Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sermon from 3/30

Randy Knutson,
Sermon, Lent 4A
3/30/2014

“Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” I DO!

Todays Gospel is a familiar story and a long reading; but I’m glad we hear the whole story, not only the miracle itself, but what comes after. For as life changing as the story of the man born blind is, these additional parts can also inspire us. With the inclusion of the whole story, we hear not only the disciples question, but in the end, we get the response Jesus is pointing to; that what will happen in this blind man’s life will manifest God work. For the blind man, in telling the story and sharing it, sharing what happened to him, in him we will see growth in his faith, even if those who ask the questions do not change their perspective. So who is blind here and who sees?

An unnamed man born blind sits every day, as he has during much of his life, asking for alms, money, donations, day in, day out. It is the only life he knows and is his lot in life. The disciples ask the age old question people have asked when they see someone who is different or is de-formed. What happened here? Did this happen later or was he born like this? And Why? Whose fault is this? When Jesus answers, he replies the man was born this way, not solely for this purpose, but that now, God will work something mighty through his condition, in spite of it.

After Jesus removes his blindness, it is his neighbors and friends who question him, wondering how this happened, that he now sees. He has to repeat his story and tell again the events that lead to his new vision, the beginning of his new insight. He has to live into this new change, this ability to now see.
“Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” I DO!

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Soul Kitchen Dinner, May 30

Our next Soul Kitchen community dinner will be May 30,  2014. The Soul Kitchen Dinner shares a simple, nutritious meal and fellowship with anyone who comes through our door. It is our hope that the parish will join us the last Friday of each month for food and fellowship.

Family Meeting with Mother Elaine, April 27

Attention families with  upcoming 7th grade students through High School students. Please plan to attend a meeting with Mother Elaine at 12:00 noon on Sunday, April 27 to talk about changes in our Youth Program!

4th Annual Women’s Retreat

4th Annual Women’s Retreat ECCO in Oakhurst, May 2-4.  Flyer and Registration information are available at the ministry table.

The Arts at St. John’s – May 18

The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble
Picture2
Sunday, May 18th at 3:00 pm
Tickets: $15 available at the door.

Truly a feast for the ears, the St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble is a professional
a capella quartet performing a variety of sacred and secular Russian music, ranging from ancient chants and folk songs to modern and contemporary composers. They have had outstanding reviews on previous US tours, so we are excited to welcome them to our area.

Perfect harmonies!
Enchanting music!
Classics and folk tunes!

 

Sermon from 4/20

The Rev. Elaine H. BreckenridgeEaster Day, April 20, 2014
Listen to this… Sermon 2014.04.20 EHB

Sermon from 4/13

The Rev. Elaine H. Breckenridge
Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014
Listen to this… Sermon 2014.04.13 EHB

 

Sermon from 4/6

The Rev. Elaine Breckenridge
Lent 5A            April 6, 2014
Listen to this…  Sermon 2014.04.06 EHB

“There once was a wandering Chinese man named Cheng-wa, living in Lime House and a girl name Shirley.” So began a story by Dennis, a character played by Robert Redford in the movie Out of Africa.  The context was an evening dinner party and the hostess, Karen Blixon, play by Meryl Streep had agreed to tell a story based on any sentence her guests would provide. It was a fantastic story that Karen Blixon told based on the one sentence provided by Dennis.

With this morning’s Gospel, how can we not think about the power of story? We are immediately drawn into the narrative. We feel the pain of Mary and Martha’s loss. We see Jesus finally arriving at the tomb and marvel at the depth of his grief. We can only wonder what the family and friends of Lazarus expected of Jesus at that moment. Perhaps he would give a eulogy, offer some words of comfort to the mourners. Martha certainly had no immediate expectations. Remember her words, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” On the one hand, she is caught up in the regret of the past. On the other hand, she did have faith in the promise of the resurrection in some distant future. But in that moment she was caught between the reality of death and the hope of resurrection.
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