Monthly Archive for October, 2011

Page 2 of 2

August 7, 2011 – 8th Sunday after Pentecost

by The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

I Kings 19:9-18; Psalm 29; Matthew 14:22-33

“Don’t worry.  It’s me.  Don’t be afraid.” –Matthew 14:30

One morning in August a few years ago, I stood looking out our front door when all at once there came a great roar — it reminded me of the engine of a Boeing 747 — and I watched a violent wind twist the trunk of a towering willow tree at the corner of the yard, perhaps a foot in diameter, and snap it off as if it were no bigger than a matchstick.  And another time, a similar storm overrode all the surge protectors in our house, blew out the modem on Roberta’s computer and the sensors which control our garage door openers.  These were convincing reminders that we are children of Mother Nature, though they amounted to minor and local interruptions of our routine, were soon repaired as one of the prices we learn to live within a complex world.  Continue reading ‘August 7, 2011 – 8th Sunday after Pentecost’

July 24, 2011 – 6th Sunday after Pentecost

by The Rev. Darrell Huddleston

1 Kngs. 3:5-12; Ps. 119:129-136; Rom. 8:26-39; Mt. 13:31-33, 44-52

In our gospel lesson, Jesus bombards us with one parable after another, all starting with the phrase, “The Kingdom of heaven is like…”    …a mustard seed and yeast, a buried treasure and a pearl of great price and a fish dragnet.  Two twined images and a solitary concluding one carrying the theme of hiddenness and searching.   The Kingdom is hidden and is something to be discovered.

Perhaps a better phrase for ‘kingdom’ is ‘reign of God’ as the former implies that it might be a place, or only some ideal that will only be known in the future, certainly not in our sordid mess of a world.  The ‘reign of God’, Jesus tells us, can be discovered in the here and now.  Continue reading ‘July 24, 2011 – 6th Sunday after Pentecost’

July 17, 2011 – 5th Sunday of Pentecost

The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Genesis 28:10-19a; Psalm 139:1-12,23-24; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place –and

I did not know it!”  And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place!  It is none

other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

The cases of great figures cut down to size function as civic morality tales because, however good most people are most of the time, temptation is universal. Lust, greed, ambition, envy, fear – choose one. Or three. Every human must navigate the triple labyrinth of animal impulse, rational awareness, and moral choice. No one is immune from the recognition to which St. Paul came: “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7: 19) It takes nothing away from the gravity of criminal acts, or the unacceptability of the exploitation by the powerful of the weak, to see in the courtroom contest between truth and deceit a process that implicates observers as well as antagonists. Continue reading ‘July 17, 2011 – 5th Sunday of Pentecost’

July 10, 2011 – 4th Sunday of Pentecost

by The Rev. Darrell Huddleston

Gen.  25:19-24; Ps. 65:9-14; Rm. 8:1-11; Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23

This is one of those parables of Jesus that preaches itself.  The Parable of the Sower:  The Soil, the Seed, and the Sower.  Three parts to it and all related.  The Greek word parable (παραβολn, ‘parabole’) means “something cast beside” something else in order to explain or clarify it. The great NT scholar C. H. Dodd said, “…the parable is a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life, arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about its precise application to tease it into active thought.” (Parables of the Kingdom, p. 5)

The dictionary defines parable as “A simple tale told to illustrate a moral truth.” But Jesus’ parables are not simple, moralistic tales, but complex, profound stories.  There is mystery to them; there is a depth, an open-endedness, which makes us see something new when we read them over and over. Continue reading ‘July 10, 2011 – 4th Sunday of Pentecost’

Formation Begins

Holy Cross began its church school year in September with a lovely full breakfast. Formation opportunities for all ages follow the breakfast – the adults stay in the parish hall and the children go upstairs to the atria.

Everyone enjoys a full breakfast, beginning at 9am. Afterwards, the adults relax with coffee and hold their Adult Forum.

After breakfast, the children gather in the atria of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Here a child prepares to work with a practical life exercise.

2011 Ministry Minute – Mike Goulet, October 9, 2011

As I tried to put together this Stewardship Campaign, I realized how much Fr. John and Anne did for us. I know we’re supposed to look to the future and break some of those ties that we had, but I think it’s OK to look back and miss them. I realized this so starkly when I knew that there was no way I could put together those thoughtful and personalized words within the Pledge Letters, as he used to do. I know many of you, but certainly not all of you, and certainly not in that way that Fr. John knew you. In a way, I feel like we lost that “adult supervision” that we took for granted, particularly (for me at least) regarding God and other things spiritual. What do I know about stewardship? Who am I to head up the effort to fund Holy Cross and its mission? That was Fr. John’s Job!!!

But then Kerri reminded me, “Sometimes you don’t grow unless you have to”.

AND my how we’ve stepped up! Treasurer, Warden, Convention Delegates, Stewardship, Children’s Formation, Outreach, Search committee, Chicken Barbeque, the weekly “Cat Herding” that Will and Phyllis Townsend do to put together these beautiful services. WOW! There’s a lot of work to be done, but WE’RE DOING IT. We have two amazing interim ministers. Fr. Huddleston, your words are careful and thoughtful and prayerful. Bishop Walmsley, we’ve been blessed with your experience and wisdom for so long – when you give sermons, it’s almost like we’re not going through this transition.

It’s funny – the more I think about our theme this year, the better it sounds – “Sustenance”. We don’t need to change too many things for now. We don’t need a new building, we don’t need new landscaping, we don’t need anything new or big. What we have already is big enough. Sure we must continue to grow this congregation, but right now, our primary focus has to be on sustaining what we have.

All the Stewardship Campaigns we’ve done in the past were important – last year, with its theme of “Transition” propelled us forward with a record number of pledges. But for some reason this year seems more important than ever. This year is our opportunity to say to those search candidates – “Holy Cross is good”… “Holy Cross is worth it”.

The bottom line is that, I believe, God want Holy Cross to survive. God wants us to be successful. God want us to keep doing the good work we’ve been doing in this community for so many years.