Sermon for Sunday, July 25, 2021

2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 145:10-18; Ephesians 3: 14-21; Saint John 6: 1-21

Amandus J. Derr
Interim Senior Pastor

In nomine Jesu!
Grace and peace to you from God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen 

Once upon a time in a city far, far away I served with a colleague who subscribed to and always lived by the maxim:  Expect the worst – prepare for the worst – and you’ll never be disappointed.  Some of us might also subscribe to that maxim.  Whether we do or not, the Good News is this:  Today and for the next four Sundays, people who do subscribe to this show up for us in the readings from the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) and in the readings from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel; and God and Jesus address them all.  This is especially important for our congregation, filled with type A personalities who, at this time of our life together want an answer to one question: What’s the plan.  As the members of our staff, the congregation council, and those who have worked with me in the past and are worshiping with us remotely now have quickly learned, planning is one of my passions.  So, over these next five weeks I hope we will be listening carefully as John’s Jesus addresses us inveterate planners and shapes the way we plan. Continue reading

Sermon for Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sergio Rodriguez, Vicar

Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest for a while.” Mark 6:31

Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jesus’ compassionate teaching led the crowds to the still waters of God’s presence. The exhausted disciples heard Jesus say to them, “Let us have a desert experience that we may receive God as our rest.” Jesus continues to teach to us to us the manifold gift of orienting our daily lives to being with God in deserted places. We were made to abide in God and for God to rest along side us. The gift of abiding in God and God to abide in us is not just for the St. John of the Crosses of the world. This gift of abiding in God may appear to be of the mystic-purgative type. Our journey commences with the letter of the law. We then enter the dark night of the soul where we are purged of our sin. And only after, can we gaze through faith the unmeditated gaze of God’s presence. To abide in God and God rest alongside us is akin to waking up from a dream; to be beside yourself in your own skin. Continue reading

Sermon for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – July 4, 2021

Amandus J. Derr, Interim Senior Pastor

Ezekiel 2:1-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Saint Mark 6:1-13

In nomine Jesu!
Grace and peace to you from God – Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen

What does it mean to be faithful in a post-Christian world?

How do we live out our communal faith in an increasingly hostile, self-isolating society?

What is our vocation –– our calling –– as followers of Jesus Christ and, simultaneously, as citizens of the richest and greatest world power in all of human history?  

245 years after the Declaration of Independence; almost 20 years since the world-altering events of September Eleventh; a tad less than 6 months after the January 6 melee at our nation’s Capitol; a mere two months since we began to resume a semblance of “normal,” in-person life after 15 months of Covid lockdown, what does it mean to be a faithful member of the Christian community in a nation and a world rent asunder by competing faith-based fundamentalisms and the increasingly strident clash between the adherents of scientifically, provable facts on the on hand, and fear-driven conspiracy theories on the other? Continue reading

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, 6/27/2021

Vicar Sergio Rodriguez

“And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement.” Mark 5:42

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jesus announced to the nameless woman the healing power of her faith. She had been made well because out of her desperation and years of suffering, she reached out and touched his clock. Jesus was to her and is to us a faithful healer, not a faith healer. Now why this distinction? I would say because we know of faith healers. I had to reach back into my memory this past week to a YouTube that I saw of the Televangelist, Benny Hinn, as he waved his Neru Jacket to heal people. Continue reading

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost June 20, 2021

Amandus J. Derr
Interim Senior Pastor

Job 38:1-11
Psalm 107
1-3, 23-32
2 Corinthians 6: 1-13
Saint Mark 4: 35-41

In nomine Jesu! 

Grace and peace to you from God – Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen

I’m not a stranger here. Some of us have known one another longer than we care to admit. Some of us know each other from our “house church” over the past year; some have seen my wife Carole and me in our “Bucky chairs” worshiping outdoors and then in our favorite pew with you ever since we returned inside and in-person; some have seen me the two times I’ve been privileged to preside at this table, once in pre-taped video, recently with you, live. Since last Monday, some have googled me, and others have begun Facebook following and friending me – and my wife Carole. But I still think I need to introduce myself today.

But how to do that?  Thanks to the overwhelmingly nautical theme of today’s readings, psalm, Gospel, and hymns that dilemma has been resolved. Continue reading