The Rev. Whitney Rice is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Missouri and currently the Associate Rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves, Missouri. A native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, she comes to ordained ministry by way of the University of Kansas and Yale Divinity School, where she won the Yale University Charles S. Mersick Prize for Public Address and Preaching and the Yale University E. William Muehl Award for Excellence in Preaching. She created and leads workshops and retreats such as Evangelism With Integrity, Sacred Body, Senior VBS, and Questions of Jesus. See www.thehiveapiary.com and www.roofcrashersandhemgrabbers.com for more of her work.
Sermons and Bible Studies
The first eighteen verses of the Gospel of John are certainly well-known—“In the beginning was the Word.” But this passage can seem too floaty, too esoteric, too obscure, abstract, and idealized. It’s poetry, yes, but it’s not particularly helpful poetry, and when we read the Bible, most of us like to gather some sort of […]
Do you feel burdened? The writers of our epistle and gospel want to know. “You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God,” Paul says. Jesus speaks of the scribes and Pharisees, […]
We have two ways of thinking about the saints, and it turns out that neither one of them is very helpful. We think of “Saints” with a capital “S”: St. Peter, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Augustine, the named heroes of the faith who made their mark in the world and left a legacy of […]
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” So American monk Thomas Merton tells us something we may not really want to hear, but we can immediately connect his uncomfortable truth to Jesus’ teaching in […]
Realistic. Practical. Sensible. Those are words we all like to use to describe ourselves and our churches. We are Christians who believe in an amazing story of death and resurrection, but in the end we have to come back down to earth and live in the real world. Someone has to make sure the budget […]
All Saints’ Day is one of the most underrated church holidays of the year. It is overshadowed by its more glamorous cousins, All Hallow’s Eve and Thanksgiving, similar to how Holy Saturday gets lost in Holy Week. But All Saints’ Day can bring us a unique blessing just as Holy Saturday does because they are […]
We human beings love our rules. The security that comes from knowing how things should be done comforts us in our chaotic world. God understands this about us, and so God comes to us in terms of covenant. In our lesson from Genesis, God provides a clear agreement that Abraham can refer to and rely […]
Church conflict is nothing new. Sometimes people think there should be no conflict in church, as though by virtue of being Christians we can and should cover over all disagreements with niceness. Jesus in his teaching in our gospel lesson today seems to proceed on the baseline assumption that conflict in Christian community is normal […]
What does it feel like to have less than a week to live? That’s the situation in which Jesus finds himself when he makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowds don’t know what’s coming. The disciples have been given hints and even outright declarations from Jesus that the Son of Man will be betrayed […]
We encounter a strange image for the coming Messiah in our lesson today from Isaiah 11: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Now picture what this looks like, you’ve seen it before. A tree gets chopped down to a stump, and a […]
Jesus is not making a whole lot of sense in our gospel today, at least at first blush. He tells the Parable of the Dishonest Manager, and people have beat their heads against this text for generations trying to figure out what in the world he was talking about. Clergy, lay people, seminary professors and […]
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