Showing posts from September, 2014
The 13th Sunday after Pentecost September 7, 2014 Episcopal Church of the Ascension The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess For the Ministry of the Church
Introduction. Today is Rally Day ~ the day we celebrate the re-gathering of our community as we enter into a new program year and leave summer vacations behind. We worship in two different places this morning ~ here at 8, and at Grace Point, our Diocesan Camp, at 10:30. In observance of this day, our lectionary readings come from the Book of Common Prayer in a section entitled “For Special Occasions.” These readings celebrate who we are, why we exist, and what we are to be about.
II. So who are we ~ this community that calls itself The Episcopal Church of the Ascension? My basic response is that we are a thriving community of believers situated here on the top of a hill, committed to be a place in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and enacted. We are Christ-followers, and as Paul tells us in Ephesians, Christ Jesus is our corne…
Persistence in the Face of High ImprobabilityAugust 17, 2014 Episcopal Church of the Ascension The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess Introduction. The un-named Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel reading was extraordinarily persistent. She broke through the protective circle of disciples surrounding Jesus and pleaded her case, even when Jesus’ initial reaction was not positive. Her determined persistence ~ acting on her faith ~ carried the day. The probability that she could convince Jesus to heal her daughter was very low, yet she persisted. She was a Gentile, a woman, and a person from a nation that had typically been in deep conflict with the Jews; yet she persisted. In writing this sermon, I reflected upon times in my own life when I have persisted in the face of what seemed like overwhelming negative odds. For example, when Peg and I were first married, we had difficulty in conceiving a child. Tests indicated that the underlying problem was mine, and we were told to give up hope. But with G…

Carrying the Cross Together

The Rev. Amy Morehous
Proper 17
August 31, 2014

Last week Fr. Brett reminded us that we are the keeper of the keys, we
ARE Peter - we are equally imperfect, equally called by God. We are fully
known by Jesus - and we have the chance to come to know him and to
proclaim him as the Christ. The Messiah. We all have the chance to stand
before Jesus and answer the question "who do you say that I am?"

So the question Jesus asks us in the Gospel today is if Jesus is the Christ
- the Messiah, then so what? What are we going to do about it? So what?
Has it made any difference in how you live your life? Today Jesus asks the
disciples - asks us - what have we done to follow him?

As Fr. Brett admitted last week, he didn’t want to preach on “who do you
say I am?” because he has trouble answering that question for himself.
Well, I’m here to tell you that I wrestle with that "so what?" - with my own
stubborn will - far more than I wrestle with knowing Jesus as Christ. The
three things most frequ…