Sermons

A Celebration of our Elders – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Celebration of Our Elders

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

We have been wanting to do something like this celebration today for a long time, aware as we are of the incredible gift of our older members in this congregation. Today we are celebrating and honoring our elders, the wonderful saints among us who give us such blessings. What a beautiful day to gather.

Just who are these elders? The term ‘elder’ has elicited some confusion here. Some folks, familiar with other church denominations, have wondered if we are ordaining people to a new ministry in the church, the ministry of elder. Some among those we are honoring today have reacted with amusement or sometimes a little prickliness to being called an elder – me? Really?? Some folks feeling anxious about their age were worrying that we were going to call them elders and stand them up in front of everyone – I’m looking at you, midlife crisis people. Well, rest assured – if we didn’t tell you personally that we were going to celebrate you today, then you can relax because we’re not going to call on you. And if we did invite you and talk you into being here, it’s not because we’re going to lay a new set of responsibilities on you. It really is pure celebration, of some of our dear ones in this congregation. Our secret formula for selection was this: we looked at our database and pulled up everyone above a certain age – at least, those whose birth years we knew, of course, those who were willing to share that information at some point – and we invited them to be here. We didn’t filter for wisdom or good advice or sober conduct of life – we just did it by known age. And because Americans are so silly about age, I’m not even going to say from the pulpit what that age was. You can ask an elder if you want to find out. (more…)

The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Deacon Richard Limato

Deacon Richard Limato

The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost: October 8, 2017

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20  |  Psalm 19
Philippians 3:4b-14  |  Matthew 21:33-46

The Rev. Deacon Richard Limato, Deacon of St. Michael’s Church

The Jewish Talmud, a scholarly discourse on the Torah, speaks about Choni, the most pious person of his generation.

One day Choni was riding along on his donkey.  A great exhaustion came over him.  He got off his donkey to rest.

In a nearby field he saw an old man planting a carob tree.  (more…)

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: September 17, 2017

Exodus 14:19-31 | Psalm 114  | Romans 14:1-12 | Matthew 18:21-35

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

Last week our gospel reading pointed us toward how we deal with conflict in the community, and reminded us that when we come together, even in our humanness and our bumping up against each other, Jesus is with us. This week we go further in the same theme, with Paul warning the Romans against judging one another and Jesus teaching his disciples about forgiveness. All this emphasis on what can go wrong between us – I’ll admit, I’m kind of wishing we had some happier material to work with for our first day of Sunday School. But there it is. And yes, these are certainly words to live by. Stop being so judgy against each other, says Paul. Forgive each other, says Jesus. Or else. There’s a moral to the story – and you’d better get it. (more…)

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Kate Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: September 10, 2017

Exodus 12:1-14  |  Psalm 149
Romans 13:8-14  |  Matthew 18:15-20

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

Many many years ago I worked a summer as a camp counselor. I was fresh out of college and not sure what to do next, so when a new friend invited me to come on her staff for 8 weeks in Montana, I agreed. We were a small staff and at first had a great time together, in that summer camp kind of way. We just loved each other. But it rained that summer, pretty much every week, and the camp turned into a mud pit. One after the other, each of us on staff got sick with some kind of chest infection (which we called the staff infection). Two staff members dated, then broke up, and reformed as couples with other staff members. One counselor never showed up to do the kitchen work when assigned. We got sick of singing the same camp songs week after week. In the first half of the summer, we talked about moving to Missoula and renting a house together at the end of camp. By the end of the summer, half of us weren’t speaking to the other half, and we all left in a huff.

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The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost — The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: September 3, 2017

Exodus 3:1-15  |  Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c
Romans 12:9-21  |  Matthew 16:21-28

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

While I was on vacation, I started reading a book called the Life of Pi, the story of a sixteen year old boy named Pi who gets stuck on a lifeboat for 227 days with a 450 pound Royal Bengal tiger in the Pacific Ocean. (more…)

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Kyle Oliver

The Rev. Kyle Oliver

 The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost: August 27, 2017

Exodus 1:8-2:10 | Psalm 124 | Romans 12:1-8 | Matthew 16:13-20

The Rev. Kyle Oliver, Assisting Priest at St. Michael’s Church

Some of you know that my first job out of seminary was as a digital media resource expert serving Christian educators across the Episcopal Church. The Center for the Ministry of Teaching had never had a “Digital Missioner” before, so for me one of the joys of this position was getting to figure out what the job was actually supposed to be.
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The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost: August 20, 2017

Genesis 45:1-15  | Psalm 133
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32  |  Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

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

Did you see the Saturday Night Live sketch with Tina Fey this week, giving her take on Charlottesville? She started talking about the horrific events there, and the horrible news of the last several months, and said, there’s just one thing to do: you go to the store and you get a sheet cake with an American flag on it, and you get a fork, and you start eating. And she started doing just that, screaming into the cake a litany of all the horror we’ve seen in our country over the last several months. I’m hoping someone brings a sheet cake to the potluck today.

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