Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from June 13, 2021

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With apologies to anyone listening who knows anything about civil engineering, I  begin today reflecting on bridge-building. A bridge can take us from the known to the unknown, across ravines of misunderstanding to the firm ground of mutual appreciation for another’s perspective and vision. The Greek speaking world of St. Paul in his missionary travels put a lot of stock in persuasion. In the culture of Western Europe and North America we are accustomed to persuading others to our point of view. You can see how well that is working on our political landscape. In the culture of the Jews …

Roberta Felker’s Homily from the Feast of the Holy Trinity, May 30, 2021

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Feast of the Holy Trinity Holy Wisdom Monastery May 30, 2021 Isaiah 6:1-8; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17 Roberta M. Felker “What do we pray for but the equation that helps us make sense of what happens in our daily lives? What do we believe in if not that which tells us we’re alive? “ ~ A. Van Jordan These two lines from the American poet, A. Van Jordan’s splendid collection bookend today’s reflection. What do we pray for but the equation that helps us make sense of what happens in our daily lives?  What do we believe in if not that …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily from Pentecost, May 23, 2021

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Pentecost • Acts 2:1-21 • Rom 8:22-27 • Jn 15:26-27,16:4b-15 • May 23, 2021 Alison Long’s homily right after Easter made an impression on me. Why, indeed, were most of the disciples still locked in fear in the upper room even after the news of the resurrection? Why, for that matter, am I holed up at home, now that local pandemic conditions have eased and I’m vaccinated? I think it’s because recovering from trauma takes time, and faith needs the soil of healing to take root. So here we are, weeks after the Resurrection, celebrating Pentecost. Pentecost was the Greek …

David McKee’s Homily from April 25, 2021

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FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER April 25, 2021 Acts 4:5-12 1 John 3:16-24 John 10:11-18 I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as God knows me and I know God.  When I first read this passage from today’s gospel text, I remembered the long summer afternoons at our neighborhood pool, when our children were young.  Most of the parents would be lounging around the pool, talking or reading, and occasionally taking a little dip in the water to cool off.  The children were all in the pool swimming and playing with one another, …

Sue Larson’s Homily from April 18, 2021

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    Third Sunday of Easter – Earth Day Sunday – April 18, 2021 Grace to you and peace from God the Creator, the Holy Spirit and Christ our Redeemer. Amen.      When we reflect on the seasons and days of the church year that we have just come through, there is a familiar pattern to them all. The Passion stories of Holy Week and Easter have common scenarios and traditions, from Palm Sunday to Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning that we know and find spiritually nourishing for our faith.  Following Easter, though, the stories in the New Testament range …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from Easter Vigil, April 3, 2021

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Spoiler alert, for Risen Christ appearance stories stay tuned to the first three Sundays of the Easter season where John and Luke will fill us in on breaking news. If the end of Mark’s account of the Gospel leaves you wondering why he did not provide detailed descriptions of the various sightings of the Risen Christ Jesus, imagine what the first readers thought of this a mere 30 or 40 years after the events of Jesus’ earthly life. Those first readers and hearers would know some of the stories through oral tradition.  Mark avoids re-telling them for a reason. Mark, …

Patti La Cross’s Homily from Good Friday, April 2, 2021

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Good Friday 2021                                                                               Holy Wisdom Monastery Isaiah 52:13-53:12; John 19:16-30                                                   Patti La Cross   I suspect that today we approach the cross not only a year older,  but humbled – by our own experiences and losses, by the suffering of those we know and those we don’t, and by our growing awareness of the compounding impacts of racism and poverty. These opening opportunities to worship in person are indeed a boost for the gathered, and hopefully an encouragement to those who may soon be here. Wherever we are now, we turn to reflect on this central event of our faith:  …

Jerry Folk’s Homily from Holy Thursday, April 1, 2021

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Maundy Thursday, April 1, 2021 Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, WI             Today’s Gospel is the beginning of Jesus’ long Farewell Address which  continues through chapter 17 verse 26. The leitmotif of this whole Address is the word which summarizes Jesus’ entire ministry—Love. Today’s Gospel begins with love—Jesus’ love for his own, whom he loved to the end;  and it ends with love. “A new commandment I give you…that you love one another just as I have loved you. That’s how people will know  you are my disciples.” The body of this Gospel in John’s story of Jesus’ last attempt to …

Rex Piercy’s Homily from March 14, 2021

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Sermon for March 14, 2021 John 3:16 is perhaps the New Testament’s most fondly remembered verse. Still, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this verse. I do love it, of course, because on the one hand, John 3:16 is as William Barclay describes it, “Everybody’s text.” On the other hand, whenever someone mentions it, the image that pops up in my mind is not the verse itself, but some guy holding a sign with that text reference emblazoned on it as he sits in the end zone at a televised NFL football game, or at least that was how …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from March 7, 2021

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As we pray, so we believe. This statement (or rather its Latin counterpart) is attributed to a Christian in the 5th century. It describes well how our worship, when practiced regularly, informs how we see God’s hand working in us and around us. The triduum of Holy Week, (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday) are at the very core of this statement and our worship during Lent flows from it rather than to it. Our worship in Holy Week confirms for us that Christ Jesus broke the bonds of sin and death, rising victorious once and for all, establishing …