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First-person reports, thanks, requests and other items reflecting the day-to-day workings of life in a parish community

Sermon – Christmas Eve 2016

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [ More → ]

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Sermon – December 18, 2016

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  [ More → ]

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Sermon – December 4, 2016

Lessons You can read the scripture for December 4, 2016 here. Audio I’m unendingly amazed at the ways in which the Holy Spirit moves in the world. She’s been at it a long, long time. I say “she”, in part, because Judaism has a long history of recognizing “Wisdom” as both feminine and co-eternal with …  [ More → ]

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Sermon – November 27, 2016

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [ More → ]

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Sermon – November 20, 2016

What are we celebrating in our observance of the Reign of Christ? The very words suggest magnificence and great power – the grandeur of a king whose rule exceeds all others.

Then why this gospel text?

These last few moments of Jesus’ life seem, at first, to run counter to all we might value in the world, let alone a royal ruling over it all.

To be with Jesus in this moment on the cross – as we celebrate his reign – invites us to consider the ways use of the language of royalty and ruling risks missing the whole point of the gospels, because of the way “king” or “ruler” might connote a fixed sense of order, rather than a dynamic sense of God’s action on earth. [ More → ]

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Sermon – November 13, 2016

Lessons You can read the scripture for November 13, 2016 here. Audio The Church of the Ascension, NYC A Sermon Preached by the Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell November 13, 2016 Luke 21: 5-19 Let us pray. O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion …  [ More → ]

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Sermon – November 6, 2016

Lessons You can read the scripture for November 6, 2016 here. Audio The structure of today’s gospel passage is four blessings contrasted with four woes, all of which serve the purpose of encouraging believers to “look heavenward” during trial and tribulations. What does it mean to look heavenward? And, if we’re able to discern such …  [ More → ]

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Sermon – October 30, 2016

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  [ More → ]

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Sermon – October 23, 2016

What would it take for me – or for you, for that matter – to find, deep inside, the kind of humility expressed by the tax collector in today’s gospel story? Is some kind of major upset required? Sometimes, if I’ve made a big mistake, I find myself somehow seeing more clearly how much I need God’s grace and forgiveness. Sometimes surviving a trauma, or even a grave disappointment of some kind, can draw us into a state of such vulnerability we cannot help but feel a need, deep in our souls, for mercy from God… [ More → ]

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Sermon – October 16, 2016

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [ More → ]

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