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Reflections Archive for 2002
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A Christmas Message
God chose to come into the world as a baby child, not as a prophet's message, not as a spirit, not even as words, but as a human being....

--From the sermon "The Story of Christmas"
by The Rev. Canon William A. Kolb

God With Us
God's kingdom is now. God's power is now. God's glory is now....
--From the sermon "For the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are Yours, Now and Forever."
(The Lord's Prayer Series)
by The Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel and The Rev. Canon Renée Miller

Why Wait?
In our world today, waiting and watching are seen as unproductive.
-- From the essay "The Joy of Waiting"
by The Rev. Canon Renée

Forgiving Ourselves
Another kind of trouble that comes from thinking we can be perfect is when we find we cannot forgive ourselves....
--From the sermon "Forgive Us Our Sins, As We Forgive Those Who Sin Against Us"
(The Lord's Prayer Series)
by The Rev. Canon William A. Kolb

Boundless Love
Jesus didn't have boundaries like you and I have....
--From the sermon "From Common Sense to Spiritual Sense"
by The Rev. Dr. Daniel P. Matthews

A Thought for Thanksgiving
The grace of God--in it we live our lives, and if there is nothing
we can do to take that away....
--From the sermon "The Full Life"
by the Rev. Joanna Adams

Why Be Silent?
"Silence," writes Joan Chittister in "Illuminated Life," "is the lost art in a society made of noise." I agree...
--From the essay "Why Be Silent?"
by The Rev. Margaret W. Jones

What Does It Mean to Lead a Spiritual Life?
Let me begin with a definition. I believe that this definition is true regardless of the faith tradition. The spiritual life of any person is the path that a person chooses to follow in response to the God within.
--From the essay "What Does It Mean to Lead a Spiritual Life: A Christian Perspective"
by the Rev. Dr. Kenneth A. Corr

Living with Our Questions
It has been said that the hallmark of spiritual maturity is an increasing capacity to tolerate ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty....

--Ffrom the essay "Getting From Sunday to Monday: Am I on the Right Path?" by Linda Douty

This Is Not a Test
Ironically, it is often when we do feel inadequate or sinful that God's love and grace come to reassure us and turn us around.
--From the question "What if Christian teachings fill me with feelings of guilt and worthlessness?"
by The Right Rev. Robert W. Ihloff

Wounded Healers
When I was a young clinician, I thought my ministry was about helping others heal....
--From the essay "Bound by Brokenness" by Ron Johnson, Ph.D.

The Sacrament of Letting Go
This title phrase is used by Macrina Wiederkehr in her excellent book of prayers and reflections Seasons of Your Heart....
--by the Rev. Dr. Douglass M. Bailey

An Active Soul
The dictionary definition of activity is: 'an exertion of energy.' Every human being can identify with that understanding of activity....
--From the essay
"Simplicity of Activity" by The Rev. Canon Renée Miller

The Greatest Partner
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, "Father, hallowed be your name," he suggested many things at once about us disciples and our
relationship to God.
--From the sermon "Hallowed Be Your Name" by The Rev. George S. Yandell

A Love for Us All
Paul Tillich, arguably the greatest religious scholar and writer of modern times, certainly supports the view of Jesus....
--From the sermon "Not to the Special People, But to the Ordinary Folks"
by The Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel

A Word about Fear
One of my favorite banners that has emerged here at St. Paul's Chapel [at Ground Zero] is a red banner with one word on it, one
large word anyway, and the word is "Courage." ...
--The Rev. Lyndon Harris, Priest-in-charge, St. Paul's Chapel
Ground Zero, New York

--From the feature "Hope: Rising from the Destruction of Ground Zero"

A Present of Presence
Being present to the present is, itself, a spiritual practice of great magnitude....
--From the essay "Simplicity of Time"
by The Rev. Canon Renée Miller

An Answer to a Prayer
I believe that God's grace precedes our prayers, that in a sense,
God's answer is offered before we even ask....

-- From the question "What if God doesn't answer my prayers?"
by the Rev. Margaret Gunness

The Paradox of Faith
"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for
my sake will find it." ...

--From the sermon "Where Is Your Heart: With God or with Your Family?"
by The Rev. Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr

Opening Yourself to God
Progress in prayer and in the spiritual life in general can be
measured, in one sense, by a movement from active to passive...
--From the essay "Opening Yourself to the Guidance of God"
by Linda R. Douty

God With Us
God challenges us to put aside pretending, to face life squarely
and realistically, to recognize that it truly can be ruthlessly
--From the sermon "Horse Manure and Hope"
by the Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel

An Active Faith
I propose that instead of rushing into the sea of work, we should
go headlong into a struggle for faith....
--From the essay "Putting Faith First"
by Vance Wilson

A Simple Message
There are many reasons for slipping into simplicity....
--From the essay "Simply Satisfied"
by The Rev. Canon Renée Miller

Grief and Hope
Despite the strength and comfort we may derive from the all-loving
embrace of those around us, we must go alone to the darkness of
missing our loved one....
--From the sermon "Grief and Hope"
by The Rev. William A. Kolb

Blessed are the Peacemakers
All of us have opportunities every day to make peace....
--From the sermon "In Pursuit of Peace"
by The Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel

The Great Interpreter
Yes, Jesus reveals God to me, but Jesus of Nazareth also reveals
myself to me. He interprets not only God, he interprets who we are....
-- From the sermon "In the Beginning Was the Word"
by The Rev. Dr. Brooks Ramsey

The Voice of God
In my understanding, one of the most significant things
that the very life of Christ indicates is God's full and irreversible
acceptance of us....
--From Literature as an Invitation to Spiritual Growth, Online Book Group
by the Rev. Margaret Gunness, discussing Parker Palmer's Let You Life Speak

The Nature of Faith
I think one of our big problems is that we've never really understood
clearly the nature of faith....
--From the sermon "Faith: Another Avenue to Knowledge"
by The Rev. Dr. John R. Claypool

Charting Spiritual Growth
As adults, when we talk about growth, it is much more personal,
internal, intimate than change...
--From the essay "Life is the Great Adventure."
by Earle Donelson, Ph.D.

