Snatched up by the Spirit: A Sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2018

This is one of the weeks of the Eucharistic lectionary when I have had to struggle extensively as I prepared this sermon. My struggle wasn’t with the dearth of material—over the years I’ve preached on both today’s gospel reading and the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. And as you know, I have a particular fondness for the Gospel of John, for vineyards, and for that good old word “abiding, so I began working on the gospel reading, and was thinking about including a hefty dose of material from the epistle reading as well.” But I was struggling because I was trying to discern which direction to go, what the Spirit is saying to our church, Grace Church today. In fact, as I prepared for the Wednesday eucharist at Capital Lakes, I decided to focus on the gospel and epistle reading. A member who attended that service, joked that he enjoys seeing how my thoughts develop from Wednesday to Sunday. Well, he’s I for a surprise today. Continue reading

Where might the Spirit snatch us up and take us? A Sermon for 5 Easter, 2015

I was walking back to my car after a meeting with someone at UW one afternoon last week. It was a beautiful day, and I was enjoying the sun and watching students as they sat and talked and went about their activities. The sidewalks were full; greenspaces were full. My route took me past several campus ministry centers. Each of them had posted, in slightly different language, the slogan “All are welcome,” outside their doors. I started thinking about that slogan. You see it at the entrances of many churches, including Episcopal; or on websites, or in marketing materials. I didn’t go back to look, but I’m sure you can find it in our literature at Grace, as well. Continue reading