Grief is a powerful thing. If you’ve ever experienced it—then you know this to be true. If not in your mind and heart, then certainly in your body. I say this because we also live in a culture that doesn’t like to talk about grief. We don’t talk much about the pain inside us, the sadness, and even the feelings of isolation, out-of-control-ness, and fear.
Over the past couple weeks (and into the next couple), we have heard and will hear of the story of King David. In particular, we heard of the tragic and foolish story of the abuse by David and misuse of his power against the woman Bathsheba.
It’s the summer. People are traveling, some are working hard to keep their lawns green; some people are getting outdoors, and some are reading books they haven’t been able to get to in quite some time. Most people are working. For most people life doesn’t necessarily “slow down”—and for the least among us, it never does.
This Sunday the children, youth, and adults from our VBS weekend will be sharing with us the good news. We will hear again the story of Jesus calming the stormy waters, as the disciples cry out in fear from the rocking boat. Paul Tillich, the great German theologian of the 20th century, once said that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but fear.
It’s good to be back home. My family and I have been away for some vacation and reconnecting with one another. With that, I’ve found a bit of room to breathe and notice that it can be hard to stay connected these days.
This past Saturday, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry gave a powerful and gospel-driven message at the royal wedding. If you haven’t seen it, take a moment, and click here. Bishop Curry has been on a bit of a whirlwind media tour, giving a good name to the Christian faith and our Episcopal Church. v
You may have heard that there is a big wedding this week. Something about a royal family across the pond. What you may not know is that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, is preaching at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Yes, that’s right—your Presiding Bishop!
This Sunday we have a big announcement as a parish family. It’s exciting and good news that will both inspire and challenge us. And so, it’s good that we continue to hear from the first letter of John this Sunday about God’s presence and love in our lives.
There is perhaps no more beloved image of who Jesus is from John’s gospel than the image of the “Good Shepherd”. It is an image that often evokes a feeling of tenderness, care, and warmth. How many stained glass windows or gilded images have you seen of the shepherd carrying the sheep across his shoulders?
Resist gossiping, stop trolling, and maybe just put away your electronic device altogether! This is, in essence, the wisdom of Pope Francis on how we should engage one another in our digital world. That may seem funny—to get advice from the Pope on electronic etiquette, but you’d be mistaken not to pay attention.
Tonight, we begin what is called the Triduum. That’s a funny word and maybe one you’ve never heard. We begin with our Maundy Thursday service at which we will commemorate the first eucharist and Jesus’ “mandate” (where we get Maundy) to love one another.
Life is complicated. The more I live it the more I notice this to be true. Perhaps that is because with age there is the chance to realize how little we can control amidst the changes and chances of this world. How often have I heard, “when I was a kid things were better.” To which I want to say, “Of course they were. You were a kid!”
In this Sunday’s gospel reading, we see a group of outsiders come to the disciples saying: We want to see Jesus. Nowadays it is a popular thing for churches to have mission statements. We even have one here at St. Tim’s: “We strive to embrace all people with the love of Jesus.” But, more and more, I hear from people outside the church who don’t really care what a church’s mission statement is as a community.
During the seasons of Lent and Easter we are, as a congregation, invited to read the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. We have six bible study groups meeting to discuss, engage, share, and grow together through engaging our holy scriptures. You can still join a group by signing up in the church lobby. And, on Sundays, at 9am, we meet in the library to engage the texts for the week—all are welcome.
Where do you see God active in your life? It’s a question that might make your stomach drop or give you pause for thoughtful reflection. In my experience, most people believe that the answer to this question is “church”. That might be Sunday worship or it might be small group Bible studies or particularly, serving our neighbors at St. Francis Center, House of Hope or any community partner. It’s a way of saying that most people think that God is active, we see and know and experience God, in “churchy settings”.
No one likes to lose. With the winter Olympics in full swing, our newsfeeds are full of stories about winners. You know as well as I do that our culture values winning—at times, above all else.
This Sunday is the first Sunday in Lent, which is "a season of penitence and fasting" in faithful preparation for the celebration of Easter. In order to enter more deeply into the spirit of this season, we will be chanting The Great Litany at our services on Sunday.
Among a lot of my peers, I realize I’m a conservative. In fact, I’d bet my whole month’s pay you are too. Now, when I say this, I’m not thinking about a religious or political category; I’m not thinking about the religious fundamentalism that arose in our country in the 19th century and that is prevalent today or a certain partisan politics (I hope you see, too, that such categories are not always helpful).
Every year, over 100 million Bibles are sold or given away. It is the best seller of all best sellers. There is no question about it. The Bible is life changing. It enraptures the mind, takes over the heart, confounds our thinking, and sometimes confuses us to no end. The Bible is a deep and tempestuous sea, which carries us across choppy waters and the doldrums of life, to new and unexplored lands of the heart.
This Sunday, we have one worship service at 9am, followed by our Annual Meeting. Sunday school and childcare will be provided. This Sunday is a time for us to celebrate our common life together here, as we root ourselves in our faith and, in particular this Sunday, the witness of our patron saint—St. Timothy. Perhaps you know something of St. Timothy, perhaps nothing at all—so, let me share just a few words about him.