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.
“The Holy Cross”, Rev. Charles C. Graves IV, (Mark 8:27-38), Sunday, September 16, 2018, Feast of the Holy Cross
The Cross has become the most recognizable symbol of the Christian Faith around the world. But often Christians see the cross as a symbol of a burden, or of having “a cross to bear”. How can the Cross instead be an inspiration to lift us forward in our relationship with God? How does the Cross carry us as we also carry the Cross?
“We’re Really Doing It”, Stacey E. Sands, (Mark 7:24-37), Sunday, September 9, 2018
The interaction with the Syro-Phonecian Woman is one of the most questioned and puzzled-over conversations Jesus has in Scripture. Why does Jesus speak to the woman in what sounds like a derogatory tone? What can we learn from this woman who had endured such extreme suffering? How does all this help us to understand what God is calling each of us to do?
“Dancing with God”, The Rev. Charles Graves IV (Proverbs 9:1-6), Sunday, Sept 2
Just like our prayers, scriptures and periods of listening can be like a “song” that we sing along with God, maybe our lives of service an action are like a dance. Perhaps our liturgy and worship are the “stretches” we do to prepare us for the dance of service that we do with God and one another. How do we follow God’s lead in the dance we do with the Divine and with other people?
“Singing a New Rendition of an Old Standard”, The Rev. Stacy Salles (Joshua 24, John 6:60-69), Sunday, Aug 26
Tradition is a good thing until it gets in the way of God’s call to us as a community church. How may we be called to hold our traditions, but not so strongly that it prevents us from moving forward? What song is God singing to us, and what songs may we be singing to God?
“Dinner with Wisdom”, The Rev. Charles Graves IV, (Proverbs 9:1-6, John 6:51-58), Sunday, August 19
While our the words of our mouths direct much of our relationship with God and one another, they also help to pattern what we do with our hands. Lady Wisdom in the book of Proverbs throws a feast to share her bounty with those around her who have the least to offer. How are we drawn to do the same? How does God draw us together with one another by the sharing of a meal?
“Open My Lips”, The Rev. Charles Graves IV, (1Kings 19:4-8, John 6:35 & 41-51), Sunday, August 12
This week’s readings are all about speaking and ‘eating’ both physically and spiritually. How might we ask God to “open our lips, [that] our mouths shall proclaim your praise” as we pray in morning prayer (BCP p.80)? How do we use the works of our lips in service to God, through prayer, speech, singing, and even kissing our loved ones? How are we called to eat of God’s bounty and also share that bounty with others?
“Catching the Eternal”, The Rev. Stacy Salles, (2Kings 4:42-44, John 6:1-15), Sunday, July 29
In the Collect for the day we ask God to guide us as we pass through what is temporal so that we don’t lose the eternal. What is temporal is good unless it stops us from recognizing and catching the eternal gifts of God.
“Shepherds & Sheep” The Rev. Stacy Salles, (Jeremiah 23:1-6, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56) Sunday, July 22 2018
While we look to the life of Christ as a guide for how we should live (our shepherd), God doesn’t want a church full of sheep with one shepherd (the priest). God wants us all to be shepherds with the knowledge that sometimes we will also be sheep. There are all kinds of leadership and all of us go through times when we need the guidance of others in our church. We are community of humans, one in the Body of Christ.
“Starting with Us” The Rev. Stacy Salles, (2 Corinthians 12:2-10), Sunday, July 8 2018
Practicing love in a small and greatly diverse community helps shape us as Christians who learn how to love those beyond our small group. This sermon helps us relate to the tension of loving those who aren’t easy to love, and gives us some advise from the Apostle Paul on how to love.
“Who are My Mother & My Brothers?” The Rev. Stacy Salles, (Mark 3:20-35), Sunday, June 10 2018
What does it mean to be Jesus’ family here on earth? How does God call us to be unified to one another, rather than living as a “house divided against itself”? Where do each of us fit into the many roles that make up God’s human family, and how does God give us the gifts to do it?
