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In preparing to light the Advent wreath at the beginning of worship, Wendy said, “We hardly know how to describe the year we are living through.”
Mark, the Gospel writer who will be our companion over the next liturgical year, which begins today, would know exactly how to describe this year. Apocalyptic.
The section Ben read from Mark’s Gospel is referred to as “The Little Apocalypse” because of its resonance with the Great Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation. Often written in difficult times, this type of literature is meant to offer hope to people who are suffering.
Weeks ago, when I was selecting scripture for our worship today, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I could not have known that the message would be so fitting days after the death of our beloved, Jud Gale: “Your great generosity will produce thanksgiving to God through us.”
We gather this morning both broken-hearted and thankful:
Broken-hearted by Jud’s death and thankful for his life;
Last week, in the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids, we were given an image of the Christian life as a life of joy. Perhaps because Jesus knew how difficult it is for us to truly embrace the idea that we are called to share in the joy of God, he tries in the Parable of the Talents, to make the same point in another way.
Since I was ordained, I’ve officiated over 300 weddings. Each has been special in it’s own way. One in particular, four years ago, felt like it was a foretaste of God’s kingdom, Under one tent there were the groovy, progressive White Quakers, Unitarians, and Atheists. There were conservative, proper, Black Catholics and Baptists. Present were straight, gay, and transgendered people; the very young and the very old; friends who danced the night away on two feet and some who danced the night away from their wheelchairs. Republicans and Democrats. I have never been to a more diverse or joyful celebration.
Friday morning as I sat down to begin writing this sermon, I looked out my window to see the snow racing towards the ground, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. At one point, I looked over at my cat, Chloe, and she had her paw covering her face. I could relate. Halloween festivities in many places were cancelled or truncated last night. The city of Gloucester decided to temporarily remove its Ballot drop boxes from outside of City Hall because of threats of vandalism.
By guest preacher, Lindsay Crouse. Matthew is writing after the fall of Jerusalem, which left the Pharisees, who are actively persecuting Christians, firmly in charge. Most scribes and lawyers at this time are Pharisees. They are teachers of the Hebrew scriptures, and...
“Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” How we understand what this one verse says, may reveal more about the way we think, than it does about what it actually means. As residents of a country that has...
A day does not go by that I do not hear someone say, “I am just so worried about….” It might be the election, or climate change, or the results of a COVID test, or the health of a loved one… these days, the list goes on and on. We are living in an anxious, a deeply anxious, age.
How many of you have been fortunate enough to share part of your life with an animal? A dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, rabbit, chickens, horse? It’s so wonderful for us to live with animals. Think back to a time when you had to say goodbye - when a creature you loved...
(N.B., Rather than a traditional sermon, we heard from Swami Yogatmananda on "Religion as Realization.")Video of Service
(N.B., Rather than give a traditional sermon, Rev. Sue gave a series of reflections on the meaning of “Seasons of Life” for our congregation this year.)One of the unique aspects of who we are as a congregation, is that whether or not someone participates in the...
Back in August of 2014, David and I traveled from our home in upstate NY to Rockport for the weekend with the intent of finding a place to rent as we started a new chapter in our lives. I had scoured the online resources before we made the trip and only found...
"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow in my footsteps.” In 1981, when I graduated from high school in Niskayuna, New York (a suburb of Schenectady), I vowed to never again live in Niskayuna or any suburb like...