Sunday’s Sermon on Vocations

Here’s what I said on Sunday about vocations

[Sorry about the poor audio. We’ve some major problems with the sound system that are going to take some weeks to sort out – however, the Vestry are well aware that Something Needs to be Done].

The Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church have asked the whole church today to reflect on vocations. The idea is that on this Sunday, when the readings tend to reflect on the idea of Jesus as the great shepherd of the flock, we think about the notion of calling. So we must think about how we discern God’s calling and what we might make as an appropriate response.

I am aware as I begin to open up that subject that we are stepping on sacred ground and must mind where we go. Immense amounts of sadness and disappointment have been the result of vocations, and not exclusively clerical vocations, which the church has not been able to affirm and rejoice in. On the other hand, this is, as the gathering place for the diocese, a place where vocations are delighted in and celebrated in ordination services and in various ways of thanksgiving for lay ministry, including the Ministry Celebrations Service in the summer.

But I do with caution. And I begin with my own experience. [Read more…]

Vocational Preaching

Many blessings upon the Rev Cedric Blakey, the Cathedral’s Vice Provost whom I still think of as my new colleague, even though he has been here since the start of December. It is Cedric’s anniversary of priesting today, St Peter’s Day. Many congratuations to him on the anniversary.

He was preaching about it on Sunday and it is a sermon worth hearing again if you were there, or listening to if you didn’t catch it the first time.

I think that often, the kind of preaching that is the most enjoyable and fruitful, is preaching where the stories and images that relate to the preacher intermingle with both the stories and images of the biblical text in question and also those of the community amongst whom the sermon is preached. It takes a little while to find those images when you move to a new congregation. However, I got a sense of that happening, when Cedric was preaching last Sunday.

So, blessings upon Cedric today. I’m delighted he is here and I know that members of St Mary’s are appreciating his ministry hugely. One of the best blessings you can give a priest is to listen to their preaching and engage with it from your own place and think about it in the context of your own stories and images.

So, here’s last Sunday’s sermon.

Take a listen and have a ponder yourself.