Saturday, May 21, 2022

Going tao Northford

 I have Sunday off tomorrow.

So I'm going to St. Andrew's, Northford to preach and celebrate for Bryan Spinks so he can go to Emmanuel in Killingworth.

Those are two of the three churches Bryan and I rotated around for 7 years.

Looking forward to seeing old friends there.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Where I am today

 I'm struggling with whether or not to go on Saturday to cast my vote for the next bishop of CT.

Being in the same room with 500 people, even in an auditorium for 6 or 7 hours seems to me to be a potential super-spreader of Covid, even though we'll all be masked.

I've been asthmatic since my childhood.

And though it is under great control due to the Zolair shots I get every other week, it is a pre-existing condition that could be damaged by the virus.

The Bishop has given priests the option not to attend. Which I appreciate--it is usually 'required'.

So I'll wrestle with it this week and decide by Friday.

Wish me luck.


Thursday, May 12, 2022

The reason why

 Why are there two Sunday sermons this week?

Because I shared my first sermon with the people in my Wed. group and sent it to them by email. 

All but two (2 women, by the way) told me not to preach it.

Trinity has had lots of liberal/conservative debates in the past and wanted to avoid another.

So, I relented, knowing they knew the parish better than I did.

(Besides that, since Bern prints out my sermons since my computer needs intervention, told me it was too political!)

I'm not resentful for being censored, but I do wonder where the lines are in the sand around Trinity.

Oh well, I like the second one too, where I lay out the division but don't take a side.

We'll see.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

New Sermn for Sunday

MAY 15, 2022

Peter, in today’s reading from Acts, is explaining the concept of clean/not clean.

That concept is important to Jews, Muslims and most other religions.

But not to Christians, so much.

Yet in our day and age, unfortunately, the clean/unclean debate has heated up in our culture.

Are people of color to be denied the vote because they are somehow seen as ‘unclean’?

Is affordable health care clean or unclean?

Is abortion and reproductive rights clean or unclean?

Are LGBTQ folks and same-sex marriage clean or unclean.

Are immigrants clean or unclean?

Are guns clean or unclean.

Is freedom of speech and to protest clean or unclean?

Is democracy itself clean or unclean?

The jury of the American people is still out on all of those issues.

In my lifetime, the country has not been so divided since the Viet Nam War—and that division was nothing compared to today.

We need to look to today’s gospel lesson for guidance in these oh-so-divided times.

At the Last Supper in John, Jesus addresses his disciples.

“Little Children,” he said to begin.

Isn’t that wondrous?

Jesus calls his adult disciples, “Little Children”.

We are all ‘children’ in the faith.

Maybe we should call each other that—‘Little Children’.

Then he gives them a new commandment.

Listen: “…you must love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I watch videos on line from “VID Chronicles”. They are short depictions of life and always have a moral.

And the by word of “Vid Chronicles” is this: “always let love lead the way.”

That is a profound assertion.

Letting love lead the way is what Jesus calls us to.

Letting love lead the way can overcome our political differences, our disagreements, our resentment of things in the world.

Letting Love Lead the Way is the only way to be truly alive and truly ‘little children’ of God.

Let’s all do that, every hour of every day.

Let us ‘let love lead the way’.

 

Which brings us to Psalm 148.

This maybe my favorite Psalm of them all.

There are 150 Psalms and this one is next to next to last.

It should be the last one because it is so beautiful and so true.

It calls on all Creation to praise the Lord.

Angels and all their hosts.

Sun and moon and shining stars.

Heaven of heavens and you waters above the heavens.

Sea monsters and all deeps.

Fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous winds.

Wild beasts and all cattle.

Creeping thing and winged birds.

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and rulers of the world.

All are called to praise the Lord.

Young men and maidens, old and young together.

Everything must praise the Lord because ‘his splendor is over earth and heaven.’

So must we ‘praise the Lord’.

So must we.

Love one another and praise the Lord together and our divisions won’t matter.

We will be one with the Lord.

We will be one with each other.

Praise his holy name.