“A time of Firsts” The Rev. Stacy Salles, (Mark 2:23-3:6) Sunday, June 3 2018
As we celebrate the new beginnings of Baptism and Ordination, we remember that God is constantly renewing the Church by bringing forth new people to carry on as followers of Christ. And as Jesus brings healing to a wounded man on the Sabbath, we learn that the first day of the week is also set aside so that God’s people can be strengthened. How are we called in our own baptisms to serve God in new ways, and what Firsts might God have in store for us?
“We’re nothing without the Trinity” The Rev. Charles Graves IV, (John Chapter 3), Sunday, May 27
The Holy Trinity can be so impossible to wrap our heads around, but it is also the most central belief of our Christian Faith. What difference does it make to know God as Trinity, commonly described as Father, Son & Holy Spirit? What would our faith look like without one or two of these persons of God? What does the divine Three in One teach us about our own unity as God’s people?
“Praying Mothers & Ascension” The Rev. Charles Graves IV (Acts, Chapter 1) Sunday, May 13, 2018
Each year for ten days we linger with the disciples between the day of the Ascension (Jesus’ rising to heaven after the Resurrection) and the day of Pentecost (The giving of the Holy Spirit and the ‘birthday’ of the Church). What do we do in these ‘in between times’ in our lives, when we’re trying to figure out what to do next? How might God be calling us to love & serve in new ways, inviting us to move in directions we’d never thought possible? And what does Mary teach us about the powerful witness of mothers & women in prayer? Listen in to find out!
“Abide in my Love” The Rev. Charles Graves IV (Psalm 22 & John 15:1-8) Sunday, April 29, 2018
Psalm 22 is one of the most famous psalms in scripture. What does it teach us about loving God during the most difficult times of our life? How do we remember God in our lowest times and in our greatest times? How do we “Abide in God’s Love”, no matter where life’s journey takes us?
“Peace Be With Y’all” – The Rev. Charles Graves IV (Luke:24:36-48) Sunday, April 15, 2018
We’ve often heard & said “Peace be with you” in church every week, but what does it mean? What do we mean when we wish someone “Peace” and where does it come from? What does “Peace” mean, and what does it obligate us to do? What does “Peace” have to do with Jesus’ Resurrection?
“Doubting Thomas through the eyes of Nickel Creek” – The Rev. Stacy Salles (John 20:26-30) Sunday, April 8, 2018
A conversation with the congregation about doubt, fear, faith, and hope.
“An Unfinished Easter Story” – The Rev. Stacy Salles (Mark 16:1-8), Sunday, April 1, 2018
The Gospel of Mark really ends at verse 16:8. At the tomb the women are told that Jesus is raised from the dead and they will eventually see him. They run away in fear. The two choices happy endings were added later. We seem to always want the sure happy ending. The unfinished story has an important message for those of us who are witnesses to a Christ we’ve never seen, but believe in.
“God’s Word Written on Our Hearts” – The Rev. Charles Graves IV (Jeremiah 31:31-34), Sunday March 18, 2018
We continue to examine our covenants with God through Noah and Moses, as we hear the Prophet Jeremiah tell us of the “New Covenant” that God would write not on paper or stones, but “in our hearts”. How might God be calling us to write and live out God’s Covenants in our hearts, and to carry them on for future generations? How can we live this Covenant faith as we journey toward Jesus’ death and Resurrection in Holy Week?
“The Covenant of Faith” – The Rev. Stacy Salles (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38), Sunday Feb. 25, 2018
A Covenant is a life-long promise made between two parties. We take a brief walk through the experience of marriage and scripture to explore what our role in a covenantal relationship should be.
“The Covenant” -The Rev. Deacon Charles Graves IV (Gen. 37) Sunday Feb. 18, 2018 FULL TEXT HERE
God’s covenant with Noah begins as the ark lands on solid ground. We covenant again with God in Baptism and in marriage. Lent is a time for us to reexamine our actions in relation to our covenants with God. Where have we succeeded and failed in our sacred covenants? What can we do individually and collectively to grow into the community that Jesus calls us to be?
“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 Feb. 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
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
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?