services. Sasha is, herself, an orphan. Her mom and dad divorced when s

Sunday Homily - September 16th, 2018 - Ownership or Stewardship?

The Anastasis (The Icon of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ) (NOTE FOR READERS: For readers of this sermon not present, I usually preach from the pulpit. However, for the content of this particular sermon, I will be down in the midst of the congregation, a reason which will become clear in the content of this sermon) Intro So, this morning, I’m going to be down here with y’all. Because we are going to talk                  about a potentially uncomfortable subject : Money. As many of you know, it is our annual stewardship drive here at Trinity Episcopal Parish. And my prayer to Jesus is that you know that I don’t bring this up as a coercive preacher, browbeating you into compliance. But neither do I think that telling you money doesn’t matter for ministry is a good stewardship practice either. Rather, this morning, I want you to hear me simply as someone        who tries his best to live in the way that God is calling                and who firmly

Sunday Homily - September 2nd, 2018 - Life is Stewardship

St. James Icon I. There was a local homeless man. He lives on the streets of Cincinatti, OH. He is a disabled man, his legs amputated by a landmine on the dusty roads of Afghanistan. He is a little heavy set, long, black beard, his big, black arms the size of tree trunks flinging the wheels of his wheelchair sending him sailing down the street. “Speedy” is who the locals call him, Sammy is his given name. “Speedy” Sammy with his wheelchair, speeding off to the local homeless shelter. But Sammy is not going there just for a night’s sleep. He is not just going there for a bite to eat. He is not going there to complain about his lot in life. Sammy is going there to tell people about Jesus. And, for Sammy, that had nothing to do with doing scholarly inquiry about a first-century Jew named Jesus. It had everything to do with Sammy sharing         what Jesus was up to in his life that very morning. He would share stories, lik