Homily for Sunday, May 27, 2018
Preached at Bethany Convent, Arlington, MA
In rock climbing circles, John Long is legend. Now 64, Long was one of the first to “free climb”—that is, to climb without ropes—famous rock faces such as the Paisano Overhang at Suicide Rock in California, the so-called Hangover at Tahquitz Rock, also in California, and the east face of Washington Column in Yosemite (also in California). In 1975—on Memorial Day weekend—he and two friends completed the first ever one-day ascent of El Capitan, the famous granite monolith in Yosemite.
Looking up from the bottom of El Capitan, and then looking out 2,500 feet up, Long writes:
You stumble into the forest and wend through the pines that finally open up, and there—before you, above you, around you—a sea of granite soars straight [up], stunning for its colors and sheer bulk; and terrible for the emptiness that sets in your gut as your eyes pan up its titanic corners and towers. Continue reading
In the Episcopal Church’s Catechism, the stated mission of the Church “is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ (The Book of Common Prayer, p 855). In Eucharistic Prayer A – the form of the Eucharistic prayers used most often at Trinity – we give thanks to God that God “sent Jesus Christ… to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all” (BCP, p 362).
Our Christian faith is about “restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ;” we Christians, following the example of Jesus, are called to be agents of reconciliation. Our country, sharply divided over the recent election and in transition to a new administration, is counting on us Christians to live into our identity and to be agents of reconciliation. Continue reading
Annual Meeting, January 24, 2016
Trinity Parish of Newton Centre
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
This year has been an extraordinary year in the history of our parishes – or, more properly said, in the history of our parish. For as of this past December, our parish is one new parish. With the merger of our two parishes into one new parish, God is doing something new here in Newton. And I, for one, am curious to see what God might be doing in our one new parish here in Newton. Continue reading
He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.
– Mark 3:13-15
In Mark’s gospel the first thing Jesus appoints his apostles to do is not something to do, but something to be: “And he appointed twelve… to be with him.” So often we think of Jesus as one who does. Especially in Mark’s gospel Jesus seems to be perpetually doing, moving from one ministry opportunity to the next, preaching and healing and casting out demons at a pace that might well leave the reader breathless. Given Jesus’ prodigious activity, we might suppose that Jesus would appoint apostles who could keep up with his action-packed schedule, who could join him in going “immediately” (one of Mark’s favorite words) from one act of ministry to the next. But the first thing Jesus appoints the apostles to do is not something to do, but something to be: “to be with him.” Continue reading