Showing posts from July, 2009

Saved by Grace... nothing else.....

In the most recent issue of "The Lutheran" (which is the ELCA periodical) the editor - Daniel Lehmann - concludes his article with these words, which are a quote of another ELCA Pastor. These are words I think we all need to hear - whether we are Lutheran or Episcopalian. "We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus. We are not saved by our sexuality, our opinion about abortion, gun ownership, economic policy or any of the other hot button topics. Secure on the foundation that is Jesus we can engage in civil, respectful, and honest debate with one another, free from personal attacks and without thinking we have to pick up our hymnals and go to another church where people agree with us. If the church follows the culture in dividing up along social and political issues it is no longer the church. “Creating such a community of moral discourse is important for the church’s sake. In doing so, we ‘discern the body,’ as Paul admonishes us. The body consists of all those

Crisis - Sermon for Pentecost 6B - July 12, 2009

Sermon – Pentecost 5B CRISIS! St. Mark 6:14-29 / Psalm 85 Pastor S. Blake Duncan – St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church – 7/12/09 Herod Antipas had it tough. The 2nd son of the brutal Herod the Great had managed to survive his father’s murderous ways, but instead of taking over the reigns of government when his father died he saw the Romans cut the territory in 4 parts and divvy it out to his other brothers and half brothers. What a drag! So he was not a King – he was a measly tetrarch (which means ruler of a quarter). But the worst part was that he had to constantly be looking over his shoulders towards Rome and wondering and worrying about his relationship with them. If there was too much trouble – if they got put out with him, he could be removed at any moment –so, his job was primarily to keep things quiet and not make waves. So imagine his discomfort when he finds himself constantly the subject of searing criticisms by that trouble making eccentric prophet John the Baptize