Sermons

The Third Sunday after Pentecost — Ben MacLeod and Grey Moszkowski

Grey Moszkowski

The Third Sunday after Pentecost — Youth Sunday: June 10, 2018

1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15)  |  Psalm 138
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1  |  Mark 3:20-35

Ben MacLeod and Grey Moszkowski, Youth Preachers

Grey Moszkowski: Senior Sermon

It’s a bit strange for me to be up here. It’s strange because when I think of a sermon, I think of an instructional address, a fresh take on an old verse, or some piece of wisdom as it relates to faith, and I don’t know if I have any of that. It’s strange because I don’t feel qualified to be up here. It’s strange because I spent most Sundays between three and fourteen in these pews, listening to older, more experienced, and presumably more assured people give their thoughts. To be honest, I rarely understood. I just sat back and enjoyed the sonorous power of voice, echoing off the stone walls. I would look up at the stained glass, admiring the light streaming through from the morning sun, illuminating the Archangel and the dragon before reaching my eyes. In those moments, life became purely sensory. I didn’t over-intellectualize, worry, or furrow my eyebrows in confusion. No, I was there, and calm, and nothing else seemed to matter. These moments of peace should be treasured. They remind us that there are larger forces at play than our troubles, our concerns, our very lives. It’s a humbling and freeing realization.

A few weeks ago, I visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. I visited with my history class, and went through most of the exhibit with friends and classmates by my side. But at the end of the exhibit, there was a hall of remembrance for those killed in the Holocaust. Here, I peeled off from the group.

In the hall, an eternal flame burned on a pedestal filled with soil from concentration camps. The names of the ghettos, camps, and sites of massacres were written on the walls, and, under them, candles that could be lit to remember a lost loved one. Old Testament quotes were written on the walls; the one that stuck with me was from Genesis, from the story of Cain and Abel. “What have you done? Hark, your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

I stood in the center of the hall for a while, moved by the symbolism, the quotes, the flame. Eventually, I decided to light a candle for the family I never met who died in the Holocaust. I turned to the candles, only to realize that I didn’t know which one to light. They were organized by place: candles for Auschwitz-Birkenau victims here, Warsaw and Vilna ghetto victims there, et cetera. In that moment, I realized that I don’t know what exactly happened to my family.

I didn’t end up lighting a candle. Instead, I sat in that beautiful, devastating room for about fifteen or twenty minutes. I wasn’t thinking about anything, wasn’t worrying about anything, wasn’t even feeling anything, really. I was just being, surrounded by a reminder that my own life, my own troubles, are outweighed by something else – in this case, by the love, remembrance, and sense of responsibility that drove people to build this place, and that drove me and my classmates to visit it. I knew that such powers exist; how could I deny them? I was sitting in a place whose very genesis was rooted in them.

So, here I am. Just eighteen years of age. Still trying to figure out my own positions on organized religion, faith, et cetera. To be perfectly honest, still trying to figure out if I believe in an entity called God. I’m not sure if I’ll ever completely answer these questions. But I know that there are things, powers, forces, that are greater than me. There is remembrance, there is responsibility, there is love for people, just because they’re people. I know these things exist, even if I can’t always access them, and they bring me comfort through my darkest thoughts and most trying times. They are a beautiful affirmation that life is more than random encounters, lawless action, and chaotic existence. There is some purpose to who we are and what we do, and that, to me, is divine.

The Second Sunday after Pentecost — The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Second Sunday after Pentecost: June 3, 2018

1 Samuel 3:1-10(11-20)  |  Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17
2 Corinthians 4:5-12  |  Mark 2:23-3:6

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

One of my favorite stories of all time is the Harry Potter series. I especially love book five, Order of the Phoenix where fifteen-year-old Harry returns to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry to find everything in flux. (more…)

Trinity Sunday — The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The First Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday: May 27, 2018

Isaiah 6:1-8  |  Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17  |  Psalm 29

The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

 

So if I were to ask you to turn to your neighbor and describe God, what would you say?

Now don’t worry – this isn’t one of those sermons where I make you actually talk to one another. But think for a moment about how you would answer. (more…)

The Day of Pentecost — The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Day of Pentecost: May 20, 2018

Acts 2:1-21  |  Romans 8:22-27
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15  |  Psalm 104:25-35, 37

The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12)

What are we doing?? It’s Pentecost, the great feast of the Holy Spirit, celebrating the experience of God as wind and flame, as gatherer and sender, swirling around a community and making new things happen. Pentecost is a celebration that always feels a little bit like license to go crazy in church, to parade and set things on fire and get people wet – in a few moments – and speak in tongues – in a few moments more. (more…)

The Seventh Sunday of Easter — The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Seventh Sunday of Easter: May 13, 2018

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26  |  1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19  |  Psalm 1

Preacher: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Happy Mother’s Day!

Over the past several weeks, our Easter sermon series has reflected on how worship relates to life in the world. We’ve learned about the offertory, confession and Peace, the Creed, Holy Eucharist, and the dismissal. Today, our final topic is Scripture — the living Word running through our lives. (more…)

The Sixth Sunday of Easter — the Rev. David Rider

The Sixth Sunday of Easter: May 13, 2018

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26  |  1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19  |  Psalm 1

Preacher: The Rev. David Rider, Executive Director and
President of the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey

We’ve settled into another wonderful Sunday of worship amid the Great Fifty Days of Easter

Music abounds, the warm glow of community surrounds us with prayers of joy, we await Eucharistic fellowship and, all too soon, our Deacon will cry out in polite liturgical language, “Get out of here!” (more…)

The Fifth Sunday of Easter – The Rev. Kyle Oliver

The Rev. Kyle Oliver

The Second Sunday in Lent: February 25, 2018

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16  |  Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38  |  
Psalm 22:22-30

Preacher: The Rev. Kyle Oliver

 

 

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“Do this in remembrance of me.”

These words of Jesus are at the center of the remarkable prayer we offer each week as we celebrate the Eucharist. We think of this observance as a commandment and an invitation and a gift he gave on the night before he died. (more…)

The Fourth Sunday of Easter — The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Fourth Sunday of Easter: April 22, 2018

Acts 4:5-12  |  1 John 3:16-24
John 10:11-18  |  Psalm 23

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Jesus said, There will be one flock, one shepherd. I am the Good Shepherd.

Greetings, fellow sheep. Today at the end of our service we will go out and find good pasture in our backyard children’s garden – (more…)

The Third Sunday of Easter — Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor

The Third Sunday of Easter: April 15, 2018

Acts 3:12-19  |  1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48  |  Psalm 4

Michael Taylor, Ministry Intern

O God in whom we live, and move, and have our being.  Give us the grace to cast away all fear, so that we might recognize you among us.  So that we might hear the word you have to say to us.  So that we might be transformed, transformed to be more of you in this world. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together glorify You, our Rock, and our Redeemer. Amen. (more…)

The Second Sunday of Easter — The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Second Sunday of Easter: April 8, 2018

Acts 4:32-35  |  1 John 1:1-2:2
John 20:19-31  |  Psalm 133

Preacher: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh,
Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians) Each Sunday, these words from Ephesians mark the stage in the service we call the offertory – the moment when the Liturgy of the Word moves to the Liturgy of the Table. The spiritual shift from listening, praying, and reflecting on God’s Word to responding and revealing God through action. (more…)

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