Sermons 2006
"That they may be one" General Convention 2006, Easter 7B 28 May 2006, John 5:9-15

Home | "Light and Darkness", Christmas 2C, 31 December 2006, John 1:1-18 | Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2006 | "What then shall we do?", Advent 3C , 17 December 2006, Luke 3:7-18 | "Luke's Gospel", Advent 1C, 3 Dec 2006, Luke 21:25-31 | Which Jesus? Proper 29B 2006, 26 November 2006, John 18:33-37 | Apocalypticism and Fundamentalism, Proper 28B, 19 Nov 2006, Daniel12; Mark 13:14-23 | "The Widow's Mite: All and Everything", Proper 27B, 12 November 2006, Mark 12:38-44 | "The Commandments to love God, Neighbor, One Another" Proper 26B, 5 November 2006, Mark 12:28-34 | "Sight -- and Seeing" Proper 25B, 29 October 2006, Mark 10:46-52 | "Baptism: Overwhelming Washing", Proper 24B, 22 October 2006 Mark 10:35-45 | "God's Transforming Love", Proper 23B, 15 October 2006, Mark 10:17-31 | "Divorce", Proper 22B, 8 February 2006, Mark 10: 2-9 | "Hard Sayings and Sharp Words", Proper 21B, 1 October 2006, Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 | "First or Last?" Proper 20B, 24 September 2006, Mark 9:30-37 | "Unintended Consequences", Proper 19B, 17 September 2006, Mark 8:27-38 | "Ephphatha! Open up!" Proper 18B, 10 September 2006, Mark 7:31-37 | "Rituals", Proper 17B, 3 September 2006, Deuteronomy 4:1-9; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 | "Choices." Proper 16B, 30 August 2006, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; John 6:60-69 | "Come to the Table." Proper 15B, 20 August 2006, John 6:53-59 | "Do not be afraid." Proper 12B, 30 July 2006, Mark6:45-52 | "General Convention and Jesus' Compassion", Proper 11B, 23 July 2006, Mark 6: 30-44 | "Basics for the Journey", Proper 10B, 16 July 2006, Mark 6:7-13 | "Jesus and Rejection", Proper 9B, 9 July 2006, Mark 6:1-6 | "Trust, Faith, and Belief" Proper 8B, 2 July 2006, Mark 5:22-43 | "Storms, Fear, and Faith" Proper 7B, 25 June 2006, Mark 4:35-41 | Mighty things from Small, Proper 6B, 18 June 2006, Mark 4:26-34 | Trinity, Pentecost 1, 11 June 2006, Exodus 3:1-6; John 3:1-16 | The King Jesus Fire-Baptized Holy Spirit Church, Pentecost , 4 June, Acts 2:1-11; Jn 20:19-23 | "That they may be one" General Convention 2006, Easter 7B 28 May 2006, John 5:9-15 | "Friends, friendship, and love" Easter 6B, 21 May 2006, John 15:9-17 | Mother's Day, two mothers' love!" Easter 5B, 14 April 2006, John 14:15-21 | "Interesting, this Good Shepherd!" Easter 4B, 7 May 2006, John 10:11-16 | "How do you prove you are alive?", Easter 3B, 30 April 2006, Luke 24:36b-48 | "Do you believe because...." Easter 2B, 23 April 2006, John 20:19-31 | "He goes before you to Galilee...." Easter B 2006, 16 April, Mark 16:1-8 | "Journey into darkness", Palm Sunday B, 9 April 2006. Mark 11:1-11, 14:32-15:47 | "Sir, we would see Jesus!" Lent 5B, 2 April 2006, John 12:20-33 | "Miracles and Faith, Ordinary and Not", Lent 4B 2006, 26 March 2006, John 6:4-15 | "Rage, Rampage, and Outrage", Lent 3B, 19 March 2006, John 2: 13-22 | "Images of the Cross", Lent 2B, 12 March 2006, Mark 8:31-38 | "Baptism, Temptation, Redemption," Lent 1B, 5 March 2005, Mark 1:9-13 | Ash Wednesday , 1 March 2006, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | ""Nanny McPhee' and transfiguration", Epiphany Last B, Mark 9:2-9 | "Jesus, leprosy, and the law of Moses", Epiphany 6B, 12 February 2006, Mark 1:40-45 | "Healing, wholeness, forgiveness, and love", Epiphany 5B, 5 February 2006, Mark 1:29-39 | "Haints, Unclean spirits, and demons" Epiphany 4B, 22 January 2006, Mark 1:21-28 | Epiphany 3B, 22 January 2006, "God's Call -- and Our Response", Mark 1:14-20 | Epiphany 2B, 15 January 2006, "Call and Response", John 1:43-51 | Epiphany 1B, 8 January 2006, "The Baptism of our Lord -- and Ours", Mark 1:7-11 | The Holy Name, 1 January 2006, Luke 2: 15-21

Easter 7B 2006 Acts 1:15-26; John 17:11b-19; General Convention 2006

From Acts of the Apostles: “Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship…..And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.”

Church of the Resurrection at one point chose its vestry by drawing names from a hat. I asked the rector if sometimes that could lead to problems. He said, “Not if you are careful about whose name goes into the hat.”

