Authors

Joslyn Ogden Schaefer

The Rev. Joslyn Ogden Schaefer serves as the Rector of Grace Church in the Mountains, in Waynesville, NC. She has degrees from Davidson College, University of Edinburgh and Episcopal Divinity School. In this phase of life, most of her discretionary time is lovingly devoured by small children. Her two primary spiritual disciplines are child-rearing and sermon-writing, and she is regularly humbled by both.

Sermons and Bible Studies

The Law, Lent 3 (B) – March 7, 2021

March 07, 2021

[RCL] Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; John 2:13-22 A few years ago, the abbreviation “SBNR” popped up in church and cultural circles, naming an emerging phenomenon showing up in countless national surveys. SBNR stands for Spiritual, But Not Religious. SBNRs are present in every cohort surveyed, but their prevalence increases with every new […]

Sent, Pentecost 3 (A) – June 21, 2020

June 21, 2020

[RCL]: Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10:24-39 In today’s Gospel, the tail-end of a commencement speech of sorts, Jesus prepares his twelve closest followers for their first mission apart from him. They are to demonstrate what God’s Kingdom looks like, interrupting life-as-they-knew-it with new possibilities for healing, wholeness, truth-telling, and repaired relationships. […]

Resurrection Vision, Easter Day (A) – April 12, 2020

April 12, 2020

[RCL]: Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-1 “Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!” A joy-filled proclamation. A mystery we don’t “get,” can’t “get,” weren’t designed to “get,” and yet it rings true to our world-weary, sin-sick souls. “Alleluia, alleluia, […]

Welcoming the King, Christ the King (C) – 2019

November 24, 2019

Downton Abbey, the much-beloved PBS television series, recently came out with a feature-length movie. The entire plot was based on the Abbey preparing for and having a 24-hour visit from the King and Queen of England. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Downton Abbey is a large country manor that houses “upstairs” nobility, […]

A Tent Among Us, Christmas 1 – 2018

December 30, 2018

In today’s Gospel, St. John uses a fascinating image that most of our Bible translations miss. Some of us are accustomed to hearing this majestic and abstract prologue to John’s mystical-leaning Gospel: “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” But we aren’t so used to hearing this: “Jesus became flesh and pitched a tent […]

The Surprise of the Resurrection, All Saints’ Day (B) – November 1, 2018

November 01, 2018

Winston Churchill, arguably one of the greatest political and military leaders of the 20thcentury, planned every detail of his funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. He worked clandestinely with cathedral staff, under the code name “Operation-Hope-Not.” (That code name reveals a lot about humanity’s attitude toward death, doesn’t it?) One aspect of his funeral […]

Lament, Ash Wednesday – 2018

February 14, 2018

After the sermon ends in the Ash Wednesday liturgy, it is customary for the minister to invite us, “in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent.” The Church invites us to self-examination and repentance, prayer, fasting and self-denial, and reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word. Many of us recall […]

Bible Study: Proper 21 (A) – 2011

September 25, 2011

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 This passage was written in an “in-between time,” after the first deportation of the Hebrews to Babylon in 598 but before the large exile and temple destruction in 587. Here it is God, not the prophet, who speaks in the first person. God sounds like an angry, disappointed, but ever-hopeful parent. God […]

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