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Weekly Message

Speaking of Dying

In my experience, speaking of dying is a beautiful, gracious, life giving thing to do. Most of us are reluctant to talk about death or dying and sometimes we will even deny the truth to avoid facing our own or a loved one’s death. Over the years I have been with many families as someone…

Faces of Our Ministries: Bill Britton

Part 1 – Mugwump the Magnificent I was in the 6th grade Sunday school class at Trinity Episcopal Church in Highland Park Illinois. It was 1947. Our teacher was Mr. Hefner. He had assigned the burning bush story, beginning at Exodus 3:1, etc I read the account. Mr. Hefner had accepted the challenge of convincing…

Personal Epiphany Stories

On the Feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the arrival of the magi from the east who recognized the birth of Christ in their own way, by looking at the stars, and then determinedly followed the star to seek out the new king, ultimately finding the baby Jesus with his parents Mary and Joseph. In our own lives, we are sometimes blessed…

Eternal Light, Shine Into Our Hearts

As I write this we are in the tenth day of Christmas. I guess we should expect 10 lords a leaping. That classic song, the 12 Days of Christmas, has a fanciful list of gifts for each day of Christmas and it reminds us that Christmas is too big for a single day. We have…

The Work of Christmas Begins

The Work of Christmas Begins Have you ever gone into a Christmas themed gift shop in July? As much as we love Christmas, the decorations, angels, Santas, and other paraphernalia are somehow wrong six months later. The wonder of Christmas is not the stuff or the decorations but the spirit of love and generosity expressed…

Hidden Gifts

In her sermon last Sunday, the Rev. Carola von Wrangle shared some delightful stories from her childhood, including one about searching her parents’ house for hidden Christmas presents. One year, as she engaged in her customary search, she found presents for her sisters, but nothing for herself. When she received a beautiful rug for her…

A Place of Peace and Joy

Over the years I have heard countless sermons in the season of Advent urging us to avoid the consumerism and crazy rush of the holiday season, but I have never actually managed to do that. I love buying presents for my kids, wife, and extended family. I love knowing that I am going to get…

Where there is no suffering…

Last week I was describing to a friend the idea that there is a place where suffering and joy meet, and in that place we find a joy that endures, even in the presence of suffering. That place where suffering and joy meet is the place where heaven and earth overlap. It is the place…

Resist Spiritual Numbness

Last week I really should have written something about the shooting that took place at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Spring in Texas. I started to write and then stopped. I have to admit that I am feeling a sense of exhaustion and numbness. There have been so many shootings and other acts of violence…

Welcome Deacon Pat

We already know the Rev. Pat Grodt because she has been with us as a deacon in training for the past two years. On October 28th, at our Diocesan Convention, Bishop Rickel ordained Pat to the permanent deaconate. At this same service he announced that Deacon Pat has been assigned to serve at St. Dunstan’s…