Sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 30, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

In 1492, Columbus sailed the oceans blue. In 1842, St. Thomas’s opened in faith new, too … in Newark! I suspect Devon Miller Duggan might have a word or two to say about my poetic prowess, or lack thereof. I guess will take off  the next great American poet off my post-ministry bucket list. Yet my somewhat poetic attempt is to point us toward the beginnings of St. Thomas’s on August 1, 1842. On Tuesday, we celebrate 175 years in the seed planting business.

We were founded by a vision of a few men, with mustard seed faith, to bring an Anglican/Episcopal worshiping community to Newark and then small Newark College student body. In the words of the article about St. Thomas’s written in the Delaware History pamphlet in 2010, St. Thomas’s was formed on the need to bring “a true religious experience to Newark.” The article notes at the time there were two Presbyterian churches along Main Street, while the “rowdy” Methodists were put off onto a side street. The community wanted to provide religious experiences that offered “reasonable and refined expressions of faith.” Our liturgical practices fit the bill, and the property at the point of Main Street and Delaware Avenue was purchased to build our church.

175 years later, and here we still are bearing the “mustard seeds” of faith, seeking to live into and out of God’s grace and love in this new/old home of St. Thomas’s. The call to our living faith is as powerful now as it was August 1, 1842 when we incorporated. To paraphrase a favorite theologian Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places we have been … Oh, the places we will go and grow, together!

See The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 30, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

See all sermons.

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 9, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”

The invitation is to everyone, not just some chosen few who have been tired or had a burden to bear. We all come bearing something – a sadness …a worry … an ache … a brokenness. Sometimes the cracks of our life are obvious, while sometimes we are pretty good at hiding them. All of us are cracked in some way or other, and it is wise to remember the haunting words of Leonard Cohen’s Anthem, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets through.”

See The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 9, 2017/Year A.

See all Sermons.

Sermon for The Day of the Pentecost – June 4, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of your love! Send forth your Spirit, and we shall be created; and with you, we will renew the face of the earth. AMEN

“When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house … Divided tongues, as of fire … rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit …”

Author Annie Dillard writes, “Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a pack aged tour of the Absolute? People who come here should be equipped with safety helmets and life vests, and the pews should all have safety harnesses. For if we come to church to be transformed, hang on tight for that is what the Spirit of the living God will do!”

For all these things that do not seem quite the same as that first Pentecost Day, here is what will be equally and importantly the same for every single one of us gathered this day, in this place, and at this time — we shall be created; and with you, we will renew the face of the earth TOGETHER!

Together we will do this through the presence and power and purpose of Love that is our Triune God!

See the Pentecost Sunday Sermon in its entirety and see all sermons.

Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Easter & Memorial Day Weekend – May 28, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

Too often we get stuck in a paradoxical time between times of the first and second coming of Christ. In this two-thousand year stretch of transition ministry and expectation of Christ coming again “in power and great glory to judge the earth”, we are called to carry on the mission that Jesus began. We are not to sit idly by twiddling our thumbs as an important part of this mission is to welcome the stranger as Jesus himself showed us how to do, since the essence of our faith is expressed in community. Sometimes the Church, and that is you and me, forgets that we are called into community. Without each other, we fall far short of the heaven-on-earth vision of what we might be for each other.

See the sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Easter & Memorial Day Weekend – May 28, 2017/Year A.

See all sermons.

Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 21, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

Christ suffered for the sins of all the righteous and unrighteous alike in order to bring us to God. The redemptive suffering of Christ serves for all humanity even those who hadn’t had the opportunity to learn God’s truth.

It is through baptism we are all united with Christ. The Advocate dwells in everyone who loves Jesus and honors his commandments.

See The Reverend Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon’s Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 21, 2017/Year A.

See all sermons.

Sermon for The Fifth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day – May 14, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

“Those first communities of The Way, like that of John’s Gospel, heard these words in the context of a particular time and particular events in their lives. The persecution of “those Jesus followers” was real and rampant all around them. It was a time they were called to lean and live into this faith of Jesus as THEIR way, THEIR truth, and THEIR life, even to THEIR death. Now two millennia later, the words of Jesus invitation into this LIVING faith still echo for those of us along this journey, but it is a different time and context. Sadly, these same words of invitation into a LIVING faith are often used as a bludgeon against “those other people.””

See the sermon for Sermon for The Fifth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day – May 14, 2017 / Year A in its entirety.

See all sermons.

Sermon for The Third Sunday of Easter – April 30, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

Most every town has a store in which there is nothing but lamps, hundreds and sometimes thousands of lamps. Some are antique, some are new, some are plain, and some are ornate. Some of them are unplugged while others are showcasing their light. One day a little girl was shopping for new lamps with her mother. When asked which lamps she liked best, she answered, “I like best the ones where the light shines out.”

This is no less true of us in our churches and our present-day witness to the Risen Christ. How well do our lives showcase our light? Who is being attracted to this light, being nourished by it, letting it penetrate and empower their lives? Macrina Wiederkehr, in her book Seven Sacred Pauses, writes of the pilgrims on the road to Emmaus: “When their eyes were opened they recognized the One who journeyed with them on their pilgrimage so full of questions … ‘Were not our hearts burning within us?’ Using slightly different words, this same question is displayed on the icon of the Emmaus journey that sits on my small altar: ‘Were not our hearts gradually catching fire?’

Eastertide is all about living OUR resurrection. So perhaps the response of Cleopas and companion might be heard for us – What is our heartburn like today?

See the sermon for Sermon for The Third Sunday of Easter – April 30, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

See all sermons.

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent – March 26, 2017/Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

Do you SEE me, now? Who is missing from our midst that we have not seen for a while? Who is here, RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, which we do not see, REALLY see for who they are as the child of God, bearing the light of Jesus, just like you and me? How many do we see through the filtered sight of preconceptions by class, race, creed, or countless other “isms” we have come to know, and at times even embrace?

See The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr. sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent – March 26, 2017/Year A.

See all sermons.

1 2 3 4 5