Father Jonathan recounts his recent trip to Turkey (a mission of mercy to the refugees from the wars in Iraq and Syria) and describes what he saw. He gives clear and compelling definitions of Hell and cautions that it is imperative that we get this right. It's a matter of life and death.
Who uses her talents for the greater good...
What is your concept of Jesus? Gentle Jesus lying in a manger? The stern Jesus calling the woman a dog? A dangerous criminal executed by the Roman state? A wise teacher? A wandering rabbi?
...who turns out to be a very astute theologian. Father Jonathan sheds new light on one of the more troubling encounters in Jesus' ministry.
The kingdom of God is at hand. There is nothing we can touch, or taste or handle that can pollute the kingdom of God which is in you. It comes from inside you. You must meet it there and the outward signs will flow.
Many of Jesus' followers picked up and left when they heard him say this. What in the world does this mean? This commandment from Jesus has caused much turmoil and criticism of the Christian Church. Father Chuck explains the imagery and the meaning of the metaphor.
Why did the people follow a wandering prophet? Why did they want to make Jesus their king? Why did he run away and try to hide?
Father Jonathan explains that Jesus offers something much more than the temporary safety and nourishment of a kind ruler. He offers you the chance to be an agent for your own future; your own ultimate welfare.
Father Johnson is a monk of the Syriac Orthodox Church who resides at the Mt. Gabriel Monastery in the southeast corner of Turkey. A native of Skagit County, he told us of a project called “Seeds of Hope” designed to give hope to refugees fleeing ISIS terrorism. He describes a harrowing experience begin taken hostage, and teaches us a few words of Aramaic.
Think not of the "other" the "differences" between us. Ever. None of the differences between us matter to God. God longs to dwell in you. God would much rather have you, than this church, this building, this world. You are God's tabernacle. Let God dwell in you, and you will discover so much more than you can imagine.
Things that we perceive as horrible happen to us, and God doesn't instantly jump in and make everything OK. Why?
A chronically ill woman fights her way through the crowd surrounding Jesus in a desperate attempt to just touch his robe. What happens next is astounding.
Father Chuck ties this wonderful story with two others and gives us a lesson in God's loving power.
Reverend Vollkommer gives us some guidance in dealing with this tragedy.
Previously, Jonathan compared the workings of the Holy Trinity to a dance which we are invited to join. Here, he explains a way to gain "the peace that passes understanding". God's Peace. Which often, in human terms, isn't all that "peaceful".
Todd Foster describes "The Church's Coming Out Party" which happened on Pentecost Sunday. This was the turning point at which the disciples and Christ's ministry, and all attention turned from in internal and inward focus on Jesus to an external and outward focus on bringing the magic to the world.
Father Chuck reminds us that there are many, many good things happening at St. Paul's every week, but there are constantly more ideas for new programs and activities. He also points out that resources include leadership, ongoing energies, time, talent, and money.
Father Chuck points out that Jesus compares us to sheep, who need constant care and attention. We need a shepherd.
Listen to Father Jonathan's sermon, there is also a complete recording of the Easter service from beginning to end, a video of the Halleluiah Chorus, and a sound bite from the ringing of the bells.
Synopsis to follow.
Marsha takes us back to her childhood and admits to some ambivalence about the Maundy Thursday rituals.
One minute we proclaim: "Hosanna in the highest". The next we are shouting: "Crucify Him!" Todd goes on to explain another of Christianity's mysteries.