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Trinity Sunday 2017

Our new vicar – Rev. David Ferner – has been gracing us with some wonderful poetry.  The following are two pieces with direct reference to the Trinity were part of our celebration of Trinity Sunday this past week!

Trinity Is A Poem – Michael Coffey
(from his blog – http://www.ocotillopub.org/search?q=Trinity)

Trinity is a poem uttered free verse as cosmic love gift
sending sound waves through earth to hurl speech
into the ionosphere stirring radio waves to hum

Trinity is a synchronistic dream we and God have
nightly about the interface of human and divine
the matrix of connections between holy and common

Trinity is a syncopated counterpoint of melody lines
referencing each other and making music as sonorous
as whales and pulsars and seismic waves all held in tension

then someone inscribed the free utterance in indelible ink
and someone analyzed the shared dream with Freudian precision
and someone forced the messy melodies smooth in straight time

behold: just when they think they finished the job and
brush the dust of such work off their hands and rest
Trinity dances out the door and finds willing partners to twirl

 

Trinity Sunday by Malcolm Guite

In the Beginning, not in time or space,

But in the quick before both space and time,

In Life, in Love, in co-inherent Grace,

In three in one and one in three, in rhyme,

In music, in the whole creation story,

In His own image, His imagination,

The Triune Poet makes us for His glory,

And makes us each the other’s inspiration.

He calls us out of darkness, chaos, chance,

To improvise a music of our own,

To sing the chord that calls us to the dance,

Three notes resounding from a single tone,

To sing the End in whom we all begin;

Our God beyond, beside us and within.

November 13, 2011 Sermon – 22nd Sunday of Pentecost

a sermon by
The Rev. Canon Charles LaFond
Proper 28, November 13, 2011
Holy Cross, Weare, NH

When I was a child, I had a collection of post cards from my grandmother. One day, a friend, staying at my house as our guest, ripped the corners off most of them to steal the stamps. When I saw what had happened, I confronted him and he said he did not think I would miss them. The relationship was permanently damaged. That experience was my first exposure to what I do now as my life’s work – encouraging this conversation we are having in the church around stewardship. I did not love my friend less, however, I was always aware that there was less joy in our friendship after that. When we hold back our pledge, it is not the love between us and our god which is sapped – rather it is some of the joy that is reduced. And the irony is that it is OUR joy which is withered by the self-worship of that particular flavor of greed.

This morning’s readings from the prophet Zephaniah, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians and from the Gospel are all pointing to right relationship. The entirety of the Holy scriptures of the Hebrews and the Christians can be summed up as a story about the difficult relationship between God and God’s created humans. And this set of readings is no different. Continue reading ‘November 13, 2011 Sermon – 22nd Sunday of Pentecost’

October 23, 2011 – 19th Sunday after Pentecost

HOLY CROSS CHURCH, WEARE, NH
The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18; Psalm 1; I Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

To begin: a story. It took place on a July day in the summer of 1988, twenty-three years ago. In Connecticut where I was then the bishop, we had a summer camp, Camp Washington, which offered a full summer of programs for kids from grade school through high school. I was standing on the steps of the dining hall on a bright summer afternoon when he came up to me, threw his arms around me, gave me a hug and said, “You are my most favorite bishop!” I watched as his beaming smile was mirrored by the gentle care and affection with which he was surrounded by fellow campers and staff members. Danny was a young man who had Down’s Syndrome. His greeting reminded me of the day on which I had confirmed him, when he had stood in the midst of the congregation, proud with his daddy and his mother. He called out the best in those around him by his trust, his affection, and his smile. He was a gift to us. Continue reading ‘October 23, 2011 – 19th Sunday after Pentecost’

October 9, 2011 – 17th Sunday after Pentecost

by The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 23;  Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14

The telephone rang just as we were sitting down to dinner.  Often such calls come from someone trying to sell us something — new siding for our house, maybe, or cheaper car insurance — I seldom remember what it was five minutes later.  I sometimes get irritated when the seller is insistent, even though my better judgment says that the caller is probably low-paid and has taken the job because he — usually it’s a he — because he needed work  and is paid by the volume and success of his calls.  So I try not to be abrupt.

