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First let me say what a privilege it is to be here today, embarking with you on this next leg of the journey-yours and mine-here at St. Augustine’s.  Last week, you said goodbye to your beloved Vicar David, and his wife Jane, and then barely with a breath in between, you welcome a new Vicar.  What I am mindful of, from my own various leave takings, is how important it is to have some time to tend to your grief.  You and David shared a spectacular and special 5 years together.  I look forward to hearing about all that you dreamed up and shared together, as well as the sadness you now feel over letting him and Jane go.  As you know, we need to tend the losses in life before we can fully embrace the new.  The writer Alice Walker, a longtime favorite of mine, talks about the importance of the pause …and so I encourage you to honor and live into the pause…as you continue to say goodbye to David, and as you prepare to welcome me.  Frankly, Advent is all about pauses…the liminal time between…

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

Matthew 28:1-10

I always enjoy creating projects that help us think about faith in new ways, or put flesh on the bones of a theological idea. Back in Rhode Island, I had a thing called the Cross Project. It went on for a few years and changed over time. One year, I invited people to think about what the Cross meant to them, and I handed out slide film (boy does that date me) and I asked the participants to photograph images that reminded them or helped them to understand something about the cross and God’s love. They returned the slides to me at the end of Lent, and I put the images together with music and that became the Good Friday meditation. It was always quite moving to see what people came up with. Here at St. Francis’ we’ve tried to give birth to pithy one liners to describe faith- in hopes that we might convert those phrases into banners to put out on the street. And we’ve done One Word projects, and a few other things, too. So, it was with some envy that I didn’t t…

Lent 3

Lent 3/2017

John 4:5-42

There is an artist-Frank Warren, who started a blog called Post Secret back  in 2004.  It began as a temporary community art project. He invited people to mail in postcards that they had decorated and that had one of their secrets written on it. The submission was anonymous, and the requirement was that it had to be a secret you had never shared with anyone else.  Believe it or not, PostSecret still generates thousands of postcards.  Frank Warren reads them all and picks ten to twenty to post on his blog every Sunday. He has published several books that are compilations of these “secret” postcards.  I have one of his books.  Here are a few of the secrets that he has received and published.  Some are wrenching, like this:  “I wish my parents said I LOVE YOU.  I can’t remember hearing them say it-EVER.”  or this:   “All my life, people told me I wasn’t special…I’m very easy to replace.  After 43 years, it has finally sunk in.  I get it.”  Some are amusing like this…

Sermon: Epiphany 2A

Epiphany 2/ 2017

1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42


It is a time of great intensity in our country and in our world. We stand on the edge of the unknown. What new directions might unfold within our nation? What will our role be-as followers of Christ- as we seek to ensure that our most vulnerable are defended and cared for? Tomorrow we give thanks for the life and witness of Martin Luther King Jr., a man who’s faith, courage and vision helped mold our society into a more just and equitable place....it is always a bright spot to celebrate all that Dr. King helped bring forth. I wonder what he would say about the current racial tensions that exist in our country...and in our world?

For some time, one of my prayers has been that we might have a visionary like Dr. King or Archbishop Desmond Tutu to rise up in our midst, to help lead us to a better place...where justice rolls forth like a river, and where our divisions might be overcome. Instead, we are confronted with ever widening divisions…