Sermons and Talks
Our newest additions:
Preached on Consecration Sunday to culminate a stewardship teaching, the preacher tells of experiences of grace in a variety of contexts and concludes that all her listeners are filled with grace for all of their living.
[Gloria Young; St. John’s Church, Clayton, CA; Pentecost 23, November 8, 2009; Ruth 3:1-5, Mark 12:28-44; 4:13-17 (RCL); Consecration Sunday at St. John’s]
The process of Member Mission gives some practical ways to think about how the church can better support ALL its members in their daily missions.
[From, “Living Our Vision,” the 11/1/09 newsletter of Christ the Lord Episcopal Church, Pinole, CA; The Rev. Susan Champion, vicar; about her participation in a Member Mission Leadership Institute, 10/11-16/09]
Member Mission is not a “new program” or a new way to “do church.” It is a profoundly Biblical way of looking at our daily lives. In this letter, I will spell out some of the core principles in language you’ll be hearing in the future.
[“When the Members are the Missionaries” – from the 11/01/09 edition of St. John’s Parish Newsweek of St. John's Episcopal Church, Clayton, CA; The Rev. Peter Champion, rector; about his participation in a Member Mission Leadership Institute, 10/11-16/09.]
John's story of the man born blind leads to addressing both our own mission to see to our own spiritual health and our mission to build spiritual health in the wider world.
[The Rev. Roger Alling; Lent 4, Year A, John 9:1-13 (14-27) 28-38; Saint Boniface Church, Sarasota, FL; 3/6/05.]
Members enacting the Gospel story of the woman at the well precede the sermon (the script is included. The sermon describes people in their daily work and social intercourse as participating in the work of Christ to be discerning mirrors to each other and, thereby, to provide "living water" and to know that in Christ each of us can change.
[The Rev. Dr. John T. Sorenson; Lent 3, 2/27/05; John 4:5-42; Trinity Church, Plattsburgh, NY.]
Cope with avoiding the "deeper things" by sharing what each of us is doing to make life better in our daily places. Avoid the separation of worship and life by, each Sunday, "putting" your present concerns "into" the bread that is offered, blessed, broken, and given.
[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab; preached at St. Peter's Church, Cheshire, CT; First Sunday in Lent, 2/29/03; Luke 4:1-13.]
Four people, including the preacher's son, discover the arenas of their daily lives to be mission fields.
[The Rev. Dr. Meredith Woods Potter, Assisting Priest at St. Gregory's Church, Deerfield, IL and Co-Director of the Seabury Institute; July 13, 2003; Amos 7:7-15, Genesis, Mark 6:7-13.]
A spirituality grounded in hope is linked with our mission to change the world around us.
[The Rev. Roger Alling: Lent V, Year A; Ezekiel37:1-14, John 11: 1-44; at St. Boniface Church, Sarasota, FL; March 13, 2005]
How residents of a retirement community might "do business," live with the others around them, and use their spare time.
[Vespers Sermon based on Col. 3:12-17 and preached in November, 2006 at Granite Farms Estates, a retirement community in Media, Pennsylvania by William D. Thompson; most of the residents are Christians.]
The three major learnings: each of us has the daily mission fields of our homes, our daily work, our local community, the wider world, our leisure, our spiritual health, and our church life and outreach; our missions are specific; and we need one or more teammates to help us to carry them out.
[A sermon of A. Wayne Schwab, Lent 5, 3/25/07; St. James Church, Danbury, CT; Gospel: Luke 20:9-19.]
"My life here at St. Paul's [has helped me to see] we are God's people everywhere we are and are his ministers and missionaries to the world wherever we are."
[Donna B. Cosulich, a retired research chemist, former warden, trainer, diocesan leader, and constant chorister, at St. Paul's, Montvale, NJ as she prepared to move to Tucson, AZ, 8/03.]
An opening talk for a workshop on member mission.
[A. Wayne Schwab; Trinity Church, Milford, MA; March 2, 2007; a talk to open a Friday night, all day Saturday workshop. Trinity had written into its parish profile their desire for a rector who would continue their development of member mission. Their new rector arrived in November 2006 and quickly set the dates for the workshop.]
"So St. Anthony on the Desert, maybe it is time to take the next step in mission . . . to say we are here to help our members live better wherever they are Monday to Saturday . . . to make this the rule of life for St. Anthony on the Desert."
[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab; preached at a congregational weekend of orientation to member mission; St. Anthony on the Desert, Scottsdale, AZ, Last Sunday after the Epiphany, 3/2/03; Mark 9:2-9.]
Member mission shapes a Christmas sermon.
[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab; Christmas Day, Year A, Luke 2:1-20; at Trinity Church, Plattsburgh, NY; Midnight Christmas Eve, December 24, 2006]
"Mission or ministry is not reserved for the clergy. We do not call the shots in this department. And despite how strange it may sound for all of us to be called missionaries or ministers, this is in fact what we are when we call ourselves Christians."
