Celebrating Saints

November 6, 2016

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
All Saints’ Day (transferred) – Year C
Daniel 7:1-3,15-18; Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31

(Gospel Text provided below)

I was lucky to get to know both of my Grandmothers as I was growing up. Both lived in Houston, both had ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, and both were named Mary. That may be where their similarities end.

My Grandmother Greenwood was from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She moved to Houston after marrying my grandfather, who became a prominent neurosurgeon. The entry room of their grand two-story house was adorned with framed cross-stitch samplers made by the very daughters of those early colonial soldiers. She also had a Union Army uniform worn by her grandfather in the Civil War, along with three sabers and musket from that era. She was a collector of history and family heirlooms. She was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she always had a “Go Navy” bumper sticker on her car, and in addition to raising six children, she was active in the Episcopal church and volunteered for the Red Cross, among other things.

1963-christmas-group2Each Sunday after church we’d go to Grandma Greenwood’s house in our Sunday finest. We’d scamper upstairs to play games with our many cousins and if we were lucky, we’d be picked to help Grandpa wind the grandfather clock in the living room. When the food was ready, Grandma would call us to dinner, and we’d flock to the kitchen and take our places at the kid’s table. All my aunts and uncles gathered ‘round the large dining room table for a proper Sunday dinner, where white rice and sweet corn accompanied every meal, and Blue Bell ice cream brought it to an oh-so-sweet close. Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
10th Sunday After Pentecost – Proper 12
Luke 11:1-13

(Gospel Text provided below)

Today I’ll be sharing the pulpit with a couple folks who will be talking about Stewardship of Relationship. One is a member of Daughters of the King and the other is in the Order of St. Luke – both are prayer ministries at Christ Church. I don’t think the date was chosen based on the lectionary, so the fact that we’ve been provided with the quintessential gospel text for prayer gives some extra creds to the Holy Spirit!

And while prayer is certainly a way that we can be stewards of relationships with one another, it’s also a good way to be stewards of our relationship with God.

So with that in mind, what does this passage from Luke’s gospel tell us about prayer?

Prayer, in its simplest definition, is a way of connecting with God. Yet interestingly, the passage points out that it’s not instinctive. Prayer is actually a learned behavior. Even the disciples, these learners that are following Jesus, ask to be taught how to pray.

banner21 Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Third Sunday After Pentecost – Proper 5
1 Kings 17:8-24; Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17

(Gospel Text provided below)

As you may know, I am one of five kids in my family. Before we came along, my mom was a 3rd grade elementary school teacher while Dad was in law school. By the time Dad finished, they had had their first child and the rest, including me, weren’t far behind! So, when my parents moved back to Houston, my mom stopped teaching… in the classroom at least – she had plenty of her own pupils underfoot!

IMG-20130731-00346When we reached elementary school-age, Mom knew from her time as a teacher that it’s hard for kids to retain over the summer what they learned the previous school year. So at the beginning of each summer, she’d load us into the wood-paneled station wagon and we’d head to the Teacher’s Supply Store. Each of us would get two workbooks – one English and one Math – and we’d be expected to spend time each day doing workbook exercises. So, although it was summer break from school, it wasn’t a total break from learning.  Read the rest of this entry »

Discern Care – Fully

March 13, 2016

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
5th Sunday in Lent 
Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8

(Gospel text is provided at the bottom of this post)

Have you ever been out to dinner with a group of friends you’ve known for a long time, or with family, and someone starts telling a story about a shared experience that happened years earlier? You get excited because it was such a special adventure that you’ll never forget! Story sequenceThen, as the story unfolds, there are variations in the storyteller’s version that don’t quite match your memory of what happened. Some of the details seem okay, but other aspects, like who actually did or said certain things, or when it happened in relation to other life-events, seem out of line. And while it isn’t exactly how you remember it, the teller is so sure of their version that there’s really no use in arguing about it. It’s their reality, after all.

We see those same kinds of variations in Biblical stories, including today’s gospel reading from John. While this story about the anointing of Jesus appears in each of the four gospels, they don’t all match up. For many people it can be confusing to have these different versions of the same story. When there are inconsistencies, it can create doubt about the validity of any of it!

Read the rest of this entry »

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