Walking the Way (Sermons)

Walking the Way

The word “Way” is a familiar term for pilgrims of many faiths. There are the physical pilgrimages that people of faith make by walking. The physical aspect of walking through or to a sacred place helps the pilgrim connect; mind, body, and spirit, to a faith they feel connected to and strive to live out in daily life.

We hope you’ll join us in the journey. Blessings to you on the WAY

“Baptism and the Transfiguration Story” – The Rev. Stacy Salles (2 Kings 2:1-12, Mark 9:2-9)

(Painting by James B. Janknegt- you can purchase a book with Lenten meditations with his art at http://www.bcartfarm.com)

Advent celebrated a baptism during the feast of the Transfiguration. Elijah passed the mantle of prophesying to Elisha and Christ has passed the mantle of speaking the Word to us. Baptism is the visible sign that we are willing to take up that mantle as we follow Christ’s words and ways.

 “What to Do About Demons?” -The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Mark 1:29-39) Sunday Jan. 4, 2018 FULL TEXT HERE

The concept of demons is always been a difficult and sometimes painful one for Christians throughout history. Some have shamefully used the word to abuse and exclude one another, while others have tried to avoid discussing evil altogether, for fear of being controversial. Jesus calls us to deal with the evil in ourselves and our communities head-on, like violence, hatred, racism, judgment, abuse and all that separates us from God’s love. How do we do all that?

“Idols, Stuffed toys, Knowledge, and Love – Growing in a Faith Community” – The Rev. Stacy Salles (1 Corinthians 8). Sunday Jan 29, 2018 (9 minutes).

The early Church in Corinth was gaining new converts from those who had worshiped Roman gods and Caesars. Meat sold in the market place had first been sacrificed to idols. New Christians thought it was bad to eat such meat while more experienced Christians ate it with no problem at all. They had knowledge the new Christians hadn’t yet acquired, conflict arises, and Paul addresses. Remembering our childhood favorite stuffed animal can give us insight into what Paul is trying to teach and how a Christian Community of today can wisely handle a mix of people who are on different places in their faith walk.

Fishers of People – “Pescadores de Mujeres”  – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Mark 1:14-20) Sunday Jan 21, 2018. FULL TEXT

What does it mean when Jesus calls us and the first four soon-to-be disciples to “Follow Me”? For these four men, and for young refugee mothers from Guatemala, and fir all of us, following Jesus can be terrifying and filled with uncertainty. But it can also be a road filled with blessings and miracles we couldn’t have ever imagined. We become not only “fishers of men”, but we are called to serve women, children and all people alongside Jesus himself. (photo taken by Rev. Charles at the Sea of Galilee in May 2015)

A Terrific and Terrible God-Being known and called by God – The Rev. Stacy Salles (Based on 1 Samuel 3, 1 Corinthians 6, and John 1:43-51

Beauty and the Beast

We have a Terrific God who knows us through and through. We are called to get to know God intimately too. That can be terrifying and wonderfully terrible. Journey briefly with Samuel, Nathaniel, and Martin Luther King as they get to know and recognize God in a way that moves beyond knowing scripture and theology.



Follow Jesus. New Beginning. All People.  – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Mark 1:4-11 and Matthew 2:1-12) Sunday Jan 7, 2018. FULL TEXT

In this first week of January the Church begins the Season of Epiphany by remembering two extraordinary but very different moments in the life of Jesus: The visitation by the Magi (Wise Men) and his Baptism by John in the Jordan River. What do these two transition points many years apart in Jesus’ story tell us about how to live and serve in the modern world? How do we adore Jesus in our lives and honor our baptism in the community of Christ?

Trying to Pin God Down – The Rev. Stacy Salles (Based on John 1:6-8, 8-11) Sunday Dec. 31, 2017

Pinned Down

While we continue to put tags on who we want Christ to be for us, scripture is clear that Christ will not and cannot be defined. Defining Christ tends to give us and the Church permission to stop exploring our relationship with Christ when what we are called to do is to continue the exploration and the relationship.



That Awkward Waiting  – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Luke 1:26-38) Sunday Dec. 10, 2017. FULL TEXT

Waiting is never easy. It’s the time of year when the whole world is in full “Christmas Mode” but for us Christians, we’re not quite there yet. We continue to await the birth of the Messiah for just a few more hours, in that edgy anticipation that keeps us on pins and needles. How can we live as people in the modern world without jumping ahead before the time is ready? How can we be an Advent people in an impatient society?


A Season of Penitence  – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Mark. 1:1-8) Sunday Dec. 10, 2017. FULL TEXT

The first story in the first-written gospel tells of John the Baptist “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”. Why is this time of Advent called a season of ‘penitence’ and what is ‘repentance’ in the first place? How is this joyful season of preparation also a time of making amends where we’ve done wrong? How do we deal with serious grief and pain in a time when the world seems to assume that we ought to be happy?

A Tale of Two Fig Trees – The Rev. Stacy Salles (Based on Mark 13:24-37). Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017

The Gospel of Mark sandwiches the last days of Jesus in Jerusalem between two fig trees, one that is real and bears no fruit and another which Jesus uses as a parable to teach us to pay attention to the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. The season of Advent is one that has us straddling the real world which contains darkness and hopelessness and a world of hope that glimmers in this world, but is complete when the Son of Man comes. As we head into Christmas, the season of Incarnation, Christians need to reflect on Christ’s words and how the Gospel of Mark tries to frame the story.


