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Sermons

The EPISCOPAL CHURCH of ST. JAMES the LESS

Feast of St. Sergius, the “Russian St. Francis”

10/2/2019

So… it has been a rather dramatic couple days in politics, hasn’t it? I have to say I was a bit relieved to see that today’s saint takes us back to the 1300s, to a time not without problems of its own, but faraway problems both in distance and in time.

Chipping Away at Stubborn Hearts

10/2/2019

My first thought on reading today’s parable was, I should have given this to Susie. (She has a hard one next week, though.) This is incontrovertibly the strangest and least comprehensible of all the parables Jesus told. It’s called the Parable of the ...

Feast of Harry Thacker Burleigh

10/2/2019

Today is the anniversary of 9/11, and if our feast day today was for anyone other than who it is, I would probably have replaced it with a commemoration of that event. But I’m not going to do that. There will be plenty of commemorations out there ...

Building a Tower–of Faith

10/2/2019

I see more faces back than last week and the week before. Welcome! Labor Day fell early this year, so we have this “between” Sunday that we’re calling “Fall Preparedness Sunday.” At the announcements we’ll bless the kids’ backpacks, ...

The Pull of the Past, The Call of the Future: A Reflection on 3 Years

9/9/2019

So, it was three years ago almost to the day that I stood up here for the first time, June 26, 2016. Just curious, I looked back at my calendar from three years ago. Here were some of the things on it: Dinner at Barbara and John Palmer’s. (Who are Barbara ...

Sermon for the Third Sunday after Pentecost

9/9/2019

So, it was three years ago almost to the day that I stood up here for the first time, June 26, 2016. Just curious, I looked back at my calendar from three years ago. Here were some of the things on it: Dinner at Barbara and John Palmer’s. (Who are Barbara ...

Daughters of Abraham, Stand

9/9/2019

Wow, it’s strange to be up in the pulpit after 4 weeks! But it’s good to be back – good to see all of you. Thank you for your hospitality to my colleagues who covered for me while I was away; they really enjoyed their time with you. I want to point ...

Time to be Mary

9/9/2019

Today’s saint just might have the singular distinction of being among the (morally speaking) worst saints we honor all year, at least going from the first half of his life. Our saint is Bartolome de las Casas. He lived from the late 1400s to the mid 1500s, ...

Day of Pentecost

6/12/2019

Today is the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost in Greek means 50 days, because we are now 50 days from Easter. Our Jewish brothers and sisters are this weekend also celebrating their Pentecost. This was a Jewish festival before it was a Christian one.

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

6/12/2019

Welcome to the Cline family, whose daughter (second daughter) Hannah will be baptized today. Hannah was our baby Jesus in last year’s Christmas pageant. Her older sister Amelia was baptized almost two years ago, in the Parish Hall, where we ...

Well, I thought I might just be preaching to my husband here behind the camera this morning. He can attest, that wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done that–preached to my husband. But a small scattering of people are here, I see. And welcome to the many more of you who are at home. I hope you are staying safe, and taking good care.

Miracles Big and Small: The Woman at the Well

The Spirit That Blows Where It Will

03/15/2020

03/08/2020

I have to begin by saying, this reading is a tough one, for me. It contains two of the most famous pieces of Scripture. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. That’s the first. The second is Jesus’ saying that, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must be born again.

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25. We are exactly nine months from Jesus’ birth, December 25.

The Feast of the Annunciation

03/25/2020

03/29/2020

A Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent: The Raising of Lazarus

Wow, These Gospel readings have been long. As if we didn’t have enough to contend with right now!Welcome to all of you online. We may even have some newcomers, and if that’s true, a special welcome to you. I know that we also have friends and alumni from far away watching this morning. I’m grateful we can do this while we’re apart. Especially because it’s allowing us to keep our community and widen it–including parents and grandparents, people who’ve moved away or who can’t normally make it on a Sunday.

