A sermon for Y’All

Here is a sermon that I preached on Sunday. You can find the audio here. (This one is more fun to listen to than to read, I think).

I have learned in the course of my travels that it sometimes takes people a few minutes to atune to the way I speak. I’ve learned that people sometimes need a few sentences before they get used to my accent – the way that I speak.

And of course, it works the other way around too.

I am getting used to listening to the sounds of voices that I am not used to hearing. And of course, coming to here, the first time I’ve been in the South has meant me having to listen extra carefully.

Before I came on this here I decided to lose weight and get fit. Over the course of a year I managed to lose 30 pounds. What I hadn’t realised was that when I came to the South, the hospitality would be such that I would put those 30 pounds back on. During breakfast.

Whilst I was eating that first breakfast, I had something to ponder. For the very first night that I was here I had the strangest of dreams. I’ve been up at Sewanee, the University of the South. It is a beautiful university and an excellent seminary and I was their guest. That first night, I dreamed that I had encountered angels. It is a strange dream to have these days though it would not have been particularly unusual in Biblical times. [Indeed, one might think that a very great deal of John’s Revelation, part of which we heard this morning, was just such a dream].

Anyway, I woke up on my first full day in the South absolutely sure that I’d encountered angels in my dreams. And as I came to, I desperately tried to remember what they had been saying. I knew that something was important. I tried and tried.
However, to this day, I can’t remember anything of the conversation.

I do remember one thing though. [Read more…]

Who we are

Right, here is a little verbatim to get you thinking.

The scene is a concert given by a famous jazz musician a few weeks ago in an American cathedral. I’ve been nudged to the front to sit with the bigwigs. As we sit waiting for the music, I hear this conversation going on somewhere behind me.

Person 1: Wow, isn’t this space amazing. I never knew it was so beautiful.

Person 2: I know, I’ve never been in here before either.

Person 1: What is it anyway? What kind of church?

Person 2: It is the Episcopals

Person 1: Well, it is really special, the building and all. Which ones are the Episcopals again? Are they the ones that have divorce?

Person 2: Yes, they do. And women priests. They’ve got one here!

Person 1: Really? Wow! All this, and divorce and women priests. Maybe I should give them a try…

Now, how does that exchange make you feel? Does it lift the soul or not?  Can you flesh out your feelings with some further thoughts?