Jesus Christ, King of the Universe  – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Matt. 25:31-46) Sunday Nov. 26, 2017. FULL TEXT

“The Feast of the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe” sounds lofty and grandiose, but what does it have to do with us? How can Christ be both the all-powerful King in Heaven and a poor man on the streets of Jerusalem? How do Christians respond in the midst of our consumer economic, political and military culture today?



The Community’s Talents  – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Matt. 25:14-30) Sunday Nov. 19, 2017 Delivered at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, Columbus Ohio. FULL TEXT

The Parable of the Talents is well known in scripture and it reminds us to “use well” all of the resources God gives us. How might God be calling us individually and collectively to use what we have? How does God help us to examine ourselves and communities to see what resources there are and what needs we might help to meet? How might this relate to “keeping our lamps trimmed” and “doing unto the least of these” as Christ tells us in Matthew 25?


Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Matt. 25:1-13) Sunday Nov. 12, 2017

God calls us to always be prepared, to keep awake and to anticipate Christ’s arrival among us both everyday and in the age to come. And yet God also often calls us out of our plans and surprises us in ways we couldn’t imagine. All of this occurred before our eyes at the 143rd Convention of the Diocese of Southern Ohio this weekend. Listen as this collectively preached sermon explores Gods presence in our plans and in our holy surprises!

All Hallows – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Deuteronomy 34:1-12) Sunday Oct. 29, 2017. FULL TEXT

This time of year it’s often said that there is a ‘thin curtain’ between the living here on Earth, and the departed souls whom we remember in generations past. How do we remember those who have gone before us, and celebrate the saints across time and space while carrying on our own legacy for future generations? What does the death of Moses in Deuteronomy have to do with Halloween?

Seeking Purpose and Awe – The Rev. Stacy Salles (based on Exodus 33:12-23) Sunday Oct. 22, 2017

Hiding in the cleft of the Rock

Having a purpose in life is to be healthy. Mix that with a dose of an awesome experience and you have a human ready to work to serve others. Moses asks God for both of those things. As Christians we have been given purpose and awesome experiences. What are we to do with them?

(Painting by Jack Baumwert. Faithful man with wonderful art. Check his website out at https://theschoolofthetransferofenergy.com)



Apples to Apples, and a Golden Calf – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Based on Exodus 32:1-14) Sunday Oct. 15, 2017

A question to young children about what is valuable results in answers that can teach us about what we need to honor in our lives.





God and the Marshmallow Test – The Rev. Stacy Salles (based on Exodus 20) Sunday Oct. 8, 2017


What can the Marshmallow Experiment teach us about God – Children are seated with a marshmallow in front of them. If they hold off on eating it they can get two marshmallows. Can they wait?




Water from the Rock – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (based on Exodus 17:1-7) Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

From the places of Massah and Meribah, of provocation and temptation a people are formed. It is grace that allows us to become who God created us to be in the midst of struggle and providence.



Manna – The Rev. Stacy Salles (based on Exodus 16) Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017

Manna – Wandering in the wilderness, the Hebrews are worried about food. God provides a strange substance which they named Manna. It is not important what Manna is, but rather what God intended in his provision of it and what the story can teach us today as individuals and as the Church.



The Point of No Return (No Turning Back) – The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (based on Exodus 14:19-31) Sunday, Sept 17, 2017

There’s a point in our journey through life where there is no going back. It is a journey that was experienced in the story of Exodus, and a story that people are experiencing throughout the world right now. In order to live one must move forward. It is easy for individuals and congregations to get stuck in “the good ole days”. We get stuck out of fear and also because we don’t trust God to lead us. Today’s Exodus story is about God guiding and protecting a people in a journey that’s just beginning. At the end of that journey is a promise of abundant life.

Transformative Suffering – The Rev. Stacy Salles (based on Exodus 12:1-4) Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017

10th plague of Egypt In these last few weeks the world has witnessed how the disastrous aftermath of hurricanes bring neighbors and strangers together in unexpected and generous ways. It took suffering to transform the Hebrews into a special community of people called to a destiny of being a light to gentiles and a place where foreigners should be welcome (not that it got live out, but that was God’s purpose). Why must we wait for disaster to strike before reaching out to others. God calls the church to be a community of people that engages with neighbors and strangers before disaster strikes.


A Burning Bush, Passion, and the Need for Belonging – The Rev. Stacy Salles (based on Exodus 3:1-15) Sunday, Sept. 1, 2017

A passionate young man, torn between two communities, finds belonging with a very passionate God. It is a story that reminds Christian individuals and communities that the only place they can find belonging is with this God of passion and in that relationship a reawakening of the purpose of the Church can burn with an unquenchable fire.



 The Radical Generosity of Three Women – The Rev. Charles Graves IV (based on Exodus 1:15-2:10) Sunday, Aug 26, 2017

Pharaoh has ordered all newborn Hebrew babies to be murdered. Three women take a risk of radical generosity. No-one knew he would become a great leader.  It’s a relevant story for those who walk the Christian Way as we seek ways to help our neighbors survive in a world full of struggle. (Please note, the midwives were Hebrew, not Egyptian).