Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

The surety with which God’s salvation will come

Collect: Proper 10[i]

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Genesis 25:19-34 . . . Rebekah gives birth to Esau and Jacob

Psalm 119:105-112 . . . 
A pledge to remain faithful to God’s teachings so as to reap the rewards of faithful living.

Romans 8:1-11 . . . God’s Spirit is alive and at work in us

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 . . . Jesus describes his ministry through the parable of the seeds and their various responses.

Carla Pratt Keyes, Pastor of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches the parable of the Sower from Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 in a sermon called “All Ground Is Holy.” She asks, “What if we were to trust that God has made holy all the ground – that even in this time and this place, God knows what God is doing, God’s Word is powerful, and God’s harvest is abundant?” How would that increase the harvest?



The Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Hope that our sorrows and burdens will be lifted through God’s saving power

Collect: Proper 9

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor:  Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67 – – Isaac finds his wife Rebekah and marries her so that God’s promises might continue to be fulfilled.

Psalm 45:11-18 — The psalmist sings of God’s glorious kingdom of power and compassion.

Romans 7:15–25 — Paul proclaims that we are freed from our moral weakness and inclination to sin by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 —  Jesus offers rest to all who long for relief from their burdens.

Father Michael Renninger, Pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches a sermon from Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 called, “Pulling Together with Jesus.” “My yoke is easy and my burden is light,” Jesus said, but it’s even easier and lighter when you don’t have to pull it alone.


Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Collect: Proper 8

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone;  Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Genesis 21:8-21 — Sarah’s jealousy as she fears that Ishmael may supplant her son Isaac in her husband Abraham’s affections.

Psalm 86: 1-10, 16-17 — A prayer to the gracious and loving Lord for mercy and guidance

Romans 6:1-11 — Christian disciples  have been joined with Christ in his death through baptism, so they are to know a resurrection like his.

Matthews 10:24-39 — Jesus warns his disciples of troubles to come, but offers them the assurance of the Father’s care and his own readiness to support them before God when they speak up for him.

Rachel May, Pastor of Boulevard United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia, takes on that difficult saying of Jesus, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me” (Matthew 10:42-44), and especially the idea that those who welcome his disciples will be “rewarded.” What? Does Jesus have a rewards program? And is that what it takes to get people to do ministry?

Third Sunday after Pentecost

God’s strength will always help us as we witness to our faith

Collect: Proper 7[i]

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Genesis 21: 8-21 . . .  Abraham banishes his maidservant Hagar and the child Ishmael.

Psalm 86: 1-10, 16-17

Romans 6: 1b-11 . . .  Paul reminds the Roman community that God’s great gift of salvation overflows freely

Mathew 10: 10:24-39 . . .  Jesus reassures his disciples of their great worth to God.

The Rev. Dr. Amy K. Butler, Senior Minister of the Riverside Church in New York City and a popular preacher, speaker, and writer, preaches a sermon called “Nobody Goes It Alone,” based on Matthew 10:24-39. Butler insists that even though the church of Jesus Christ is deeply flawed, we need it. We need each other. As Maya Angelou once said, “Nobody, but nobody, can make it out there alone.”

Ordinary Time After Pentecost

We  are reminded of God’s saving work in our world and are  summoned to  participate and to cooperate in efforts to accomplish God’s plan.
Collect: Proper 6

Keep O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

Exodus 19: 2-8a . . .  God recounts the saving deeds performed for the people and makes a covenant with them.

Psalm 100 . . . Song of the Lamb.

Romans 5:1-8 . . .  Paul reminds us that our reconciliation to God in Jesus Christ will lead to our salvation.

Matthew 9:35–10:8 (9-23) . . .  Jesus sends out the twelve disciples to carry his work and message throughout Israel.