Shalom and Amen.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

This sunday's sermon

 (If you go to Trinity, Milton, don't read this.)


May 15, 2022—“Just me talkin…”

OK, this is going to be more political than I usually get.

Lean back. Get comfortable. Relax.

This is “just me talkin’.”

It’s not doctrine or theology or the Episcopal church’s position.

It’s “just me talkin’.”

Got it? “Just me talkin’.”

Today’s lesson from Acts tells us about Peter talking about what is ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’.

That matters a lot to Muslims, Jews and those who are Hindu or Buddhist.  Not a lot for Christians.

Yet the Supreme Court and lots of states have decided that abortion in ‘unclean’.

They think abortion should be outlawed though it has been the law of our land for 50 years—longer than some of us have been alive.

Let me be clear: I don’t like abortion. It strikes me as a ‘waste’.

However, though I don’t like abortion, I hate—really HATE—any thing that takes away human rights, including the right to do what we want to our bodies.

That includes the ‘right to privacy’. What we do in private is our own business—not the government’s or the court’s.

If you want to smoke or drink alcohol, that’s your business, not the business of the government or the court, as long as you don’t drink and drive and put someone else’s rights in jeopardy. 

And what you do with your body is your right—really: YOUR RIGHT.

I’m a man, so I never had to think about abortion in my life. But I know this: women have that right—especially poor women, women of color, all women.

And if that right is taken away, we all—men and women, suffer.

We can’t abide our rights being eroded.

We can’t.

In today’s gospel lesson, Jesus again talks about “loving one another”.

That is his primary command.

That we ‘LOVE’ one another.

And to do that, we have to protect each other’s rights—always and in every way.

That’s what Love involves.

Enough politics.

 

The Psalm today is one of my favorites.

It is about ‘praising the Lord’.

There are only two other Psalms about 148. That’s appropriate since praising God is about the most important thing we can do.

Psalm 148 calls on ‘everything’ to praise God.

The sun and moon, the earth and sea monsters, all the elements—snow and hail, fire and wind—mountains and hill, fruit trees and cedars, wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds, Kings and Princes, young and old, young men and women, old and young together.

PRAISE GOD, all of creation!

That’s a good place to come down to.

Praising God.

We all should. We all should.

And by praising God we praise all he created—including ourselves.

We must praise God by praising ourselves.

And always protecting our rights.

Always protecting our rights.

Every person’s rights.

Every woman’s rights.

All of those rights.

Every single one of them.

Always and forever.

Always and forever.

Always and forever.

Shalom and Amen.

 

 

 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Mother's Day Baptism

 I baptized Vera on Mother's Days.

She's 7 and has a great personality.

She's an only child, like me, and her parents were so happy.

I gave Bern a single rose and a card.

Mimi donated $300 to a women's health clinic in West Virginia, where Bern and I are from and where both our children were born.

Josh sent her 2 dozen roses of different hues and called her.

We had take-out fish and chip (Bern's request) for her mother's day dinner.

All in all a great day.

 


Friday, May 6, 2022

SCOUS and abortion

 Let me just say it, I don't like abortion.

I don't like it--it seems like a waste.

But what I HATE, really Hate, is the government telling people what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

While abortion seems like a waste to me, it could be a life-saver for some women.

The Supreme Court draft is an invasion of privacy and 'privacy' is what makes this a great nation.

So, if the Court actually does invalidate Roe vs. Wade it will be an evasion of privacy that could see other privacy issues be weakened.

Plus it will discriminate against poor people and people of color.

And it could result in dangerous procedures that could harm women's lives.

If you're rich, you can get around the law and have a safe abortion.

Besides some states have laws waiting in the wings prosecuting women and doctors and make leaving the state for an abortion in a state like CT or NY a crime.

Plus, between 70 and 80 percent of Americans support safe and legal abortion.

Demonstrations across the country have shown how many people are willing to speak up for a woman's rights to her own body.

It will be a terrible, hateful, vengeful attack of freedom if the SC does do this.

 TERRIBLE. VENGEFUL. HATEFUL IN ALL CAPS.


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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.