Monthly Archive for July, 2009

Pentecost 7, July 19, 2009

Jeremiah 23:1-6

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

This past Friday night my wife’s office had a party. Over dessert I found myself talking with our hostess, a fascinating woman who was raised in the Congregational Church and converted to Judaism after her marriage to a Jewish man. She is the first convert to serve as president of her synagogue, a position of great honor.

Our talk turned to our children: were they continuing to practice the faith in which they had been raised? We agreed that this depended to a large extent on who they ended up marrying or living with. “Mixed marriages” – a Christian and a Jew for instance or, most commonly these days, a person with a religious background and a partner without – usually end up doing nothing about religious faith, for themselves or their children.

In twenty-some years, my hostess told me, their synagogue has had only one marriage, because even Reform Jewish rabbis usually will not officiate at mixed marriages – and all the other marriages of children of this synagogue in those twenty years had been to non-Jews. “This can’t continue,” Carol said, “or we will all die out. In this day and age, religions have to learn to reach out and engage with other religions or with people of no religion. They can’t just keep to themselves. They have to open up and change.” (Or at least that’s what I heard her saying!)

Which statement I want to use as a way into this morning’s topic, which is about the formation of Christians in a secular society — something that is called evangelization, a Greek word meaning the sharing of the Good News of God. Evangelization is of the very essence of Christianity. We exist as a religion because a tiny group of women and men, St. Peter, St. Paul and the other apostles (a word meaning “sent out”), went forth to spread the Good News they had encountered in Jesus Christ. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 7, July 19, 2009’

Youth Group

Kids in grades 7 and up gather after breakfast at 9:15 each Sunday. Under the leadership of John Heckman, they engage in games, discussion, activities and learning. They also participate in special events at other times: parties, snow tubing, movies, shopping for Christmas gifts for the children of prison inmates, Adopt-a-Highway roadside pickups, and trips with the youth of other congregations.

Some of the Youth Group members helped decorate the Worship Space with paper doves for the Day of Pentecost.

Some of the Youth Group members helped decorate the Worship Space with paper doves for the Day of Pentecost.

 

Our young people also take active roles in worship, reading lessons, playing instruments, as acolytes (servers), and occasionally helping with informal dramas. Coming from several area schools, of a range of ages, Holy Cross teens are a diverse group who enjoy each other, welcome friends and newcomers, and look on the congregation as family.

A teenager brings his guitar skills to add to Sunday worship.

A teenager brings his guitar skills to add to Sunday worship.

Visiting monk Curtis Almquist visits with Holy Cross teenagers.

Visiting monk Curtis Almquist visits with Holy Cross teenagers.

Pentecost 6 July 12, 2009

Amos 7:7-15                                                                       

Mark 6:14-29                                                                      

Children’s literature is full of stories in which someone discovers a magic doorway – the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, the back wall of a clothes closet in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – through which they pass into a world where everything is different. The sacrament of Holy Baptism, symbolized by the baptismal font that stands by the entrance to our worship space, is such a magic doorway into the world of Christ. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 6 July 12, 2009’

Pentecost 5 July 5, 2009

The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Deuteronomy 10:17-21

Matthew 5:43-48

“that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will. . . “

Collect for the Nation, Book of Common Prayer, p. 258

The Constitution of the United States of America was adopted by a Constitutional Convention which met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 17, 1787. Two years later, on October 16, 1789, the first General Convention of the Episcopal Church met, also in Philadelphia, ratified a constitution for the Church, and adopted its first Book of Common Prayer. These two events are not unrelated: both the nation and the Episcopal Church emerged from the War of Independence from Great Britain sharing a common vision of what independence would mean for our people. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 5 July 5, 2009’