A Sermon for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

By: David H. May, Rector

 

This time of the year, churches large and small are all suddenly feeling under the gun to get it together.  The new ‘program year’ is just around the corner so we all want to be ready for things like signing up children for Sunday School and having our calendar of events ready to go.  We all want to be able to show you what we do and how you can be a part of it too.  We all are working to recruit volunteers to fill out ministry groups.  We all want to do a better and better job of giving people new to our churches just what they need so they won’t go shopping for a new church someplace else next Sunday.  And for sure, all of us churches are working on how we can make our annual giving programs the most successful and best ever.

If this all makes you feel like vines are climbing up on you and threatening to pull you down into the overgrown brambles and be lost in the undergrowth, well you’re not alone.  And it’s not just churches.  All kinds of organizations are working on the same things too.  And honestly, plenty of them do a much better job than churches in stating their mission and giving people a real sense of purpose and making them a part of a community where they know they belong and are deeply valued.

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A Sermon for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

By: Eleanor Wellford, Priest Associate

 

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

A few weeks ago, I was preparing for a class that we’re offering here this summer on Paul’s letter to the Colossians. We use a study guide with questions that we’re supposed to think and write about before coming to class. There was one question in particular that really caught me off guard and it surprised me by how much I struggled to answer it. The question was: How do you define faith? Have you ever tried to do that? I think you know if you have faith, but how do you describe what that is? Is it trust or a belief or are those words more like synonyms rather than definitions?

In many of his letters, Paul praises his communities for the faith that they have in Christ Jesus. In this morning’s letter to the Hebrews, he defines that faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). That sounds really good, but what does it mean?

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