Holy Dance + Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Esme J. R. Culver

Lessons: Job 38:1-7, 34-41 Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b Hebrews 5:1-10 Mark 10:35-45 I arrived at Grace during the middle of the day in the middle of July in 2006.  There were kids everywhere.  And so were kitty litter cubbies and left-behind shoes and remnants of lunch……… and in the parish hall a Greek music CDContinue reading “Holy Dance + Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Esme J. R. Culver”

Coming Out (National Coming Out Day) + Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert

Lessons:  Job 23:1-9, 16-17 Psalm 22:1-15 Hebrews 4:12-16 Mark 10:17-31     Earlier this week, our Music Director, Susan Jensen, sent me an email in which she reminded me that today is National Coming Out Day. Established in 1988, the purpose of this day is to raise awareness about GLBTQ folks and their allies. (GLBTQContinue reading “Coming Out (National Coming Out Day) + Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert”

St. Francis of Assisi + Blessing of the Animals + Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert

Lessons: Jeremiah 22:13-16 Psalm 148:7-14  Galatians 6:14-18 Matthew 11:25-30   To visit the town of Assisi is to step into a place which is equal parts awesome and ironic. Walking up the hill to the town’s enormous and ornate basilica, you will pass gelato stands, stores selling postcards and T-shirts, and restaurants which offer anContinue reading “St. Francis of Assisi + Blessing of the Animals + Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert”

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert

Lessons:  Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 Psalm 124 James 5:13-20 Mark 9:38-50   Listen to Sermon   I’d like to begin this morning with a quiz. This is a spiritual quiz. And it was developed by my friend and teacher Albert Jennings. Some of the questions are my own but the structure is Albert’s. During theContinue reading “Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert”

Keep your Eye on the Child + Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert

Lessons:  Proverbs 31:10-31 Psalm 1 James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a Mark 9:30-37     The child whom Jesus invites into the midst of his disciples today is not a symbol. The child whom Jesus holds in his arms as he teaches is a child – she is a human being. Forgive me if what I have just said isContinue reading “Keep your Eye on the Child + Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert”

The Surprise Truth + Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert

Lessons: Proverbs 1:20-33 Psalm 19 James 3:1-12 Mark 8:27-38   I’ve been watching a number of performances lately by the magicians Penn and Teller. I was fan of theirs back when I was in high school and, thanks to YouTube, I am rediscovering them now. I suppose that I am drawn to Penn and TellerContinue reading “The Surprise Truth + Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert”

Confession, Repentance, and Commitment to End Racism Sunday + Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert

Lessons: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23 Psalm 125 James 2:1-17 Mark 7:24-37   The bicycle has been my primary means of transportation for pretty much all of my adult life. I love riding. It’s fabulous exercise, it’s a great way of saving on the costs of driving a car, and finding a parking spot is neverContinue reading “Confession, Repentance, and Commitment to End Racism Sunday + Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert”

A Place at the Table + Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert

Lessons: Song of Solomon 2:8-13 Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10 James 1:17-27 Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23   What a privilege to be here. I’d like to begin our time together by saying thank you. Thank you to everyone at Grace Memorial with whom I have interacted over the last several months as we have done the workContinue reading “A Place at the Table + Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost by The Rev. Martin Elfert”

The Flowers in the Desert + Fifth Sunday in Lent by The Rev. Esme J. R. Culver

Lessons: Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 51:1-13 Hebrews 5:5-10 John 12:20-33 By the Fifth Sunday of Lent, the shadows of the cross spread like cold ash across the wilderness landscape…..and yet, at this same time……desert wildflowers are in bloom.  At this same time, the floor of the desert becomes, for one brief moment carpeted with the colorContinue reading “The Flowers in the Desert + Fifth Sunday in Lent by The Rev. Esme J. R. Culver”

The Name of Faith + Second Sunday in Lent by The Rev. Esme J. R. Culver

Lessons: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 Psalm 22:22-30 Romans 4:13-25 Mark 8:31-38 The Ella Brown Room is filled with crosses. And there are crosses in the glass case in the hall outside the chapel. Each is treasured enough to be shared and each carries a story that partly defines the one who lives with it… and definesContinue reading “The Name of Faith + Second Sunday in Lent by The Rev. Esme J. R. Culver”

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