Clergy Reflections

Clergy Reflection – March 23, 2018

RE-MEMBERING THE FAITH STORY IN A SINGLE WEEK Beginning with Palm Sunday (March 25th this year), the church calendar invites us into a week-long journey which strives to renew our awareness of elements of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life (full schedule of services at St. John’s is posted on the website:  www.sjcb.org ).  I Read more…

Clergy Reflection – March 9, 2018

Impatience From Mount Hor the Israelites set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way.  The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  For there is Read more…

Clergy Reflection – January 26, 2018

Grace “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. It can be received gladly or grudgingly, in big gulps or tiny tastes, like a deer at the salt.”         Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies   I am Read more…

Clergy Reflection – January 19, 2018

Christian Unity   The church calendar observes the Confession of St. Peter on January18th and the Conversion of St. Paul on January 25th each year. Peter is the first one to name Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and is traditionally associated with those of the emerging Christian community who were Read more…

Clergy Reflection – January 12, 2018

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.   – Letter to the Colossians 3:12 I stopped by a local neighborhood store the other day to pick up a bottle of wine. Being a small neighborhood store, it sells both alcohol and basic staple foods and snacks.  Two children Read more…

Clergy Reflection – December 8, 2017 – copy

  Joseph, being a righteous man…   As we understandably focus our attention on Mary and the baby Jesus as we approach the celebration of Christmas, Joseph can easily become a voiceless figure in the background. To be sure, Joseph does get his own saint day on the church calendar – March 19th – and Read more…

Clergy Reflection – December 8, 2017

Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.   This first line of the classic Advent hymn suggests the timeless search for a spiritual center in the midst of the stressful realities of the world which so easily Read more…

Clergy Reflection – November 24, 2017

  Of That Which Matters         To begin at the end, verger Joe Malek is doing fine after feeling “lightheaded” at the 10:00 AM service on November 19. He was treated at Beverly Hospital and released on Monday after overnight observation. Now for those who were not at the 10:00 AM service Read more…

Clergy Reflection – November 17, 2017

Come, ye thankful people, come When we gather for worship each Sunday, we engage in Holy Eucharist. I happen to like the sound of the word “eucharist,” and I also realize it has an “episcospeak” ambiguity. The word comes from Greek eucharistica, which in turn comes from the Hebrew berekah. The word means to give Read more…

Clergy Reflection – November 3, 2017

 I Sing a Song of the Saints of God   During the first part of the Twentieth Century, a young mother in Britain composed spiritual songs to sing to her children and to teach them about the Christian faith. Her name was Lesbia Scott, and one of those hymns – I Sing a Song of Read more…

Clergy Reflection – October 6, 2017

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. –Acts of the Apostles 2:42 Does this description of the earliest followers of Jesus sound too good to be true? It should, because it is too good to be true. The early Christian movements (yes, there were more Read more…

Clergy Reflection – September 29, 2017

Clergy Reflection September 29, 2017   Dear Brothers and Sisters, Tomorrow I will have the honor of leading a wedding service in the afternoon. On Sunday I will rejoice to preside at a celebration of the Eucharist. Several weeks ago I served at our Deanery Confirmation service, and on November 5th I will Baptize two Read more…

Clergy Reflection – September 22, 2017

Clergy Reflection September 22, 2017     Dear Brothers and Sisters, One of the great sea changes I have noticed during my 22 years of ordained ministry is the role of the family in church. Family life has become so stretched, and calendars so full, that many families find their weekends are booked. They cannot Read more…

Clergy Reflection – September 15, 2017

Clergy Reflection September 15, 2017     Dear Brothers and Sisters, Tomorrow St. John’s is pleased to host the deanery confirmations. Stephen Voysey and I will be welcoming Bishop Alan Gates to lead the service. Our own George Lockwood will be among those being confirmed, the choir will be leading us in music, the bishop Read more…

Clergy Reflection – September 8, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, When I was a child my Dad taught me the silly phrase, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” And so it is this coming Sunday the 10th. As a fun way to kick off our program year this fall we are inaugurating “Celebration Sundae!” We will be Read more…

Clergy Reflection – September 1, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,   What a joy it is to return to you after a restful vacation! Bill and I had a lovely time with all our kids and grandkids in Maine for a week, in addition to seeing old friends. Then I spent two weeks getting Duncan and Emma ready for school and Read more…

Clergy Reflection – August 25, 2017

  Clergy Reflection for 8/25/17           As a former teacher, September always feels like to start of a new year, the academic year. It was a time of energy and enthusiasm as I looked forward to what might happen differently this year than past ones due to new people being involved Read more…

Clergy Reflection – August 18, 2017

  SKOKIE     My suburban Chicago high school had about 4,000 students during my school years. About half of them came from Jewish-heritage households and the other half from Christian-heritage households. I can recall going to my friend Jeff’s house for Seder, and he coming to my house for a Confirmation party. Neither one Read more…

Clergy Reflection – August 11, 2017

DELIVERABLES My Father hired and oversaw the work of many people in his career as an investment banker. Even as a young child, I can recall him talking to my Mother about his work day. One salesman had irked him by failing to follow up with a customer who had a known interest in a Read more…

Clergy Reflection – July 7, 2017

Clergy Reflection     Working 9 to 5 In my childhood memory, most of the adults I knew who worked outside the home were called “white collar” workers and held what were called “9 to 5” jobs, meaning they arrived at an office by 9:00 AM every work day and left it at 5:00 PM Read more…