Sermons

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost: September 13, 2015

Proverbs 1:20-33 | Psalm 19 | James 3:1-12 | Mark 8:27-38

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

I have been thinking a lot about words this week. Children are back to school, working with words – reading words, writing them, spelling them, defining them. New beginnings and new words. I remember as a kid relishing the vocabulary part of the school day, getting to learn new and longer and more interesting words to use in my talking and writing. I read further and further ahead in books, learning complex words that I would then trot out in speech, usually mispronouncing them – something I now love hearing my own daughter do. (I try to correct her only sometimes.) More interesting words to speak and understand meant more interesting life, the elusive grown-up world I was curious about. (more…)

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost – the Rev. Bruce Torrey

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: September 6, 2015

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23 | Psalm 125 | James 2:1-17 | Mark 7:24-37

Preacher: The Rev. Bruce Torrey

On Sunday, September we were privileged to have the Rev. Bruce Torrey celebrate with us at Holy Eucharist and talk about the work of Food for the Poor, which provides food, housing and other assistance to the neediest people in the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: August 30, 2015

Song of Solomon 2:8-13 | Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10 | James 1:17-27 | Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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

It has been another hard week in our nation’s news. We’re horrified at the shooting that happened in Virginia, TV newspeople gunned down on live television, and disgusted that yet again, nothing will probably change because of it. Even this most graphic and traumatic of footage doesn’t seem like it will make any difference to us, as we become more and more immune to this stuff coming across our screens. Easier to shudder and look elsewhere as I did this week, wasting time looking instead at the interactive history of Queen Elizabeth’s hats, and at the cute pictures my mom forwarded of Bob the dog and his strange animal friends. Try as I might, I can’t watch videos like that one that so many are talking about.

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The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: August 23, 2015

1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43 | Psalm 84 | Ephesians 6:10-20 | John 6:56-69

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

You know this song?

Darling you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here til the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

Maybe only a certain generation of us knows it – after all, the Clash recorded it in 1981. But it came to mind as I thought about today’s gospel. After weeks of laying out the central message of the Christian gospel, Jesus, as it were, throws down the gauntlet. I am the bread of life, he says. I give up my own life so that you can live. In order to really live, you need to trust in my self-giving love, and follow in my way. Can you accept this or not? Are you staying or going? (more…)

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost: August 16, 2015

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 | Psalm 111 | Ephesians 5:15-20 | John 6:51-58

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Before I begin this sermon, I want you to stop and remember a meal. Not just any meal. I want you to remember a meal you had, big or small, that tasted really, really good. Maybe it was a fancy meal out at a restaurant; maybe it was something simpler made at home. Remember how it tasted; remember the circumstances; have it all over again in your mind. (more…)

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost: August 9, 2015

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33 | Psalm 130 | Ephesians 4:25-5:2 | John 6:35, 41-51

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

There are a few tidbits of wisdom from parenting small children that I’ve found helpful in understanding people of all ages. Some of them come in quite handy in parish ministry, for example. One learning is that sometimes you can get people to calm down if you redirect their attention to something else entirely – changes go down much easier when I get you all looking over here at this fascinating thing here, see? right here! Look! Another is that when everyone gets enough sleep and the right amount of food they’re all much more pleasant and reasonable – so don’t let meetings go too late into the evening, and bring food if they’re longer than an hour. Also I’ve learned that paradoxically, it saves time to stop and listen to the rambling story rather than pushing forward on the task at hand, because that story is going to come out one way or another and you’d really just better have it now. And then there’s that wonderful little jingle, what my kids’ daycare would use to soothe picky eaters and chronic complainers: ‘You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.’

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The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost: August 2, 2015

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a | Psalm 51:1-13 | Ephesians 4:1-16 | John 6:24-35

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

This week Jim and I watched the movie The Butler, which came out a few years ago – a film based on the true story of a black butler who served at the White House through eight different presidents. Through his eyes, we see the racial history of America unfold, from cotton picking on a plantation to the election of our first black President. There’s one scene set during Reagan’s administration, where senators are urging Reagan to sanction South Africa because of apartheid. We must do this, they say, because it will make such a statement about race in America. The butler Cecil Gaines stands there silently, but you can see in his face his long years of watching what America has done to him and his family. The impassioned senators, however, do not see it. They’re thinking about South Africa and how awful it is, and the moral imperative to condemn the race relations in that other place. As we have so often been ready to condemn other countries for their human rights abuses – while not fully owning what we ourselves have done.

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The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost: July 2015

2 Samuel 11:1-15 | Psalm 14 | Ephesians 3:14-21 | John 6:1-21

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

On many of the sites of Jesus’ miracles in the Holy Land, there is a church. Most of them now are newer buildings, built in the last few decades, but they are built on the ruins of older churches from the 4th and 5th centuries, when pilgrimage to the Holy Land was still a possibility for Christians in the ancient world. One such church is the Church of the Multiplication, built where it is believed Jesus fed the multitudes with only a few loaves and fish – a story so significant to the early church that every one of the four gospels includes it. That site has been and continues to be one of the primary places of pilgrimage for Christians, drawing now some 5000 visitors a day. (more…)

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Rev. Samuel J. Smith

The Eighth Sunday After Pentecost: July 19, 2015

2 Samuel 7:1-14a; Psalm 89:20-37; Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Preacher: The Rev. Samuel J. Smith, Assistant Priest, St. Michael’s Church

Have you ever been so tired that all you can think to do is curl up and go to sleep? That feeling where very fiber of your being is working toward getting that rest, and anything that gets in the way seems much more insurmountable than it probably is?

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