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Showing posts from January, 2014

Inviting people into the Net; Fishing for People

The Rev. Robert P. Travis Epiphany 3rd Sunday Sermon – 8:00am and 10:30am Church of the Ascension, Knoxville TN RCL Epiphany 3 Year A 1/26/2014
Scripture Text: Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27:1,5-13, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 4:12-23

Sermon Text: I am not a good fisherman. I enjoy the pleasure of standing, or sitting in nature, on a lake or river and have enjoyed fishing with other men and women many times.
But my number of catches is laughable. In fact, when I was a teenager, I was blessed to be able to go with a group of guys from my church's youth ministry on a sort of pilgrimage in creation trip to the Boundary Waters In Minnesota for a week of canoeing and fishing.
That whole week, while we ate our catches every day for lunch and dinner, some of the best northern pike and walleye I have ever had, I did not catch a single fish. Nope, not even one.
So I am not a good fisherman, though it is not for lack of trying.
And my late uncle William tried really hard to teach me how to fish. Here are so…

Hawley Family Ecumenical Council on Baptism

The First Sunday after Epiphany The Baptism of Our Lord January 12, 2014 Christian Hawley
Is 42:1-9
Ps 29
Acts 10:34-43
Mt 3:13-17

The great part of living in a blended family is that I get constant practice at working with other denominations in meaningful ways. My dad and his wife are nondenominational evangelicals, my stepsister and her husband are Southern Baptist youth ministers, my sister and her family along with my stepbrother and his wife are Methodists. My mom is a sacramental pilgrim bouncing between Methodist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic churches, and my grandmother is so Roman Catholic that she still calls me to pray to St Anthony for her when she can find her car keys. As I was recently reminded, the holidays for me are like attending a conference on ecumenism.
Unlike most conferences though we actually have to make concrete decisions based on our varying backgrounds, and one of those decisions revolves around baptism. My sister is set to have her third child t…
Christmas 2, Year A, January 5, 2014 The Episcopal Church of the Ascension Danger and Deliverance The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess
I. Introduction. Today is the Last of the Twelve Days of Christmas. As is readily apparent, there is a dramatic change in the plotline of the story of the infant Jesus. Once we had heard the prophetic words of John the Baptist, the Christmas story became incredibly tender and gentle. Granted, the housing accommodations in Bethlehem were sketchy, but Mary and Joseph coped well, and the discomfort of the stable was quickly overshadowed by the reassurance of the star overhead, the angelic choir, and a group of dazed but highly impressed shepherds. And later, there is the visit of the three magi or kings arriving after a long journey from the east, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense. and myrrh. Overall the story is peaceful and harmonic and has formed the core plot for many a pageant. But lest we think that the story of Jesus will be a…