Ben E. Helmer
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
Last Sunday we focused on the reality that we are allowed little time at the manger. If the Christmas créche is still placed in the liturgical space of your church, today might be a good time for moving the Holy Family to another place in the building, symbolizing their journey to Egypt. Children would especially […]
We are not allowed long to linger at the manger. Here we are, only the day after Christmas, and we already are beginning to deal with the implications of the birth of Jesus. The lofty and majestic prologue from the Gospel of John captures the awesome and wondrous meaning of the Incarnation, the birth of […]
We are approaching the end of the Christian year. As always, the Gospel lessons focus on the end of things and the return of Jesus. This teaching, sometimes called apocalyptic, is always associated with this time of the church calendar. Many believers fervently await the coming of Christ in glory. Those of us in more […]
As we come to the end of the Gospel of Matthew that has been our main Gospel during Pentecost, we are forced more and more into an encounter with Jesus. The passage today lays things out quite plainly. The story of the vineyard, based on an old song which we heard part of in the […]
This account of the feeding of the multitude occurs in all four Gospels, each with its own emphasis. In today’s Gospel it helps us to understand the impact of this event by contrasting it with what has just occurred. Matthew precedes this account with the sordid story of the beheading of John the Baptist at […]
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the gentiles do the same? (Matthew 5:46-47) There are few places left in the United States where everyone is the same. For some […]
It was Pentecost at Trinity Church. The priest arrived only to find the altar guild uncertain what color frontal should be placed on the altar. “Why, red, of course,” the puzzled priest announced. There was a quick flurry of activity, with several people changing the hangings and the frontal. People even came from the pews […]
Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless Thy chosen pilgrim flock With manna from the wilderness, With water from the rock. -James Montgomery, Hymnal 1982, #343 People are getting spiritually hungry again. You find the evidence in feature stories about the rising demand for retreats and for books on all sorts of spirituality. Women and men […]
A woman who was a devoted member of a small church that was part of a regional cluster of churches came toward the bishop with fire in her eye. “So, when are you going to send us a priest?” she demanded. The bishop replied, “You’re asking the wrong question. The question is, ‘How is St. […]
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