A Sermon for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 16B) + August 26, 2018

St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Chelsea, Alabama
Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 16B)
First Lesson: Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
Psalm 34:15-22
Second Lesson: Ephesians 6:10-20
Gospel: John 6:56-69

Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak with them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire for your Gospel. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

tumblr_n1ofcjZ4KV1sanzo7o1_1280Have you ever noticed how some people use the phrase, “No offense,” right before they say something really offensive?

Do you know what I’m talking about?

For example, let’s say someone walked up to me one morning after church and said, “No offense, Father Eric, but that wasn’t your best sermon.” I would be very offended by that! Just because that person said, “No offense,” right before criticizing me doesn’t mean that I would be any less offended. By the way, that’s never happened to me, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything!

Has this ever happened to you? Has anyone ever come up to you and said, “No offense, but…” Fill in the blank. Or, perhaps, you were the one who said it to someone else. Continue reading

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A Sermon for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 14B) + August 12, 2018

St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Chelsea, Alabama
Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 14B)
First Lesson: 1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalm 34:1-8
Second Lesson: Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Gospel: John 6:35, 41-51

Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak with them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire for your Gospel. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

36450723_10160563180005022_128994029860814848_oThere’s a relatively new group within the Episcopal Church that calls itself, “Episcopal Evangelists.” They have a very active presence on Facebook. Anyone is welcome to join, but as you might’ve guessed, the primary purpose of this group is to serve as a means of support and creativity for those in the Episcopal Church who feel particularly called to the ministry of evangelism.

This past summer, as the Episcopal Church prepared for its 79thGeneral Convention in Austin, Texas, the “Episcopal Evangelists” were also hard at work. They were getting ready to spread the word at the convention that evangelism is important to Episcopalians, and one way they planned to accomplish this goal was by giving away these bright green “Episcopal Evangelist” bracelets to anyone who wanted it. The bracelets were meant to serve as conversation starters with the idea that someone in the public square might see it and ask questions about it. Continue reading

A Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 13B) + August 5, 2018

St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Chelsea, Alabama
Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 13B)
First Lesson: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15
Psalm 78:23-29
Second Lesson: Ephesians 4:1-16
Gospel: John 6:24-35

Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak with them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire for your Gospel. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

38498635_465501407257457_6158961485893599232_n“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

“Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”

These words from our lesson from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians are powerful. They convey a sense of responsibility and urgency. They remind us that this life to which we’ve been called as followers of Jesus is built upon how we treat our brothers and sisters. The author uses some key words to describe this life, words like humility, gentleness, patience, love, and peace. Continue reading