Category Archives: Homilies

Homily for Advent 2 – Dec. 6, 2015

Sermon 12 6 15 Advent II
To have a prophetic voice… Does that mean someone who can tell the future? More often, in the Bible, it wasn’t about fortune-telling. It was about telling the truth.
Prophecy was a unique calling – a lonely business. Biblical prophets occasionally warned about or foretold the future, but mainly they told the truth – even when the truth was hard to hear. And it usually was. Many kings and queens wanted to hear only good news. They might keep hundreds of so-called “prophets” on retainer – to tell them what they wanted to hear. The true prophets didn’t fare quite so well. Elijah had to run and hide. The true prophets are the ones we remember. The sycophants, the yes-men – not so much. People rarely appreciate a truth teller. Most people don’t want to hear the unvarnished truth. Real prophets were not popular.
John the Baptist was a truth-teller. Zechariah, his father, was a priest in the Temple. He was married to Elizabeth, a relative of Mary’s. They were childless. For the people of Israel, being childless meant you were out of favor with God. It’s interesting how often God chose childless older women to bear auspicious children. Thus the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and told him that Elizabeth was going to bear a son. “And you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. …even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. Remember how Elizabeth felt John leap for joy within her when Mary came to visit? Wow, that must have been an interesting pregnancy!
Because he doubted the angel’s promise, Zechariah was struck dumb until John was born. Ironic, isn’t it? That the father of “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness” lost his own voice for nine months. John was born to much celebration. When the time came to circumcise him, family friends asked Elizabeth what he was to be named. She told them that he was to be called John. They were very surprised because no one in Zechariah’s family was named John and you usually gave your child your own name or a family name. So they went to Zechariah to make sure what he wanted to name the boy, and he signed the name the Angel Gabriel gave him – John. Then, suddenly, Zechariah was able to speak! (I think one of the lessons taught here is to take angels seriously!) Zechariah’s song of praise and prophecy is the Canticle we read together today. “You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.”
One of the things that made prophets so unpopular was that they were always calling upon people to repent – to turn themselves around. But John linked repentance to salvation. To repent means more than to be sorry for what you’ve done. To repent means to correct the error, to change the effect of what you’ve done. John called people to a baptism of repentance – both a real and spiritual cleansing. Many modern-day Christians are turned off by the idea of repentance. Somehow we think that identifying our sins and repenting of them is a personal matter — and it is. But then we don’t understand the overall value to us and to all those around us.
In AA, the eighth step of the 12 step program is to “Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.” Part of the process is to become willing to make amends to everyone they have harmed. That could be a long list! Making such a list is a profound opportunity for reflection. It’s a big step in and of itself. And then to become willing to make amends to all of them – to become willing – the use of the word “become” makes it clear that this is a process – nothing instantaneous going on here. This process involves commitment.
And then, Step 9 is to “Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Make direct amends. “Do not pass go!” “Go directly to ‘Make amends.’” No shortcuts.
This sounds so hard, and yet when I have spoken to people who have done this, they are so lightened – their hearts are lighter! Sometimes the things we need to atone for – our sins – are so heavy – they wear us down.
I am reminded of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Marley’s ghost is weighed down for eternity with chains and locks and money boxes attached to the chains. He says, ““I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I put it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” And then he asks Scrooge “Would you know the weight and length of the strong chain you bear yourself?” His sins were heavy. Just the way he lived his life weighed him down.
The Jewish holiday of Roshashanah and Yom Kippur is an extraordinary holiday of atonement and forgiveness. In preparation. the entire house is cleaned. There cannot be so much as a crumb of leavened bread anywhere! I have seen observant Jews in Chicago trooping over to a bridge in Skokie and dumping crumbs into the river.
First, people beg for forgiveness of their sins against God. Sins against God are violations of the Commandments. Next they beg for forgiveness of their sins against others. Sins against other people require forgiveness from the offended party in addition to forgiveness from God. The offender must ask for forgiveness from the offended. Now, here’s what’s interesting: With very few exceptions, the offended is obligated to forgive. Obligated to forgive! Think of it! It’s as though everything is cleaned up! They can’t live in bitterness and anger. I’ve often thought that Christianity could do with some Roshashana and Yom Kippur. To literally clean our souls.
To me, this is what Isaiah meant when he prophesied the coming of John and Jesus that is part of our Gospel reading from Luke for today. To prepare the way of the Lord, to prepare ourselves for Jesus, we make his path to our hearts straight by making our paths straight, by evening out the valleys and hills of our lives, by making what is crooked about us straight.
It’s not about taking blame or placing blame – it’s about moving forward. It’s about fixing ourselves, cleansing ourselves.
In other churches there is a rite to help people fix themselves. It’s called Confession.
In the Episcopal Church we call it the Rite of Reconciliation. It’s available to anyone at any time. However, there are certain times of the year that are considered most advantageous for the Rite of Reconciliation. One of them is Advent because we are preparing for the arrival of the human Jesus, the Messiah. The Rite is in the Book of Common Prayer on page 447. There are actually two versions of it. One is shorter and one is longer with more prayers. The reason we call it the Rite of Reconciliation is because sin comes between God and us. It messes us up and draws us away from God. When we’re sorry and ask for forgiveness, we are trying to come back into right relationship with God. We are making our path straight. We are trying to reconcile with God. This is a rite that is completely private and as we say – “Under the Stole.” Confidential. It’s important to remember that it’s not about shame – it’s about reconciliation.
This is really what John was doing with people – encouraging them to be ready for Jesus. And that is what we are asked to do. To work together to be ready for his birth as though it’s happening for the first time.
I have been to that part of the Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. It’s actually very narrow there, more of a creek. It’s a little touristy now. People can put on these very flimsy T-shirts and go into the river and be baptized. The T-shirts say something like “I was baptized in the Jordan River!” Kind of odd. Kind of tacky. But people were very excited to be baptized in the Jordan. What struck me is that the entire little area is marked as off limits. It’s a little tourist spot in the middle of a “No-Man’s Land” between Israel and Jordan. You can enter from either side, but you have to go back the way you came. You can’t cross the river – less than 10 feet in width. Men with guns guard it all. A beautiful place of reconciliation is surrounded and guarded by instruments of violence. Makes you think about how hard true repentance is, how hard truth-telling is.
Gerald May was a psychiatrist and theologian. He once said,
“Honesty before God requires the most fundamental risk of faith we can take: the risk that God is good, that God does love us unconditionally. It is in taking this risk that we rediscover our dignity. To bring the truth of ourselves, just as we are, to God, just as God is, is the most dignified thing (and I would say grace-filled thing) we can do in this life. “
As we prepare to welcome Jesus yet again, for the first time, may we become prophetic. May we become truth-tellers. May we rediscover our dignity in God’s unconditional love.