This time the call came from a pollster wanting my views on the economic situation and the upcoming election.  He was well-spoken and obviously well-trained, and I was hooked.   Continue reading ‘October 9, 2011 – 17th Sunday after Pentecost’

Pentecost 3, July 3, 2011

INDEPENDENCE DAY SERMON, 2011

The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Deuteronomy 10:17-21; Psalm145; Matthew 5:43-48

 

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

On this Independence Day weekend, I want to talk about our country and what faith says to our present situation as a nation and people.  We began our service today with an alternative to the usual organ prelude.  It was the first of several quotations from the writings of Thomas Jefferson set to music by the composer Randall Thompson, the beginning of a choral work written in 1933 to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Jefferson, one of the major contributors to the birth of our nation.   The composer deliberately set out to write a type of “public music” that would lift up the origins of the American struggle for independence.  In fact one of the early performances of  the work would be as a tribute to the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the latter’s death in the waning days of World War II in 1945.

Neither Jefferson nor various others of the signers of the Declaration of Independence released on July 4, 1776, were devout Christians, Continue reading ‘Pentecost 3, July 3, 2011’

Trinity Sunday, June 19, 2011

by The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell.  Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

The Apostle Paul, to the Corinthian Church, 2 Cor. 13:11-13

Listening to several of our young people talk about their faith on recent Sundays, I have been reminded of my own growing up in a small parish in Massachusetts in the middle of the 20th century.  Like them, I was bit by bit caught up in the congregation, both its youth activities and the worship.  In those days, of course, we did not have opportunity to read lessons, or help administer communion.   And the leadership of worship did not include women or girls, except maybe to help the Altar Guild.  Somehow it rubbed off on me, and I not only became a committed Christian but found myself in seminary and later the rector of a small city parish in St. Louis, Missouri.

Today, there is a lot of concern about how fewer and fewer people in American society are practicing Christians.  Continue reading ‘Trinity Sunday, June 19, 2011’

Day of Pentecost June 12, 2011

Acts 2:1-21

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

John 20:19-23

Locked rooms, doors locked for fear, fear of what’s out there, fear of the future. We all know them. We’ve all been there. Fourteen years ago, I made my way down the steep, crooked stairway of the old Holy Cross building. I was wounded, bruised by experiences in my last parish, uncertain whether I had a future in parish ministry. A kind warden at that last parish, an executive placement professional, had given me her company’s battery of outplacement tests and interviews. “Give it up,” she suggested. “Find something else to do.” Would a parish have me?

At the bottom of the steps a little group awaited: Terry Knowles, Peter Ashworth, Nancy Stehno, Laura Starr-Houghton, Diane Beland, two or three others. The vestry/search committee. They too were wounded, bruised. Bishop Theuner was about to shut Holy Cross down, lock the doors for the last time. “Give it up,” he’d said. Could they find a priest to serve them? Fear. Fear of what’s out there, fear of the future. Continue reading ‘Day of Pentecost June 12, 2011’

Easter 7 June 5, 2011

Acts 1:6-14                                                                          

1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11                                                    

John 17:1-11

My original thought was to retire at the end of this calendar year, or in November when I reach the mandatory retirement age in the Episcopal Church. It was my wife Anne who suggested that the Day of Pentecost, next Sunday, would be a better time. It’s the end of the church school year, she pointed out, and it would be smoother to have the interim before the next priest comes take place over the summer, when things are relatively quiet.

What neither of us thought of was how deeply the readings and liturgies of these weeks would speak to transition – transition in your lives and in ours. Liturgically, Jesus has “gone away,” ascended into heaven. We are waiting for what comes next: the “sending of the Holy Spirit.” It is not that I have been Jesus, or Anne and I – or you have been Jesus to us (though of course in a sense we are all Christ to each other, aren’t we?). Jesus remains Jesus. It is rather that departures, loss, transitions, interims are powerful times, full of God as well as of the devil. We are entering into such a time, and these weeks of the Church Year have much to say to us about such times. So, this morning, let us listen. Continue reading ‘Easter 7 June 5, 2011’

Easter 6 May 29, 2011

Acts 17:22-31                                                                      

1 Peter 3:13-22                                                                  

John 14:15-21

My daughters’ high school offered a senior honors elective called “The Search for Meaning in Western Literature.” Students read a wide range of things, including – though this was a public school – parts of the Bible, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Every week they had to write an essay. One week it was on the search for meaning in what they were reading. The next it was on the search for meaning in their own lives. I’ve always thought this was the ideal high school course; adolescence is a time of searching for identity, for meaning. Teenagers ask, who are we, what is the world about, what is our place in it? For that matter, so do we adults. In our hearts, if we admit it, we are all of us adolescents all our lives; humans are created, it seems, to search for meaning. Continue reading ‘Easter 6 May 29, 2011’