Ben E. Helmer

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Ben Helmer has been vicar of St. James' since June of 2009. He has been ordained to the priesthood for 38 years. He was raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, graduated from Michigan State University and received his M. Div. from General Theological Seminary in New York. His wife, Jane, is a mostly retired horticultural writer and editor. They have two sons. Richard is a priest in the Diocese of California and Steven is a carrier pilot in the U.S. Navy. Ben has served churches in Northern Michigan, Western Kansas and West Missouri. He was also the staff officer for rural and small community ministries for the Episcopal Church from 1999-2005 when he retired. He and Jane were then invited to work in Louisiana for a year where Ben was a chaplain to clergy, diocesan staff and caregivers and Jane worked as a volunteer following the ravages in Katrina. In June of 2007 Ben and Jane went to Guam for 18 months where Ben served as archdeacon for the Episcopal Church in Micronesia before returning to Missouri. The Helmers now live in Holiday Island about 7 miles north of Eureka Springs with their chocolate lab, Jessie.  

Sermons and Bible Studies

Doing Faith, Proper 26 (C) – 2013

November 03, 2013

“It is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service.” This phrase in the opening collect today is a major theme in today’s readings. In the passage from Isaiah we hear God’s angry tirade against what the people think is true and laudable service: incense, offerings and sacrifice. But God […]

Beyond Material Worth, Proper 14 (C) – 2013

August 11, 2013

Christians have always believed in a God who is concerned with the natural world. We have prayed to God from the depths of coal mines to the heights of Everest and from outer space. We have blessed ships and planes in God’s name, built soaring cathedrals to the honor and glory of the Almighty, and […]

Allowing the Lord To Lead Us Through Lent, Lent 2 (C) – 2013

February 24, 2013

We begin today with Abram at the earliest part of his journey with the Lord. Remember that Abram’s name is later changed by God to Abraham “the father of many nations.” Abram is to lead his people to a new land, but the journey is hard, even harsh. Abram knows he needs a male heir […]

Reflections at the End, Advent 4 (C) – 2012

December 23, 2012

[RCL]: Micah 5:2-5a; Canticle 15 (or 3) or Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) Don’t you love it when people ask you, “Are you ready for Christmas?” A good answer is, “No, but it’s coming anyway, so let’s all be joyful!” This week we pay for that bridge week between Thanksgiving and Advent by […]

Wisdom and Grace, Proper 15 (B) – 2012

August 19, 2012

Two old friends recently met at a school reunion. They had not seen each other for 35 years. During that time they had each married, raised children, worked to support their families and, they discovered, been active members of their churches. As they walked into dinner, one looked at the other and said, “We’ve aged […]

Our Hearts Are Broken But Not Destroyed, Good Friday – 2012

April 06, 2012

[Note to the reader: This sermon is intended as a meditation to be read after the Passion Gospel. It should be read with pauses for reflection where indicated.] For some this is just another Friday. Fifty years ago in much of the country banks were closed from noon to three o’clock; and many businesses also […]

Proclaim, Epiphany 3 (B) – 2012

January 22, 2012

[NOTE TO READER: “Lectio divina” is pronounced “LEK-tsea-oh di-VEEN-ah.”] The collect for this Sunday begins “Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation.” Do we seriously make that request of God? The reading from Mark in today’s […]

Faith, Hope, and Charity…, Proper 25 (A) – 2011

October 23, 2011

Faith, hope, and charity are three of the seven virtues; the others are prudence, justice, temperance, and courage. Faith, hope, and charity are ascribed to St. Paul. Both his writings and ministry, as chronicled by the author of Acts, show that he taught and lived these three great virtues. Let’s take a look at each […]

As Our Nation Celebrates…, Independence Day – 2011

July 04, 2011

As our nation celebrates its 235th anniversary, reflection on our liberty, freedom, and relationship with God, the giver of all liberty, is a good exercise. We learn from the passage chosen from Deuteronomy that the foundation of our liberty is conceived in justice, that our “great God … is not partial and takes no bribe […]

This Is a Day Focused on Liturgy, Maundy Thursday – 2011

April 21, 2011

This is a day focused on liturgy: very basic and profound liturgical actions are recalled and acted out. Any liturgy has at its heart a sacrificial action. We offer something, and God takes that offering and does something wonderful with it, something we cannot do for ourselves. In the Exodus reading for today, the focus […]

Proclaiming the Good News…, Epiphany 3 (A) – 2011

January 23, 2011

Proclaiming the Good News is not something left only to individual evangelists; it is in fact the task of the entire church. Yet, we are often led to believe and act as though only individuals can tell the story of Jesus. Epiphany is a season about proclamation and the power of God at work in […]

Waiting…, Christmas Day (II) – 2010

December 25, 2010

People spend a lot of time waiting: we wait for services to be delivered, we wait in line to be served at the post office and the bank, and we wait for next year, hoping perhaps it will be better, and possibly fearful that it won’t be. “Waiting for the other shoe to drop” is […]

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Christopher Sikkema


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