Homily for Advent 1 – Nov. 29, 2015

Sermon 11 29 15 Advent I
Wow! I have to share with you. This is exciting and this is overwhelming and this is incredibly scary and this is wonderful! And this is God’s plan. We’re all just along for the ride.
And what a ride it’ll be!
Here we are at the beginning of Advent, the beginning of a brand new church year, and at the beginning of a new ministry. We’re all in this together. We’re making lists and checking them twice, (probably more like two, three, or four times!)…
And here I am, your new priest. Eeek!
Let me say a few words about that wonderful mystery known as the Church. No priest, deacon, bishop or whatever is the Church. No one single person is the Church. YOU ARE THE CHURCH. Together, as collaborators, we are the Church. When Paul set up all those new little churches in Asia Minor, he knew he couldn’t be there with all of them every time they prayed, shared the Eucharist and worshipped. What to do? So he wrote them letters, letters that might have gotten there months after he wrote them. What did they do in the meantime? They led each other in worship. They acknowledged each other’s gifts and respected each other. Oh, sometimes they ran into trouble and had conflicts, but if Jesus Christ was their cornerstone, the true head of the church and the author of their salvation, if they kept that in mind, they were able to move forward as the Church and be the Church for the world.
When we receive people into the church via baptism, we end the baptismal service by saying, “We receive you into the Household of God.” The Church of the Good Shepherd is a Household of God. YOU ARE A HOUSEHOLD OF GOD. YOU ARE THE CHURCH – we all are. It is my privilege, as a fellow member of this Household of God to be called to lead us all in worship. You have, with God’s blessings, called me to do that.
And I am so happy to be here!
All I ask is that you be patient with me. I’m going to do my very best to be a good priest for you – but always, always, “with God’s help.” I especially pray for God’s help with names. Please be patient with me in that area. Names just fly right through my brain, like water through a sieve. That is why I’ve asked for nametags. I’ll need them for a while. Besides, nametags are just a matter of courtesy for new people.
And now I want to quote Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, the letter we heard today, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?”
I thank you for your very warm welcome. We got here on Wednesday evening with the movers. And we found food here, cheese and crackers, all the staples, bottles of wine, a lovely lady, Mel, with a delicious pork roast, food in the freezer, your beautiful Rectory all ready with towels in the bathrooms, (plenty of toilet paper!) – everything we need and more. And the well-wishing and welcoming cards and messages! We started with a lovely diner breakfast on Thanksgiving Day with Jeff. We came over here for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with Wayne and Maria and their family and friends. We watched, fascinated, as Beth and Chelsea and Megan and other assorted loved ones went through all of the Thanksgiving shopping circulars, preparing themselves, arming themselves for the Black Friday shopping madness strategy! We had a great time!
The next day, Friday, I was sitting with Maryanne, our excellent Parish Administrator, getting the lay of the land, and a lady named Karen(?) came by with a lovely roast beef stew. What with all of the Sunday celebrations, we’re not going to have to cook for a month!
As we look to the future with anticipation for even more than food, I also look behind in thankfulness for the past. I am so grateful for the excellent ministry of Father Dave among you. What a great Interim! And I am especially thankful for the wonderful ministry of Mother Pat. I remember asking members of the Vestry and Search Committee how they each came to take on ministries like the Sunday School and Lay Eucharistic Ministry. All had been recruited by Mother Pat. She saw what she thought people would be good at and she asked them to do it. Good for her! She got you all involved and invested in your church. I admire her, I am grateful to her, and I look forward to meeting her. To both Mother Pat and Father Dave also, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?”