A Legacy of Risk
Abraham was moved to begin his journey of discovery by accepting
great risk, sustained by a great faith...
--From the sermon "Physician Heal Thyself: Therapeutic Cloning, Stem Cell Research and the Silence of the Church"

by The Very Rev. John Bryson Chane

Taking the Time to Talk with God
Conversations with God are few and far between. Many of us struggle
to find enough time to pray, and when we do, oftentimes it's while
we're on the go...
--From the essay "The Art of Spiritual Conversation"
by The Rev. Allen F. Robinson

he Truth of It All
We are very interested in whether a biblical event really took
--From the sermon "Facts, Truth and Faith"
by The Rev. William A. Kolb

The Community of the Cross

"Whoever does not follow the cross and follow me cannot be my
disciple," Jesus said. To carry the cross means at least this....
--From the sermon "No Man Is an Island"
by The Rev. Joanna Adams

Our Search for Truth

As you ask the question, "I, why? Why do I believe what I do?" I
invite you to realize that authentic truth is of the same cloth no
matter where you find it....
--From the sermon "Faith: Another Avenue to Knowledge"
by The Rev. Dr. John R. Claypool

Our Sole Guarantee

To say that we are free, free to live by grace alone, free to
improvise, does not mean we fail to prepare or study or reflect or
--From the sermon "A Moment of Grace"
by The Rev. Dr. Bill J. Leonard

What Is God Saying...
Consider this, that it is God who is acting on you - actively acting
- through the very existence of the earth itself...
-- From "Literature as an Invitation to Spiritual Growth
An Online Book Group:'Traveling Mercies' Discussion Guide"
by the Rev. Margaret Gunness

Praying with Your Heart

Nothing opens us to the Spirit more radically than prayer.
-- From "Getting From Sunday to Monday: Opening Yourself to the Guidance of God" by Linda Douty

A Reason for Hope
Can there still be healing and reconciliation?
--From the sermon "Be of Good Cheer" by the Rev. Dr. Robert Hansel

The Deepest Mystery, The Highest Hope

In that wonderful Academy Award-winning film "Shakespeare in Love,"
there is a funny and recurring line from one of the characters....
--The Rev. Dr. Douglass M. Bailey

The Basis of Hope

The Christian faith is essentially a religion of hope--an expectation
and longing for what cannot be seen....
--From the sermon "Saved in Hope" by Dr. John M. Mulder

Who We Are
Profoundly imperfect--doesn't that describe each of us? And wouldn't
we all like that to be different?
--From the essay "Profoundly Imperfect" by The Rev. G. LaRue Downing

The Gift of Being
Is there a way that those of us afflicted with suffering, is there
a way that we can turn that into something constructive and not
let it continue to wound us?
--From the sermon "A Wounded Healer"
by The Rev. Dr. John R. Claypool

The Face of Our Faith

As people of faith, we are continually looking for ways to live
our faith with others....
--From "Love in Action: Relationships as an Expression of Faith"
by Jerry L. Harber D. Min

Rules for Living
Find your gifts and talents. Find those things that, by temperament
or training, you find that you like so much that you would do them
for nothing....
From "One Day at a Time" by The Rt. Rev. Don E. Johnson

Our Spiritual Seasons

Everything you need to know about life--about the mysteries of life, about the secret to life--can be learned in a garden, if you pay attention....
--From "Lessons Learned in a Garden" by the Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems

The Dust of Life
In a lifetime of Ash Wednesdays which begin yet another Lent, here are some of my one-liner learnings:
--From the essay "Absurd and Awe-full Ashes"
by the Rev. Dr. Douglass M. Bailey

The Here and Now
No, this isn't a scary time; it is an exciting time....
--From the sermon "Branching Out Toward God"
by The Rev. Dr. Daniel P. Matthews

What Do We Worship?
I believe that the remarkable progress of human society - the progress of the human mind and spirit - is not of our doing....
- -From the sermon "Crumbling Temples" by The Rev. Margaret B. Gunness

On the Balcony with Dr. King
For many, many years, I must tell you, I wondered why was I there?
--From the sermon "Another Chance" by The Rev. Dr. Samuel "Billy" Kyles

Unwrapping the Cocoon
There is the great temptation in our day to retreat into the family, to leave society and the world to fend for itself....
--From the sermon "No Man Is an Island" by the Rev. Joanna Adams

Embarking on the Spiritual Journey
What does it mean to "take the journey ourselves"? Remember that we have free will....
-- From the essay " Getting From Sunday to Monday" by Linda R. Douty

The Voice Within
Pay attention - to your tears, to your laughter, to your fear....
-- From the essay " Listening to Your Life: The Starting Place for
Spiritual Growth"
by Rob Campbell, M.Div., M.A.

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