The Beatitudes of Baptism

  “Lord, give us inquiring and discerning hearts, the courage to will and persevere, a spirit to know and love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.” Amen.   In Thornton Wilder’s famous play Our Town, one of the main characters Emily Webb dies and enters an afterlife in which dead […]

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The Name Above All Names

Eight weeks ago, we began our journey through the book of Exodus, which recounts the dramatic story of the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, their subsequent journeys through the wilderness and the establishment of a covenant with their God rooted in the Torah. Throughout this journey, we have been attending to the names in […]

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The Empathy of St. Francis

There was a discussion in a First Grade religion class focused on St. Francis of Assisi. After school, a First Grader came home very excited about what he had learned and blurted out to his mother, “Guess what, Mommy? Today, I learned that St. Francis was a sissy!” Now one practical way to ensure that […]

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The Meaning of the Hebrew Letter Aleph

Readings for the Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost (Track 2) Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 Psalm 25:1-8 Philippians 2:1-13 Matthew 21:23-32 This sermon was preached at the Chapel of St. Francis at San Francisco Towers on October 1, 2017. “God guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly.” This morning I want to talk about […]

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St. Michael, All Angels and Imagination

Readings for the Feast Day of St. Michael and All Angels Genesis 28:10-17 Psalm 103:19-22 John 1:43-51 “The true sign of intelligence,” according to Albert Einstein, “is not knowledge but imagination.” The presence of angels in the Scriptures invites us to develop this intelligence by exercising our imagination, pushing us to see beyond the boundaries […]

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Grace That Saves a Kvetch Like Me

By now, you know how much I like to glean wisdom from our Jewish brothers and sisters, especially when it comes to reading the Hebrew Scriptures. This is partly because I have Jewish background on my father’s side. My great grandfather grew up in a shtetl in the Ukraine and I have memories of colorful […]

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Taking Action Like Nachshon

Three weeks ago we began our series of readings from the book of Exodus or from what our Jewish brothers and sisters call the Book of Names, Shemoth. I invited us to consider how our individual names and how our collective name (Redeemer) call us to embody God’s love in San Rafael and the world. […]

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Prayer and Service to the Poor

My mantra for ministry for about the last decade has been “prayer and service to the poor.” Prayer and service to the poor. These two pursuits have been the primary mission of my youth ministry in southern California and the mission of the Marin Episcopal Youth Group since it began in 2012. Sometimes when I […]

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