Here I Am

December 23, 2012

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas

Advent 4, Year C – Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

Good morning, I’m so excited to be here today. There are so many familiar faces… Not just those I’m related to… it seems like just yesterday that I was sitting in the pews alongside you… In some ways at least. But, I know that can’t be, because there are some unfamiliar faces, too… which is always a good sign for a church!

I remember several years ago, when I was one of those unfamiliar faces at St. Andrews. One Sunday I showed up anticipating Barbara’s sermon, and there was this young guy who got up to preach. I could tell that many in the congregation were excited to see him, but I had no idea who he was… I was a little disappointed I wasn’t getting to hear Barbara, but, that’s the way it goes sometimes…

This guy who was preaching that day was Kevin Schubert. He, like me now, had just returned from seminary, and was newly ordained… I now understand what the fuss was all about! As I stand here with eager faces before me, welcoming me back into the community that has been an important part of my journey.

I came to St. Andrews about seven years ago, while I was on the path to discerning my vocation. I had been in Banking for twenty years, and although I feel that some people are called to a vocation in banking, really I do, I also know very confidently that I am not one of them. It’s not that I wasn’t good at it, it just wasn’t what I thought I was supposed to be doing any longer… And so, I began listening for what was next. Read the rest of this entry »

Deepening our Rootedness

December 2, 2012

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Sermon on Luke 21:25-36, given while serving as seminarian

Advent 1 – Year C (RCL) 

Jeremiah 33:14-16, 1Thessalonians 3:9-13 & Luke 21:25-36

Good morning! Welcome back into the sanctuary of Christ Church!

What an exciting way to begin a new church year… with a new look, though not completely changed. A familiarity, yet some things have changed. Not just the colors of the altar coverings and vestments this year, but transformation of the sanctuary itself.

For those of you who were able to be with us for worship in the Youth Center the past few Sundays, you have a double change – you might actually be missing the fall leaves as the backdrop to the altar, as nature enhanced that worship space. Or, for some who have attended Christ Church for a long time, the changes made in this sanctuary might take some getting used to, not because they aren’t wonderful and welcome, but simply because they are different.

You see, each new beginning is always accompanied by the ending of something else. Even when that “something new” is desired – it could be a new job or school, a new relationship, a new community to live in, or the new look of the sanctuary. These are things we embrace and welcome, yet still there is an adjustment and something left behind.

Other changes may not be of our choosing… to live without someone we’ve lost, either to death, divorce or distance; or we may find ourselves unemployed, losing not only the security of a paycheck, but interaction with colleagues and a life-structure we had grown accustomed to. The upcoming holidays can make these unwanted changes even more difficult.

On this first Sunday of Advent, the gospel reading itself is unfamiliar and jarring. As we are beginning a new church year, the apocalyptic message foretells dramatic, catastrophic ending of things. Jesus speaks of signs in the sky, and on the earth that will cause distress among the nations. He warns his disciples that “people will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world” and even the “powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: