Monday, May 30, 2022

Guns and children

I've put off posting about the tragedies in Buffalo an Texas because I am so heart-broken, so angry and so disappointed with our elected representatives.

If I were in charge (would that I were!) I would require the giving up of all guns that are not specifically for hunting (though I don't like those either).

Like New Zealand, we would pay people for their guns and then destroy the guns.

And we would have laws that made crimes of any kind committed with a gun would face life in prison--any gun!

The police would have guns until a year without a crime with a gun involved had passed. Then the police would be limited on having guns.

Weird and unbelievable to me is that many supporters of guns also want to outlaw abortion.

Let all children be born so they can be shot and killed.

Makes sense?

I think not.



Last Weeks Sermon

Easter 7 2022

        Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison--in today’s reading from Acts—for healing a slave girl who had a spirit of divination.

        (Having such a spirit possessing you might seem like a good thing. It would let you make lots of money on the stock market and in sport’s betting. But you’ll also know when those you love are going to die and know when the next school shooting would take place and be helpless to do anything about it.)

        When an earthquake (sent by God?) opens all the doors to the prison and removes the prisoner’s bonds, no one leaves.

        The jailer woke up and considered killing himself because of the trouble he’d be in, Paul talks to him and he turns to God and is baptized. He also sets Paul and Silas free and takes them to his house to eat and meet his family.

        That’s the first point I want to make: we need to set each other free. Free to be ourselves when we thought we couldn’t be.


        In John today, Jesus talks about how we are all “ONE”.

        I dare say we don’t think we are “ONE”.

        We live in a nation that seems more divided than at any time since the Civil War.

        We are divided by our opinions and don’t think we can come together and listen with compassion toward those who don’t agree with us.

        But Jesus insists we should be “ONE”.

        Remember these words from the pledge of allegiance: “ONE Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

        I didn’t realize until I was reading about the Pledge for this sermon, that the phrase ‘under God’ was added in 1956 by President Eisenhower because of his concerns about what he considered ‘god-less communists’.

        He had no intentions of becoming ‘ONE’ with communists.

        In our oh-so-divided nation and world, it doesn’t seem possible to ‘free each other’ to become ONE across our differences.

        Yet that’s what God calls us to do.


        In a small step toward that end and after talking with the Wardens and two of members of Trinity, we decided to hold a monthly series of discussions around sensitive topics.

        The point of the discussions will be to ‘listen’ to each other—really ‘listen—even across whatever differences we have…no, not ‘even’…”intentionally listen”, intentionally and with compassion one for the other.

        Our vocalist, Jordon, will become our moderator for these talks and keep us on track and check that we are really listening to each other.

        Our hope is that we may FREE each other to share sincerely about our opinions, so that we might in that way—by talking and listening—become more ONE in spite of our differences.

        Be sure to invite friends you may disagree with. Let them know that will be treated with respect and compassion and truly, truly ‘listened to’.

        The first session will be June 12 and will be dedicated to an honest discussion of Gun Control.

        In the future we will discuss Abortion, GLBTQ rights and immigration.

        Be there to listen and be listened to so that we might FREE each other and become more ONE.





Friday, May 27, 2022

Lacrosse balls

 We have over 30 lacrosse balls on our front porch, collected from our front yard.

Until the other day we had no idea where they were coming from.

I thought maybe kids were playing in the First Cong parking lot and hitting them our way.

Which made no sense since they would have had to cross the two story houses across our street.

Plus no other yard had any.

Then a few days ago, Bern woke up really early and walked Brigit early.

On her way home see saw a small gray car that slowed and threw one on our yard.

We have no idea who's doing it or why.

Or what it means.

If anything.

I've thought about reporting it to Town Hall or the police, but what would I say.

I'm dumbfounded about it.

None of them have hit our house so they are harmless.

God knows what it means.

Well,  maybe God knows, but I've no idea.

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.




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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.