So here we all are at the first Sunday of Advent. Advent – when we celebrate waiting! Nobody likes waiting. Nobody! How do you feel when somebody tells you to “Be patient.” Oooooooh…
I remember my mother telling me before I went to the University of Minnesota, a pretty big school, “You have to be patient. You’re going to have to wait in line for everything, your ID, to register,” (remember, this is back in the dark ages of giant computers and punch cards). “You’ll have to stand in line to buy your books – so take a book with you – just keep reading.” And I remembered that. Now when I know I’m going to be in line for something, when I know I’m going to be waiting, I’ve got my book! Of course, now it’s a Kindle.
And now here we are, celebrating waiting. Does that seem odd? To celebrate the memory of waiting? And yet, how many of us remember the great events of our lives not only as the events themselves, but also the delicious anticipation of those events. It’s like waiting for a baby – after nine months of pregnancy those last four weeks are killers, but they’re worth every minute. Swollen ankles, no balance, a wobbly blimp, not to mention endless kicking, and yet the excitement…
The great value of Advent and waiting for the coming birth of Jesus is that we begin to consciously await Jesus as we would await the birth of any child, with all the excitement and nervousness and joy that childbirth is about. And the expectation…!
This is the season of expectation, where we relive, every year, our great expectation of the birth of a tiny, helpless child. This is when we discover and embrace the power that is inherent in vulnerability, when the unconditional love of a child teaches us to appreciate the unconditional love of God.
Baby Jesus was totally helpless. I doubt he was born with a halo around his head. No. Even though we believe he was wholly divine, we also know he was wholly human – 100% of both. He was hungry and crying and wetting and making messes and totally (and I believe this was intentional) dependent upon other human beings – as fragile as every other human baby ever born. And the perfect example of unconditional love.
Unconditional love can be scary too, scary for those who have a hard time taking the leap of faith to accept it. We’re never going to fully comprehend God’s love for us, God’s love for the world. We just have to accept it.
And speaking of things that are hard to understand, isn’t it interesting that our readings for today speak to us of Christ’s Second Coming at the same time we anticipate the celebration of his first? I think these readings are meant to put us in a waiting frame of mind – not just for Christmas, but to build a sense of wonder at the history, the story of God’s love for us, a love so great that God gave us Jesus to live among us here, on earth.
But Jesus says something that I find very interesting as we enter into Advent. He warns about his second coming: “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life.” Now I understand Jesus warning us about loose living. But he’s equating dissipation and drunkenness with worrying. Think about that. Worrying being equal to drunkenness – an addiction – an illness.
Jesus doesn’t want us to live with heavy hearts that are weighed down with worry. So here, at the beginning of Advent, I pray that we are all able to avoid Advent Anxiety. “I have so much to do!” “Did I get it all done?” No. Jesus knows we don’t need that. Advent Anxiety is fear.
I believe we are meant to live in joyous expectation, not in fear. Waiting in anticipation… for the one who unconditionally loves us. Think of that! Loves us no matter what! Whether we get everything done or not.
Love is often represented by a lit candle.
We call Jesus the Light of the World and we light the candles of the Advent Wreath, one more each week, in honor of his coming. Candlelight, fire, has such meaning for us. Consider the warmth of one candle of the Advent Wreath. Let us look forward to that warmth increasing as we add the light of another candle every Sunday. May we live in the warmth of that light, his light, and as we enter Advent, let us pray, as we did in our Collect, that Jesus grant us the grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of his light. To protect us against Advent Anxiety and to learn to wait with joy.
Happy Advent! Happy New Beginnings!
Let our Journey together begin with God’s blessings!

