Emmaus House Episcopal Chapel, Atlanta, GA

2nd Sunday after Christmas – All Years (RCL) – Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ephesians 1:3-6,15-19a, Matthew 2:13-15,19-23

This was the first Christmas in my life that I was not with my family on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. For some of you that may seem unfathomable and for others you still can’t imagine what it would be like to spend Christmas without your family or that special circle of friends.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t celebrate the holiday with my family. We are a pretty practical bunch, so since everyone was traveling to Houston for a wedding before Christmas we had our holiday meal and gift exchange a week ahead of schedule. It was a wonderful time filled with laughter.

I knew that upon my return to Atlanta I would be embarking on a Christmas of another kind… an Emmaus House Christmas! During the week I was introduced to this community’s traditions… elves of all ages wrapping and sorting gifts, decorating a tree with fruit instead of traditional ornaments, and volunteers gathering on a cold Christmas Eve morning to bring joy to many who might otherwise not have much under the Christmas tree. And although being part of this wonderful event was gratifying, it still wasn’t my Christmas tradition. Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

This is my first sermon at Christ Church where I serve as a seminarian while pursuing a Master of Divinity at Candler School of Theology, Emory.

Revised Common Lectionary – Year C, Proper 25 (Joel 2:23-32, Psalm 65, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18, Luke 18:9-14)

Growing up in Houston, Texas during the days of the Southwest Conference formed my reference-point for college football. The Orange and White of UT referred to the University of Texas Longhorns, not the Tennessee Volunteers. The “big rivalry” was between the Longhorns and the Aggies of Texas A&M – this was the game that families planned their Thanksgiving meal around.

And then there was Rice University… perhaps the Southwest Conference’s equivalent to Vanderbilt. But with both my mom and dad having gone to Rice during in the 1950’s, when the Rice Owls were a winning football team, the belief each year that Rice would prevail over Texas was instilled in me, and all my siblings, and continues to be espoused by my father even now.

The Southwest Conference disbanded almost fifteen years ago, and even though the teams have moved into various other conferences, the rivalry between the Owls, Aggies, and Longhorns are part of the Texas vernacular. Anyone who’s spent any time in Texas knows what an Aggie joke is and has a frame of reference for the stereotypes attached to each of these schools.

Now, for many of you, when I say “Roll Tide” you attach an image to it… it’s okay, the confessional prayer is just a few minutes away. But for me, having moved to Atlanta just this past January, this is my first SEC Season, and I have little frame of reference for it, or at least not the specifics…

I absolutely “get” the importance. It’s hard to miss. Just drive through any neighborhood and you’ll see a household’s loyalty announced with a banner flying from their front porch. But the rivalry between the Yellow jackets’ and the Bulldogs’ doesn’t motivate me in any way… at least not yet. Read the rest of this entry »

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

As a member of this church, I was serving as the Coordinator of the Centennial Capital Campaign. Hurricane Ike had hit the Houston/Galveston area hard just a few weeks earlier and the financial meltdown from which we are still struggling to recover had just begun…

Revised Common Lectionary – Proper 23, Year A (Exodus 32:1-14, Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Philippians 4:1-9, Matthew 22:1-14)

Good Morning,

I would venture to guess that our rector, Barbara, is a very good fly fisherman, figuratively speaking, anyway.

She finds a quiet spot in the river,
chooses her bait carefully,
and then, ever so skillfully,
drops the “fly” right in front of the unsuspecting trout and reels it in.

For those who have been that Hooked Trout, you know what I’m talking about, but for the rest of you, let me explain…

A few months ago, when we began gearing up for the Centennial Capital Campaign, Barbara mentioned that “it might be good to have one or two members of the parish preach during the stewardship period – to provide another voice for the congregation to hear.”


I told her that she does a fabulous job preaching, and that NO ONE grows tired of hearing her speak, and FRANKLY the thought of taking that on was a bit scary,

But then I said that if she thought it would be good, I’d be willing to do it.


But, I never heard another word about it. I certainly wasn’t going to bring it up, and was hoping the whole idea had come and gone…

and then, 2 weeks ago, she said “I really do think it would be good to have someone else speak. Perhaps you can do it on Loyalty Sunday”…

She REELED me in – Read the rest of this entry »

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