Welcomes You

Sermons and Statements

May 25, 2013

Today is the feast of Bede, who lived from 673 to 735, and is probably best known for writing a history of the English church from its beginnings up to the early 8th century.  Much of what we know about Augustine of Canterbury and others who brought Christianity to the British Isles again after the Romans left is due to his work.  Bede spent nearly his entire life in the...

May 21, 2013

The ongoing tragedy of conflict throughout the Middle East challenges people of faith throughout the world.  As Christians, we share a vision of a healed world where no one lives in fear of death or violence.  We have gathered here to listen to the stories of those who live in the midst of these conflicts, to stand in solidarity with those who suffer, and to strategize ways in which...

May 19, 2013

I met a remarkable woman in Atlanta this week.  We were gathered at an ecumenical conference on peace-making on the Korean peninsula, where a state of war continues, because a final peace agreement has never been signed.  As we stood around before the day’s events began, I asked where she was from and she began to tell me her story.  She is married to a Methodist pastor in...

May 16, 2013

We are here to speak about peace in Korea, and consider what role the churches might have to play in promoting peace and reconciliation.  I’m going to begin with a broad outline of the history behind the present situation, and consider some themes that might offer a way into the process of making peace.

I want to challenge us to consider similar situations around the world,...

May 12, 2013

The beauty of this place is legendary.  It is beautiful – and fragile, for its beauty depends on a dynamic balance among the parts of this island system.  Many people don’t notice beauty around them until it’s gone.  When we go somewhere that looks very different, often it takes a long time to appreciate that it has beauty, even though it’s a different...

May 9, 2013

Are you feeling high and lifted up, in this rarefied air, at the end of a stimulating and encouraging conference?  It’s a good day to celebrate Ascension.  Yet we have to recognize that the band of disciples who hung around Jerusalem after Jesus’ execution didn’t always feel terribly inspired or hopeful.  They had a few encounters with the risen one, but they...

May 4, 2013

Monnica is remembered as a saint mostly because of the fervency of her prayer.  She had a challenging family life.  Both husband and son at various times led remarkably dissolute lives that probably called abundantly on the gifts of people like those in this room.  Eventually she gave up pleading with them to change their ways and worked on her own spiritual life instead. ...

May 2, 2013

There is something very appropriate about celebrating the feast of Athanasius in the midst of conversations about hope and climate change.  Athanasius was a priest and then bishop in the 4th century in Egypt.  He’s best remembered for his earnest opposition to the heresy called Arianism.  At the time the church was still sorting out the particulars of...

May 1, 2013

The idea of changing climate elicits grief in many people, as well it should.  That grief finds expression in many of the classic ways that we respond to all kinds of loss.  Some simply can’t imagine that it’s real – and there are still more than a few climate deniers out there.  Some try to find someone to blame, or shift it away from themselves: they say...

April 27, 2013

Alleluia!

We’re here today to breathe new life into a dying body – the body of God’s creation.  It’s going to take the breath we have in us, and the breath of many, many others.  Breathe in the breath of God, of life, and give it back – now, breathe!  We’re going to need all the confidence we have that the act of breathing in and...