Homily for the Last Sunday after Pentecost – Nov. 21 & 22

The Feast of Christ the King…Series B
The Church of the Good Shepherd (November 21st, 2015)

Text: John 18:33-37
Title: The Last Words of Fr. Dave+!
Text: Acts 20:32.

On November 8th, 1942, Allied forces under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower launched a bold and dangerous assault on German forces in North Africa. The assault was given the code name OPERATION TORCH. The day after the assault began (on November 9th) Sir Winston Churchill (who was serving as the Prime Minister of Great Britain) was interviewed by a young journalist for the London Times. The journalist asked Churchill to assess the impact of the Allied invasion on the effort to defeat Hitler and Nazi Germany. Churchill paused to ponder the journalist’s question and then, as only Churchill could he replied, “Well…this is certainly not the END…this is not even the BEGINNING of the END….it is only the END OF THE BEGINNING”. This is not the END…it isn’t even the beginning of the END…this is only the END of the BEGINNING!

This weekend, we join Christians around the world in celebrating the great feast of Christ the King, and, in our liturgies, we remember that our crucified and risen Christ is sovereign KING and that one day he will establish his eternal and glorious Kingdom of justice, peace and love in this bruised and broken world of of ours. The feast of Christ the King also marks the end of the church year. But, when you think about it, this isn’t really the end, because next weekend we celebrate the first Sunday in ADVENT…the beginning of a brand new year in the liturgical calendar. So, one liturgical year flows seamlessly into another, and the END is not really the END…it is only the end of a wonderful new beginning!

This weekend also marks the end of something else…not just the liturgical year, but the end of my ministry as your Interim Rector…your “Temporary Shepherd”. I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe an entire year has passed since I preached my first homily on Sat. Nov. 8th, 2014…but it’s true! And all I can say is that these twelve months have been among the richest and most satisfying of my nearly 30 years of ordained ministry. Tonight my heart is filled and overflowing with gratitude for each of you and for the time we have been together and I will never forget you!

But, when you think about it, tonight is not really the END, because next week you will welcome your new Rector…your “Permanent Shepherd”, Mth. Susan Osborne-Mott, and working together in a spirit of partnership, you will create the next chapter in the long and distinguished history of the remarkable parish. And, on December 21st, I will begin my ministry as the 23rd Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Mount Holly. So, just like one liturgical year flows seamlessly into another, so what may appear to be an end for us is actually an exciting and challenging new beginning filled with promise and with hope. And friends that is the way it is for us who follow in the footsteps of the Carpenter from Nazareth! The end is not the end…not permanently…the END is only the end of a new beginning!