Death, Rebirth, Renewal, Repeat: A Sermon for Easter Day

04/12/2020

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! It’s good to be with you, and if it’s only in this way, for now, that’s OK. I know we will all be back together soon, and our appreciation of one another will only grow as a result of this absence.

04/19/2020

04/28/2020

5/4/2020

Doubt, A Passionate Exercise

Emmaus Everywhere

Psalm 23 in a Pandemic

Graduation Sunday

For All Those Who Laugh With Sarah

July Fourth and the War Within

The Noxious Weed of Racism

Good morning everybody, once again. If you’re just joining us you can access the bulletin below this video but you’re also welcome to just listen. And once more: I hope everyone is healthy and well. Deacon Susie and I have all of you in our prayers, and please, please reach out to us if you have anyone in your life who is struggling or unwell right now.

Hello everyone. Again, if you’re just joining us this morning, the bulletin for this service is linked just below this video here. And we’re glad to have you.We’re now in the third Sunday of Easter. Easter is a fifty-day season, sometimes called “Eastertide.” I love those old English words for our church seasons. Eastertide, Ascensiontide, Yuletide. “Tide” just means period of time, but it lends (to me) a special, festal note to the occasion. We begin Eastertide by reading some of the stories of Jesus’ appearing to the disciples after the resurrection. Last week it was his appearance to Thomas and to the twelve. The week before, Easter Day, to Mary Magdalene in the garden. Today we have one of the best-loved of the Easter appearances, the supper at Emmaus.

Good morning, again. Welcome parishioners and friends from near and far! We’ve been doing this, worshiping online, for six weeks now. And I remember that on the day we started, the day Bishop Shin joined me here, we read Psalm 23–just like we’re reading today. It’s unusual to have the same Psalm so close together like this. I consider it a small mercy that we’ve had it in these difficult times not once, but twice.  

Good morning! Today is Trinity Sunday, the day on which we celebrate the central and most important doctrine of our Christian faith. Here at St. James it’s also Graduation Sunday, and I’m afraid to say that this year, graduation is going to have to eclipse the Trinity. I dearly hope the bishop isn’t watching this morning. But it’s a longstanding tradition here at St. James to recognize our graduating class during the Sunday service. Normally the kids would be up here speaking to you, not me. That’s part of what makes this day so special for many of us, and I’m sorry we’re unable to do that this year. We do, however, have a video of them talking; I’ll direct you to that at the announcements later on.

Good morning. After Graduation Sunday last weekend, today is going to be anti-climactic, I’m afraid. Summer hasn’t begun officially, but in the church we’ve started our season of Ordinary time, which stretches through the summer–in fact, all the way to Advent. Ordinary time just comes from “ordinal,” because the Sundays that are numbered. That’s how we keep track of them. It’s a time devoid for the most part of special feasts and events with names, like Easter and Christmas and Pentecost. I can’t decide if we’ve had too much ordinary time this spring already, or if this is just what we need right now, a slowing down. But here we are, and we’ll be with you all summer long, just like this. I hope you’ll stay with us.

Good morning. It’s good to be back with you all on this Fourth of July Weekend. Those who attend church on any holiday weekend like this get bonus points in my book. I hope you’re getting some rest and enjoying this very different experience of Independence Day that we’re having.Our church calendar is amazing. Last Wednesday at our service we celebrated the saint assigned for that day, who just happened to be the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. When I noticed that, This year, July 5 falls today, on a Sunday, I couldn’t believe it. Last month many learned for the first time of the significance of Juneteenth in the black community. June 19th was the day when Union soldiers reached Galveston Texas to tell the enslaved people there that they were free–two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.So, most of us woke up yesterday morning to the news that we lost two leaders of the Civil Rights movement on the same day, Friday–the Rev. C.T. Vivian, and Congressman John Lewis. Both worked tirelessly for racial justice from the time they were young men until they died, two days ago.

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6/11/2020

6/21/2020

7/6/2020

07/20/2020