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Music for May 28

Music this Sunday, as well as the lessons, will celebrate Ascension Day, which is actually 39 days after Easter Sunday – May 25. The two organ voluntaries are based on the opening hymn – “Hail the day that sees Him rise.” Since many of the Parish Choir will be elsewhere, we are singing a simple Spiritual, It was poor little Jesus, that tells the story of Jesus from his birth to his ascension into heaven.

Sermon–May 14, 2017

Sermon

Easter 5, May 14, 2017

William Bradbury

Acts 7:55-60, Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16, 1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14

I know some priests who when reading this gospel at funerals refuse to read the last line that says: “No one comes to the Father except through me”. They edit it out because of those Christians who have used this line as a cover for their arrogance and even violence against those who don’t believe exactly the same way they do. Continue reading

Sermon–May 7, 2017

Sermon

Easter 4, May 7, 2017

William Bradbury

Acts 2:42-47, Psalm 23, 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10

Where is the place you feel loved and safe, where your soul is at peace? For me growing up, it was my grandparents’ house on Missionary Ridge, overlooking Chattanooga. That house became iconic in my dreams—in a dream I’ve often had, I’d dream I was exploring a walk-in attic and all of a sudden it would open up into this fantastic amphitheater under the stars. When I would wake up I’d feel such lightness and peace. That house was my place of green pastures and still waters, where I knew goodness and mercy would follow me all the days of my life. Continue reading

Sermon–April 23, 2017

Sermon

Easter 2, April 23, 2017

William Bradbury

Acts 2:14a,22-32, Psalm 16, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31

Sometimes the translators just get it wrong: the word “doubt” is not used in this reading. Jesus is not telling Thomas not to doubt, because he knows doubt is always a part of faith. When C. S. Lewis was an atheist he said he had doubts about his beliefs, just as he had doubts when he became a Christian. The main thing to look at in our doubts is to make sure our doubts are changing because if our doubts never change it means we are not growing in our faith, which is to say, our faith has become a static system of beliefs rather than a living relationship with the ever-flowing Triune God. The KJV translates it this way: “Do not be faithless, but believing.”  These are the two choices we have: to have faith in God revealed by the Risen Christ or to have faith in something or someone else. Whatever we choose we will always have doubts. Continue reading

Sermon–Easter Day–April 16, 2017

Sermon

Easter Day, April 16, 2017

William Bradbury

Acts 10: 34-43, Psalm 118: 1-2,14-24, Colossians 3: 1-4, John 20: 1-18

Driving home the other day I was surprised that the lead story on NPR “All Things Considered” was not about the 59 cruise missiles we sent onto a runway in Syria, nor was it about the rising threat of North Korea. No, it was the story about the doctor being dragged out of his seat, then down the aisle, and off his United Flight. This thing went viral because we instantly knew how we’d feel if that were us. How else could you feel but terrible! But then a thought-experiment popped into my head: What if I’d been dragged off the plane, kicking and screaming, and the plane takes off without me, but then falls out of the sky at 30,000 feet and nothing’s left but small pieces? How would I feel then? Continue reading

Sermon–Good Friday–April 14, 2017

Sermon

Good Friday–April 14, 2017

William Bradbury

Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1-19:42, Psalm 22

The church, under the guidance of the Spirit, always proclaims on Good Friday the Passion of Jesus from John’s Gospel. On Palm Sunday we always read a passion account from Matthew, Mark, or Luke (last Sunday we performed Matthew’s passion), because in many ways these portray the passion of the Son of Man,  But on Good Friday the Church wants us to see the death of Jesus, as the Passion of the Son of God. Continue reading

Sermon–Maundy Thursday April 13, 2017

Sermon

Maundy Thursday, April 13, 2017

William Bradbury

Exodus 12:1-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Occasionally it is helpful for a person who feels stuck in a rut, to imagine she has all the money, time, health, and family support she needs and then to ponder deeply what exactly she wants to do with her life.  We are told the Father has given all things to Jesus—Jesus comes from God and he is going to God, so he can do whatever he desires—yet John tells us at precisely that moment he gets up from supper—his last supper—takes off his outer garments, ties a towel around himself, and begins washing the disciples’ feet. This makes no sense in our world! He could do anything and yet he washes feet, which includes the feet of Judas, who has not left yet to betray him. Continue reading