Rector’s Blog2020-05-04T12:19:23+00:00

Clergy’s Blog

PENTECOST: The Birth of the Church

In the Gospel according to St. Matthew (28:19) we read: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit….” This is known as the Great Commission. But how was it to be inaugurated and accomplished? In biblical times there were several pilgrimage festivals a year in the Jewish tradition; the first of which was Passover, followed fifty days later

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THE ASCENSION: The Exaltation of Christ

From the Gospel according to St. John we read (Chapter 16:7): “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” With these words, spoken to his disciples, Jesus foretells of two post resurrection events that they will eventually experience: his ascension into Heaven


SAINTS AND SHRINES: Destinations for Our Pilgrimage

A shrine is a church or other sacred place visited for special devotion. Typically they are visited as part of a pilgrimage for purposes of thanksgiving, penitence, intercession, or petition. It is a spiritual ascetic practiced by many faiths and has existed for a very long time; in fact it is recorded in the Gospel according to St. Luke that Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, went to Jerusalem every year to observe the feast of


THE AGNUS DEI: The Symbol of Our Atonement

The Agnus Dei, from the Latin, the Lamb of God, became part of the Roman Liturgy of the Eucharist officially late in the seventh century; though references to the Lamb of God are found in several earlier liturgies. Jesus as the Lamb of God enters the New Testament very early in the Gospel according to St. John (Chapter 1: 36): “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”; and



Did you know that our Eucharistic Prayer, Rite I, that we use at our 8:00am Sunday morning service (p. 323 in the Book of Common Prayer) dates back to the 11th century when St. Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, introduced it at the influential Salisbury Cathedral? It is important to keep in mind that in the 11th century all the churches in the “West”, including Great Britain, were Roman Catholic; consequently all the liturgies of the


THE LORD’S PRAYER: The Eternal Invitation to Prayer

THE LORD’S PRAYER: The Eternal Invitation to Prayer From the Gospel according to St. Luke (11:1) we read: “Lord, teach us (the disciples) to pray…”; and what ensues is our Lord Jesus Christ teaching the disciples The Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer has become an ever-present component of virtually every liturgy, including those used at St. Mary’s. Some even suggest that since the Lord’s Prayer is the quintessential prayer of our faith, coming as it

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Farewell to St. Mary’s April 26, 2020

Dear beloved members and friends of St. Mary’s Church, This is my last opportunity to address you as your Rector. I remember 15 years ago, getting to know St. Mary’s through your search committee. It was like falling in love. St. Mary’s was delightfully winsome; and seemed to offer me a place to be the kind of person and priest that I wanted to be. I am profoundly grateful to you for allowing me to serve

A last message. April 26, 2020

What do I think really matters in my life and in my ministry? What do I hope I have managed to share a taste of in my ministry with you at St. Mary’s’?  You can probably answer these questions as well as I can by now. I don’t think I’ve ever had more than about three or four main insights, and you’ve got them from me over and over again during these last fifteen years.

On the writing and preaching of sermons (St. John Henry Cardinal Newman)

April 21, 2020 To a Student at Maynooth in Joyce Sugg, A Packet of Letters, Oxford 1983. As to the writing or delivery of sermons . . . the great thing seems to be to have your subject distinctly before you; to think over it till you have got it perfectly in your head; to take care that it should be one subject not several; to sacrifice every thought however good and clever, which does

Second Sunday of Easter Sermon

Today’s Gospel (John 20:19-31) invites us to celebrate that Christ is truly risen, that he is to be found in the assembly of his disciples, the Church, and that he breathes his Holy Spirit into us so that we share his divine and human eternal life.  We hear how he gives authority to his church to forgive and retain sins, creating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Confession, for our spiritual healing.  We see also the dangers

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