According to my calculations this is the 107th homily that I have preached here at GSEC since arriving on the scene last November 3rd (The Feast of All Souls was my first service, but Dcn. Carl Dunn preached the homily and I listened). I want to conclude this final homily by sharing a verse from the Acts of the Apostles. In verse 32 of the 20th chapter of Acts, we hear a portion of the Apostle Paul’s farewell address to the Elders of the Christian community at Ephesus.

I chose this text to complete my preaching ministry here at Good Shepherd because Paul says to the Elders of the Church at Ephesus exactly what I want to say to you this morning:

And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified.

Today is a sad and a difficult day for me (and for Susan). It is more difficult to leave this church and all of you than I ever imagined it would be. .But, like the Apostle Paul, I commend each of you “to God and the message of His grace”. It is the unique role (and the sacred responsibility) of the priest to commend the people to God and God to the people…to commend the sheep to the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd to the Sheep! So, in spite of the sadness, there is real joy because I know that the same God who has been with us this past year will continue to be with his church and with all of you as you welcome Mth. Susan and together you continue your mission and ministry in this community. And I know that the message of his Grace, which has been proclaimed this past year will continue to be proclaimed and God will continue to use that word of proclamation to transform your hearts and to build you up and encourage you in the journey of Christian discipleship..

And so, with a touch of sadness mingled with a profound sense of joy and peace and gratitude, and with the courage, confidence and conviction of faith, we can affirm the great truth of the Gospel of Grace:

For the followers of the Carpenter from Nazareth…the Good Shepherd…Christ the King, No END is permanent. And what we end today is certainly not the END…it is not even the beginning of the END…it is only the END of a wondrous, grace-filled and exciting NEW BEGINNING!
God bless you…

Homily for Pentecost 6 – July 5th, 2015

This homily was offered by parishioner Rich Harrington.

May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O lord.. Please be seated.

Good (Afternoon)/Morning.. This weekend, we celebrate the 239th Birthday of our Nation… We look to our flag, which represents “One Nation, under God”, and we celebrate again our Independence and recognize our land as a land of free people and the home of the remarkably brave.

I recently had the privilege of seeing my daughter Hayley graduate from High School. She graduated from Paul VI, a Catholic High school, and during the Homily, the Bishop advised the graduates that in order to know where you are going in the “new beginning” that each has reached, that you only need to reflect on where you have been, and to think about, and always remember, the “legends” in each of their lives.

Now According to Webster, independence means “freedom from outside control or support”. Each of us, at some point of our lives, may have experienced a yearning for SOME form of independence; from school, from our parents, maybe from a relationship which failed, or from a career that was unfulfilling – but I share with you a notion to think about – that no Christian ever achieves complete independence.

Many of us may have also experienced at some point in our lives, a “Revolution” (as Webster defines among many meanings as) “ a sudden or momentous change in a situation”. Some Revolutions are good, and some are not – but every meaningful Revolution has “legends”, or at least “legendary moments”.

So if I asked “Who were the “legends” of the American Revolution?”, I would expect to hear names like Paul Revere, Robert Paine, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and John Adams.

But What about God? Was God a “legend” of the American Revolution?

To get where I am going with that question, please reflect with me back upon how the colonists lived in the Eighteenth Century. The colonists under British rule lived in a monarchy where the King controlled the Church of England.. the Church leaders were sworn to “obey the rule of” the King. Throughout the colonial period, and even in the early years of the United States, most colonies or states had established churches that were legally recognized as THE official state church. Different colonies privileged different Christian ideologies – Congregationalism, the descendent of Puritanism was the official state church in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, and Anglicanism was the established faith in most of the other colonies, including Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. The early colonists harbored no expectation that there should be any separation between church and state, as that was not how they lived.

But state-supported religion is as an obstacle to true faith. Think of the first two commandments – last time I read Exodus, the King was not God… Those with little or no wealth or standing under the King’s church, left the Church of England in droves to become worship as Separatist Baptists, New Light Presbyterians, and Methodists. Freedom of worship for individuals – and freedom from government influence for churches led to the flourishing of Christian spirituality in America. And by the way, by 1840, the Methodist Episcopal Church was the largest religious denomination in the country, and the Baptists were not far behind.

