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.
“Revelation Lullaby” Rev. Stacy Salles (Rev. 7), Sunday May 12, 2019
Many of our lullabies, while beautiful, have a sense of foreboding. We sing these to our children and too ourselves. Could the book of Revelation be a lullaby that the church sings to itself, admitting to the realities of our world while comforting us with hope and safety in the arms of God?
“Doubting Thomas” Stacey E. Sands (John 20:19-31), Sunday April 28, 2019
“Doubting Thomas”, as he is often remembered, has much to teach us about the doubts which all of us encounter in our own lives. We doubt God, we doubt ourselves and each other, and we so often have doubts about the world around us. What does it mean to endure and live with that doubt, or even to overcome it? How might our doubt actually help us to wrestle with God in beautiful and fruitful ways?
“Good News! The Church is Dying!” Rev. Charles Graves IV (John 12:1-8), Sunday April 7, 2019
Death, as they say, is a part of life. In our modern world, with membership decreasing across the Western world, funds decreasing and congregations closing rapidly, it’s often said that the “Institutional Church” is dying or already dead. Yet as Christians, we live constantly in the reality of death and Resurrection. What might that look like for us in the Church today?
“Other-Centered Love” Rev. Charles Graves IV (Luke 15:11-32), Sunday March. 31, 2019
The famous parable, often called “The Prodigal Son” has much to teach us about the nature of God’s love, and of the forgiveness which we are called to offer one another. Yet it also teaches us about the nature of love itself. Jesus teaches us that true love is not self-centered, but instead it is radically other-centered. God’s love for us is not for God’s own gain, but for ours. How might we learn to accept that love and embody it for others?
“What is Sin?”, Stacey Sands, (Luke 13:1-9), Sunday March. 24, 2019
Lent is about understanding sin, but what exactly is sin? How do our ways of life sometimes get in the way of our love for God and our desire to follow Christ? What does it mean for us to “bear good fruit” as the scripture insists, and how do we learn when we have borne bad fruit?
“Our Spiritual Jerusalem”, Rev. Stacy Salles, (Luke 13:31-35), Sunday March. 17, 2019
Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, wishing to gather the people to himself “as a mother hen gathers her children”. However, “Jerusalem” is not just a physical city, but a place we build for ourselves, a spiritual world focused wholly on the Reign of God. How are we called to build that spiritual Jerusalem in our daily lives, always proclaiming “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord”?
“Desert Temptation”, Rev. Charles Graves IV, (Luke 5:1-11), Sunday March 10, 2019
As we begin the season of Lent, Scripture reminds of Jesus’ temptation in the desert by Satan. These forty days of Lent are a time for prayer, spiritual enrichment, better understanding our sin and recommitting ourselves to right living. All of this requires examining the ways in which we are tempted, and how we so often cave to our own temptations. What does this look like for us individually & collectively?
“Grace: Joseph’s Story”, Rev. Charles Graves IV, (Genesis 45:3-15), Sunday Feb. 24, 2019
Jesus’ commands like “Bless those who curse you” can be extremely difficult. The story of Joseph in Genesis sheds light on what it may look like to do so in practice. How does this story help us to understand the sacred Grace God offers to us? How are we called to receive that Grace and share it with others? How does this Grace change us, our communities, and our world?
“Blessings and Woes”, Stacy Salles, (Luke 6:17-26), Sunday Feb. 17, 2019
The famous “Beatitudes”, among Jesus’ best known sayings, can often strike as harsh or extreme, We are either “Blessed” or we are subject to “woe”. Some of us wear our blessings on the outside but are full of woe within, or are full of woe outside, but are full of blessings internally. How may we be called to live in the world between “blessing” and “woe”?
“Am I a Minister?”, Rev. Charles Graves IV, (Luke 5:1-11), Sunday Feb. 10, 2019
What is a vocation? What does it mean to be a minister in the church and in the world? Luke and Isaiah both tell of ordinary people receiving profound callings by God, and yet feeling too unworthy for God to use them. What does it mean to claim & live into our divine callings as ministers of Christ? (Note: there are parts 1 and 2, because of an interruption in the recording.)
Throwing God Out. Rev. Salles (Luke 4:1-30) Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019
When we have our own idea of what God is, and what God’s plan is, we end up missing the fact that God is sitting right next to us. Sometimes we even eject God from our presence because the truth of God isn’t in alignment with the truth we want. The Church community is guilty of throwing Christ out because we are, maybe, more comfortable with what we want than what Christ is calling us to do.
Epiphany 2 – Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places. Rev. Salles (John 2:1-11, Isaiah 62:1-5)
Looking for Love and Responding to Love. God is waiting for us to look in unexpected places and waiting for us to respond.
Epiphany -Rev. Stacy Salles (Matthew 2:1-12) January 6, 2018
The visit of the Magi (also known as “wise men” or “Kings” to the infant Jesus is often lost in the grandeur of Christmas and the Nativity story. Yet through the Magi, we learn what it means to follow the often unnoticed signs that lead us to Holiness, and to find God in the unexpected places of our lives. How might the Magi inspire all of us throughout our journeys with Christ? How are each of us called to offer the gifts we are given?
CHRISTMAS EVE SERMON-Rev. Stacy Salles (Luke 2:1-20)
The birth of Jesus is not a fairy story or a pretty Christmas card picture. Its a real story about hope and possibilities being born in a world of messiness, poverty, and pain. Its a story about how God can provide hope and possibilities for us in our messy lives and in this messy world.