Dr. Jim Somerville, Pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church and co-founder of A Sermon for Every Sunday preaches a sermon called “What’s a Disciple to Do?” based on this week’s Gospel lesson from Matthew 9:35-10:8. Jesus told us to go make disciples, but once they roll off the assembly line what’s a disciple to do? Isn’t that the logical next question? Jesus has some excellent answers


Trinity Sunday

The sufficiency of our Triune God

Collect: Trinity Sunday 

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Genesis 1:1–2:4 . . .   Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness 

Psalm 8 . . .  The Song of Mortal Beings

Canticle 13 . . . Song of the Three Young Men 29-34

2 Corinthians 13:11-13. . .   The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you 

Matthew 28:16-20 . . . remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

The Trinity Is Not Just for Trinity Sunday, But for Every Day of the Year (something to read)

The Trinity is a Mystery; it is a perception of God (a video Sermon)

Recommended Reading, “The Experience of God: Icons of The Mystery” by Raimon Panikkar.  or “Simply Christian” by Bishop Tom Wright.

The Day of Pentecost

The arrival of God’s Spirit at Pentecost

Collect: The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:1-21 . . . God’s Spirit, poured out on the disciples, astonishes and empowers the community

Psalm 104:25-35,37 . . . An invocation to the creator of creation

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 . . . Paul explains that we come together to worship and serve in the Holy Spirit.

Readings from John . . . Jesus comes to his friends and breathes on them the Spirit of peace and forgiveness.

The Rev. Courtney Stamey, winner of our Pentecost Preaching Contest, shares her winning sermon, “What Did You Say?” based on Acts 2:1-21. Rev. Stamey is a Pastoral Resident who splits her time bi-vocationally between First Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC, and Peacehaven Community Farm


Seventh Sunday of Easter

A testimony to the power of Christian community.


Collect: Seventh Sunday of Easter

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to that place where our savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

Acts 1:6-14 . . .  God’s Spirit astonishes and empowers the community.

Psalm 68:1-10, 33-36 . . .

1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11 . . . Peter encourages the community to consider the blessing—intimacy with the Spirit—that is theirs when they suffer for God’s sake

John 17:1-11 . . .  Jesus prays that God would protect his disciples’ unity.

Dr. Jim Somerville, Pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church and Co-Founder of A Sermon for Every Sunday, preaches a sermon called, “The Whole World is Watching,” from John 17:1-11. Originally conceived as a meditation for Worldwide Communion Sunday, this imaginative piece focuses on Jesus’ prayer that his disciples “might all be one.”

Ascension Day, Thursday, May 26, 2017

Collect: Ascension Day

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Acts:1-11 . . . the last events and instructions of Jesus’ earthly ministry before he is lifted up to heaven

Psalm 47 . . . Gathering  Before the Throne: a God of order and providence in the midst of a world of chaos.  . . . a sense of rightness with the world.


Psalm 93 . . . God clothed in Creation: God is both immanence and transcendence.  There is a dynamic quality to the divine Presence that does not leave the creation alone or its creatures in affected. Yes, immanence and transcendence seem to be opposites; it is the Holy Spirit, the advocate, that reconciles, and lets us in on the experience.

Ephesians 1:15-23 . . . Paul gives thanks for the faith and love of the Ephesians and prays that they may see with their inward eyes the power of God, who has raised and enthroned Jesus far above all earthy and heavenly dominions.

Luke 24:44-53 . . . Jesus leaves his followers with the promise of the Holy Spirit and is carried up into heaven.

Ascension Day Sermon – Christ The Trailblazer

Sixth Sunday in Easter

Let Us  Remain Steadfast in Our Witness to the Good News
Collect: Sixth Sunday of Easter

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promise, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, forever and ever. Amen

Acts 17:22-31 . . . Paul’s address in a public forum to the curious citizens
Psalm 66:7-18 . . . A hymn of praise and thanksgiving
1 Peter 3:13-22 . . .  This is guidance for all Christians, counseling readiness to suffer patiently for doing what is right.
John 14:15-21 . . . Jesus promises his followers that those who love him will be guided by the Holy Spirit and will also see him.
Sermon: The Paraclete. Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter, Year A


Published on May 14, 2017