Now a “legend” is someone who has fame and some level of notoriety in their achievements, and some significant effect on people’s lives. So while it is commonly inferred that religion was a direct cause of the American Revolution, and legendary Patriots of many religions came together to declare our independence – the true “legend” of the American Revolution was Christ.

So yes, not only was Jesus present with the colonists, he CALLED the Patriots to declare their independence, to bring together ONE Nation, Under GOD, from the thirteen colonies under the rule of the King.

The colonists had to sacrifice all outside support to take on the British, risking their lives (and many lives were lost), almost entirely on the notion that it was the right thing – the only right thing they could do. People of many different faiths came together for one common purpose – to put God before the King.

There are many examples of Christian influence in the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Forgive me for modernizing the texts of some of our national archives, but the concept from our Declaration of Independence that “all persons are created equal”, and that we, each of us and collectively are endowed by our Lord with certain unalienable rights, among them the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The First Amendment concept that the government shall neither prohibit the free exercise of religion by any people nor establish any religion by means of law, and the Ninth Amendment concept that the establishment of rights by our Constitution shall not be construed to disparage the rights of others come from the very core of Christian beliefs, and very well represented in the practices and preaching of the 21st Century Episcopal Church.

According to the story in Exodus, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on two stone tablets. The fundamentals are still the same. Our greatest obligations are to worship God frequently and to worship only God, to protect life and persons against injury, to protect the bonds of the family, to protect commerce and law, to protect our parents (and our children, and those who are unable to protect themselves), to be truthful, and to not take what is not rightfully ours. God calls US, and continues to call US to create a government which is right and just equally and for everyone.

God even saw to it that the American Revolution was successful. Think about this: During the Easter Vigil every year, we read the story where Moses leads the Israelites across the Red Sea, allowing them to cross on dry land, protecting them from the charging Egyptian chariots, leaving the Egyptians, ruled by pharoh, to later drown in the Sea.

But did God not also bring the coldest and snowiest of winters to Colonial Pennsylvania at a key point of the Revolutionary War to hold back the British, ruled by their monarch, while a wounded and outnumbered Gen. Washington’s Army bunkered down in Valley Forge to heal and regroup and eventually outlast them?

God is good.. All the time.. Back then.. and Even more so now..

As great as our nation is.. as economically and militarily powerful as we are, these same ideals are under attack, not just by our adversaries, but within our own borders..

Some are challenging the freedom of public religious expression – expression not only of the Christian faith, but the Jewish faith, the community of Islam, and the expression of ANY religion or use of any religious reference.

Some are misconstruing the right to bear arms outside the context of the Constitutional purpose of a well-regulated militia, and insist that access to certain weapons which serve no traditionally lawful purpose be maintained by people with no role in the security of our communities, or our nation.

The balance between maintaining privacy and public security in managing the technology of our times is eroding the security of us both individually and as a nation.

And we continually as a society are debating WHICH rights are endowed to us by our creator – what is included and what is excluded in the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and injustices remain to which, we – as a society – continue to look the other way.

Maybe God is calling US – each and every one of US – to come together for a revolution – to revert back to many of the ideals upon which our nation was founded, in a contemporary context. It may be time for a sudden or momentous change in our situation. It IS time to graduate to a “new beginning” where we look back at where we have been, individually, but not just individually, and as a Parish, but not just as a Parish, and collectively as a NATION to think about who our “legends” really are, and both listen to AND ACT UPON what our Lord is calling each of us to do.

At Good Shepherd, We are not colonies of different families, we are ONE Parish family, and a family that needs to unite and grow together.

We need to be supportive of each other, and our Parish, and our Diocese, and both plan and provide for a stronger future for the mission of all of them.

We have an obligation to God to get his message and teachings out into the community – to send out the Good News of his love for all of us, and to bring others to him. Let’s not just put a sign on the door and welcome those who find the door – let’s take our work outside the red doors, and share with others how great it is to be here!

I am very proud to be a Christian American, but we must work together with people of all faiths to re-revolutionize our Great Nation with the true ideals, Christ’s ideals of liberty and equal justice for all.

We can, and we will – with God’s help.