“Mary & Elizabeth”, Rev. Charles Graves IV, (Luke 1:39-55), Sunday Dec. 23, 2018
Mary, the mother of Jesus, has been looked to throughout the ages as a model of holiness and grace, especially for women. Yet Christians have sometimes seen her as so unapproachably sacred that we forget her humanity as a frightened young woman in a small Israelite village. What does it mean to know Mary not only as a woman who obeyed God, but as a “protectress of the oppressed”? How does her Magnificat, the song she sings in her pregnancy, give us both a personal rejoicing and a world-changing global vision?
“Gaudete – Rejoice”, Stacy Sands, (Zephaniah 3:17-20), Sunday Dec. 16, 2018
The third Sunday of Advent is always called Gaudete – Latin for “Rejoice”. But rejoicing is not always easy. How can we be joyful in the midst of the pains and struggles of life? How does the coming of Christ give us strength, even in unhappy times?
“The Power of Silence”, Rev. Charles Graves IV (Luke 1:5-38 & 57-80), Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018
We don’t often hear the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, The parents of John the Baptist who would be the prophet and cousin of Jesus. – have a miraculous encounter with the Angel Gabriel that leads to Zechariah being mute for the entirety of his wife’s pregnancy with John. What does Zechariah have to teach us about silence, and the “wilderness” in our journey with Christ? How might we be called to silence throughout this Advent season? **Note: much appreciation to theologian Adam Hearlson, whose reflections helped to produce this sermon.
“Following the Signs”, Rev. Stacy Salles (Luke 21:25-36), Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018
Jesus asks us to pay attention to signs in a way that does not bring fear, but a sign of freedom to be who we were created to be.
“My Kingdom is Not of this World”, Rev. Charles Graves IV, (John 18:33-37 ), Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018
What does it mean to see Christ as King? How does it direct our relationships with political, economic, military and other authorities? How does the Kingship (or reign) of Christ teach us to love God and our neighbors? What does it mean for us today?
“The Apocalypse You Didn’t Expect”, Rev. Stacy Salles, (Daniel 12, Mark 13:1-8), Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018
Apocalyptic experiences are all around us. We wonder if we are at the end of times. Apocalyptic stories and real life experiences are noisy, frightening, and destructive. Jesus tells us what the real apocalypse looks like and as the Church we have a responsibility to acknowledge that apocalypse.
“The Widow’s Mite“, by Stacey E. Sands, (Mark 12:38-44) Sunday, Nov. 11 , 2018
Widows were among the most vulnerable members of society in Jesus’ day, yet Scripture engages widows to teach us all about faith and service. How are we all called to contribute the “widow’s mite”, giving to others even when our own resources seem scarce, in order to invite God to do great works through us? How can everyone learn from the most marginalized people in our culture, and how can those in need become the greatest in God’s world?
The “Great Cloud of Witnesses“, by Rev. Charles Graves IV, (Hebrews 11:4-12:1) the Feast of All Saints, Sunday, Nov. 4 , 2018
As we mark the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, we take time to remember the departed who paved the way for us in the Christian Life. We often think of saints as people of extreme and nearly unattainable holiness, but is that really who they are? What do the Saints and Souls of the departed have to teach us in our walk with Jesus? What would it mean for us to be a great “cloud of witnesses”, reflecting the Beloved Community of God’s people on Earth?
“Non-toxic Charity”, by Stacey Sands (Mark 10:35-45 – How to achieve greatness in God’s Kingdom), Sunday, Oct 21. 2018
James and John ask Jesus if they can sit on his right hand when he comes into his kingdom. Jesus responds with a word on how true leaders are servants to those around them. But what does it take to be charitable to others and when is charity a good thing? Listen to a sermon on this sound approach from our Theological Field Ed resident, Stacey as she helps us navigate what it means to be a “servant to all”.
“The Not So Purpose ‘Driven’ Life”, by Rev. Stacy Salles, (Mark 10:17-31; the Story of the Rich Young Man), Sunday, Oct 14, 2018
A rich young man hurries to get an answer to the burning question in his heart, “How can I obtain eternal life?” Jesus asks him to make a choice which causes the young man to slowly walk away. There is a lot to ponder in Jesus request. It takes time and a lot of discernment to develop a relationship with God. That in an of itself is the beginning of eternal life.
“Confining the Spirit?”, by JoAnn Morse, (Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; Mark 9:38-50), Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018
Moses sends out a memo – “Elders to gather at the tent of meeting”. God sends the Spirit on them and they begin to prophecy. Two men who didn’t get the memo also begin to prophecy and Joshua complains. Jesus also has to deal with this when his disciples complain that someone who is not in their group is healing in Jesus name. What message are we missing when we try to confine the Spirit of God?
“The Low Hum of Worry”, Rev. Stacy Salles, (Mark 9:30-37), Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.
Distraction is what we do when we don’t want to be worried and the disciples found ways to distract themselves when they didn’t want to hear how Jesus journey would end on the cross (they were too stressed to focus on the hope of resurrection). Jesus encourages them to become so vulnerable (like a child) that they learn to trust God’s plan beyond the worry. We too need to become that vulnerable in order to have a more perfect relationship with God.
“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?