[The Rev. Michelle Puzin Mooney, 3/30/03; John 12:20-33; "The Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes;" St. Mark's Church, Milwaukee, WI.]
The familiar lighthouse parable leads to the story of a man who cannot read finding a tutor.
[The Rev. Louis Tonsmiere, 6/15/2008] A Sermon on Matthew 9:35-10:8(especially 10:7); Proclaim The Good News; St. Timothy's Church, Calhoun, GA.]
"Friends in Christ, I believe that I stand on firm ground when I say that 'to be an Episcopalian is to be a missionary, not a member of a particular denomination of the Church of God.'"
[The Rev. Irving Gagnon, 7/13/03; Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B, Mark 6:7-13, All Saints Church, Meriden, CT – Fr. Gagnon passed away July 30,2004.]
"We are on Jesus' mission all the time. Beware of thinking you have a mission – just one mission. The truth is that you have six missions. All of us do. Our lives have six arenas we are in every week – our homes, our work, our local community, the wider world, and our leisure, as well as our church. We are called to be on mission in each of them."
[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab of Essex, NY; preached at St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo, NY; Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, 2/9/03; Mark 1:29-39]
For any Sunday in Lent or Eastertide – a lay person talks of the new life to be found in being part of God's mission now.
[Elizabeth S. Hall: Judges 6:11-24a, Psalm 85:7-13, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Luke 5:1-11; at Trinity Church, Milford, MA; February 4, 2007]
Where the tithe comes from; then on to our call to live lovingly and justly
[The Rev John Elledge, 10/19/08, Matthew 22:15-22; St. John's Church, Havre de Grace, MD]
An opening talk for a workshop on member mission.
[Elizabeth S. Hall, coauthor of the "Workbook for When the Members are the Missionaries: Developing a Road Map for the Journey Ahead" in draft form; Trinity Church, Milford, MA; March 2, 2007 – a talk to open a Friday night, all day Saturday workshop. Trinity had written into its parish profile their desire for a rector who would continue their development of member mission. Their new rector arrived in November 2006 and quickly set the dates for the workshop.]
A lay person preaches on living your daily missions and finding life.
[Elizabeth S. Hall; Mark 8:27-38; at St. James' Church, Keewatin, Ontario, Canada; Diocese of Keewatin; September 17, 2006]
". . . talk of those experiences of God that you have had and you will feel at home – God and the beauty of nature; Jesus' teachings; God working among us now. And this goes for all of our convictions. We do not have to insist they are true. Just say, 'Here's what I have experienced.'. . . Speak from your own experience. In that, you are the expert and no one else!
[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab, 5/26/02; First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday, St. John's Church, Essex, NY, Matthew 28:16-20.]
"Matthew's Gospel: Moral Earnestness. Matthew admonishes his audience more starkly and strongly than the other evangelists. Christological statement: we receive these words not just from a wise teacher, but from our Lord and King. "
[Sermon notes of the Rev. James L. Gill, Supply Priest, Christ Church, Norway, ME; May 29, 2005; Second Sunday after Pentecost; Matthew 6:24-34.]
Moments of transfiguration seen in today's world as moments when we or others make some part of life more loving or more just. These are evangelizing moments and they connect easily with Ignatian spirituality.
[The Rev. Mark Norris, Church of the Holy Family, Omaha, NE – worshiping temporarily with St. Andrew's in Omaha; Last Sunday after Epiphany, 2/6/05; Matthew 17:1-9.]
Since we are to be together for two weeks, I want to consider a two-part sermon. Part One today and Part Two next week. . . . help me by [sharing some of your experiences] during this next week, as I prepare for Part Two Sermon. . . . my primary emphasis in these two sermons is to highlight our Monday to Monday Ministries as individuals.
[The Rev. James L. Gill of East Winthrop, ME; preached at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Augusta, ME; Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, 2/1/04; Mark 4:21-30.]
. . . our baptism is the sacrament that invites us to become part of the "mission". . . The mission to bring reconciliation, to promote justice and to offer love to the world around us. . . In so many words, we are to become "missionaries". We are not to become members of the Church and then stop. We are to become "missionaries", along with Christ, in bringing reconciliation, justice and love.
[Frank Walter, III; 222 Caddis Circle, South Fork, CO 81154-9671; 719-873-5358]
[The Rev. Louis Tonsmeire; Luke 10:1-20; St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Calhoun, GA; July 8,2007]
"Sunday is given to me as a day to remember that God's grace and the Son's resurrection goes ahead of me, that this divine work precedes and supports my work when I work well."
[The Rev. Armand Larive, retired priest and author, Bellingham, WA.]
"Loving and being just are our job as Christians. Each of us is a member of Christ by baptism. We are Jesus’ hands and head and heart and voice – doing what we can to make the world a better place. We are members of Christ on mission. Call it 'member mission.' Members on mission can do even more than congregations on mission."
[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab; Old Donation Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach, VA; Pentecost 16, 2009 – Proverbs 31:10-31; Psalm 1; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37]