Most of us receive the Virginia Episcopalian which latest issue briefly touched upon the forthcoming 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio, June 13-21, 2006. I offer the following reflections and observations:

Unlike our parish lay delegates to the Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia, deputies to General Convention are not bound by resolutions of vestries or Annual Council itself. By canon and custom each deputy is enjoined to vote according to conscience and good reason. The deputies elected to General Convention from our Diocese are sensible and responsible people, not given to extremes. We can trust their good will and judgement, even though we may not agree with them entirely.

One of the main items on the agenda is the election of a new Presiding Bishop and Primate to succeed Bishop Griswold. The Presiding Bishop is elected by the House of Bishops and confirmed by the House of Delegates. Whoever is chosen will indicate something about the direction of the Church although that may be unclear until the next year.

The nominees represent a wide spectrum of the Church but not the extremes. I have met one of them and know of several of the others. We would be in good hands with any one of them.

There is one woman nominee, The Bishop of Nevada, Katherine Jefferts Shori. By all accounts she would make a terrific Presiding Bishop. It will be interesting if she is elected and confirmed. This would have much the same effect as the gay bishop’s confirmation three years ago, particularly in those countries where the status of women is extremely low. Most of these countries are in Africa whose archbishops, with the exception of South Africa, are already in impaired communion with us because of our ordination of women beginning in 1976 as well. Most have openly declared that they are not in communion with us since 1976, so nothing will change there. They still take our money, though.

One possibly controversial resolution that has surfaced concerns the history of slavery in America. There are some fears that this may lead to demands for and accession to reparations. I do not know how far such resolutions will go. But given the reduced support for the National Church following last General Convention, I do not see reparation demands succeeding. Our efforts to eradicate poverty everywhere on the planet and slavery in the Middle East, Africa, and wherever else it continues to exist should take a higher priority with the more limited means available to us. But who knows. We can only pray that, if not in our life times, perhaps in the next generation race relations will be different.

The Standing Liturgical Commission continues to tinker with new and alternate liturgical forms for life transitions, celebration of new ministries, and burial rites. Much of this is as a result of sensitivity to political correctness with regard to gender. I do not think there is a serious move afoot to incorporate these liturgies into our Book of Common Prayer, at least not yet. At most they will be made available for those parishes wishing to use them. We will not do so here.

Related is the effort to replace our Prayer Book lectionary with the Revised Common Lectionary. It may well succeed. I hope not. My experience of the Revised Common Lectionary with the Thursday Morning Lectionary Study Group Methodists who use it is that is that the various readings do not support each other very well. But we can live with it – it isn’t an improvement.

Other resolutions ask for our support (0.7% of our annual budget, both parishes and dioceses) of the United Nations eight Millennium Development Goals which have been approved by all 191 member nations, including those where the problems are worst and about which some have done little on their own. To be accomplished by 2015 these are very ambitious goals. You can read about more about them in the parish newsletter and on the UN website.* I personally think we would be more effective locally where many of the same problems exist.

And finally the issue concerning human sexuality, when it comes before General Convention – and it will, will not be presented in the form of approving the consecration of a gay bishop living in a committed same gender relationship. Although the Diocese of California at its recent election had at least two gay priests on its ballot, The Right Reverend Mark Andrus, Suffragan Bishop of Alabama, and formerly a priest of our diocese, rector of Emmanuel, Middleburg, and chaplain of Episcopal High School, was elected. Bishop Andrus and his wife have two college age daughters.

While I am grateful that the issue will not present itself as it did in 2003, I don’t think that any minds in the fundamentalist dissident groups (The American Anglican Council and the Anglican Communion Network) will be changed or hearts softened. In discussions with other priests around the diocese, we are agreed that there is probably nothing General Convention can do to satisfy their demands nor will there be any General Convention expression of repentance great enough to satisfy the fundamentalists.

I fear there will be a schism. What a shame that would be. We would all lose something. We can live in the tension – but not at the price having one group dictate that we follow their narrow beliefs to the exclusion of our own generous theology and understanding of things divine. I hope enough of the more moderate remain in the Church so that the evangelical voice will still be hear. in our councils and deliberations.

I do not think it likely that the Archbishop of Canterbury will consent to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada being thrown out of the Anglican Communion. What remains to be seen is whether or not he will also recognize the Anglican Communion Network separately as a part of the Anglican Communion in its own right, should it leave the Episcopal Church.

So we are still in deep and stormy waters. God willing we can hold together and refocus on God’s love for us and our love for God and our neighbors, God’s children everywhere regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, creed, religion, language – whatever makes us different one from the other. Please pray for General Convention and for this dear old church which has nurtured us and sustained us over so many centuries.

In any case we here will continue to love the Lord and our neighbor and continue with the work God has given us to do in this time and in this place.


a. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
b. Achieve universal primary education.
c. Promote gender equality and empower women.
d. Reduce child mortality.
e. Improve maternal health.
f. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
g. Ensure environmental sustainability.
h. Develop a global partnership for development.

Wicomico Parish Church
PO Box 70
Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579