The Rev. James Stickney
The Second Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 7Sunday, June 22, 2014
Listen to this…Sermon 2014.06.22 JS
The Rev. Elaine H. Breckenridge
The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Listen to this…Sermon 2014.06.15 EHB
The Rev. Elaine H. Breckenridge
Sunday, June 8, 2014
The Day of Pentecost
Listen to this…Sermon 2014.06.08 EHB
Pentecost 2014 Preached by Elaine H. Breckenridge on June 8th 2014
“Suddenly from heaven, there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind…and divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.” I’m seeing red, it’s Pentecost all right.
Something of a momentous nature happened to the followers of Jesus on the first Pentecost. Our reading from Acts gives us many images to describe it–a mighty wind, fire, people praying in the Spirit. In fact, there was so much excitement in the air that bystanders accused them all of being drunk. They were not drunk but they were Holy Spirit filled.
For years I have thought of the Spirit in terms of wind and fire. And with those metaphors I have thought as the wind of God as being powerful– blowing through the church–sent to disturb a few cobwebs here and there in some of its darker corners.
Grace Kinser will be holding a bake sale after both services on June 15. (Father’s Day) Gift your father or grand-pa with a treat and help Grace get to Philadelphia. For more information, see announcement under Youth Event. If you would like to bake something to help with this project contact, Kimberly @ email@example.com
On Saturday, June 28, Randy Knutson, with 3 other people, will be ordained a Transitional Deacon in the Diocese of Northern California at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (2620 Capitol Ave. Sacramento) at 11 am. St. John’s members are invited and encouraged to attend; please sign up if you are going, for car pooling, etc. Maps and directions are available to help you.
New Ministry Celebration, Sunday June 29. At both Services, we will welcome Randy as the new deacon in our midst.
ALL PARISH BBQ and Potluck
SUNDAY, JUNE 8, 2014, 11:45 a.m.
Waterslide, Games and Fun
Hotdogs will be provided.
Last names A-L to Bring Dessert
M-Z to Bring main course.
Grace Kinser has a unique opportunity to attend the EYE, a gathering of Episcopal teenagers from around the country this July. This year’s event will be held in Philadelphia and will include three days of mission doing hands–on labor in an urban setting. Grace will be traveling with other teens from our Diocese with The Rev. Lyn Morlan.
Attending EYE can be a life-changing event for youth and I am glad that the Diocese has encouraged Grace to attend this event. However she needs our help to get her there as financial aid from the Diocese is limited.
Your tax deductible gift can be made for Grace’s scholarship by writing a check or putting cash in envelope earmarked for St. John’s Rector’s Discretionary Fund.
Additionally, Grace will be holding a bake sale after both services on June 15. (Father’s Day) Gift your father or grand-pa with a treat and help Grace get to Philadelphia. If you would like to bake something to help with this project contact, Kimberly or the Church Office.
We need help carrying out the next steps in our Capital Campaign!
Capital Campaign Orientation Saturday, June 7, 9 to 12 at the church
Leader: Chuck Cole, an expert fundraiser from the Bay Area, who was highly recommended to us by the Episcopal Church of St. John, in Aptos, CA.
Topics to be covered:
*The fundraising process we will be using
*Types of help needed
*How to visit fellow members and friends of the church to talk about the Capital Campaign (including role-playing and other hands-on training)
Please come – then decide if you are “Called to be a Blessing” through visiting other parish members, making follow up phone calls, record-keeping, planning the Big Celebration when the campaign ends, etc.
The Rev. Elaine Breckenridge
The Sunday after the Ascension
June 1, 2014
Listen to this…Sermon 2014.06.01 EHB
So have you heard the story about the man who went to the horse race track? He went there with one purpose: to place a bet or two and win. As he went to place his first bet he saw the strangest thing–a priest sprinkling one of the race horses with water right at the starting gate. So the man watched the race before placing a bet. The horse that had been sprinkled won the race. “Interesting”, thought the man. He waited for the next race and sure enough there was the priest sprinkling yet another horse and sure enough that horse won the race. So the man decided to take action on the third race. He carefully waited to see what horse the priest sprinkled and then placed a bet, putting all of his money on the anointed animal.
The race started. And.. after just a few yards… the horse dropped dead. Well the man was irate; found the priest and said. “Father, what gives? I saw you bless two horses with holy water and those two horses won the race. So I put all my money on the third horse that you blessed and yet he dropped dead. What are you playing at here?” “Ah, my son”, said the priest, “You must be a Protestant.” “Yes” the man replied, “but so what does that have to with this?” “Well”, said the priest, “you obviously don’t know the difference between a blessing and the last rites”
Last rites. In the Easter Gospels, the women friends of Jesus went to his tomb to offer the last rites, special prayers and rituals for the dead. And yet the body of Jesus could not be found. Then the Gospels tell us that for weeks the Risen Christ would come and go, making appearances to the disciples during that extraordinary period of time before his Ascension. This morning we heard two accounts of his final encounter with the disciples before he was removed from their sight. And with that, we can imagine that the disciples were first shocked and then perhaps heart broken. One would expect the disciples to grieve.
And yet the New Testament does not give us a portrait of grieving or depressed disciples. Far from it. As we heard in our Gospel this morning, the disciples were filled with joy as they said good-bye to their teacher and savior. In our first reading from the Book of Acts we learn that the first followers were filled with renewed zeal, purpose and energy.
We might expect that the Ascension of Jesus would be a moment of sadness and closure, yet in reality it was the beginning of something joyful and new. And the something new was that the disciples, the followers of Jesus , became Apostles. They were sent out.