Clergy Reflections

Clergy Reflection – June, 2017

Clergy Reflection June 30, 2017     I love infant baptisms. The guileless little ones “steal the show.” If the candidate vocally rebels at the imposition of the water, it’s just the blockades to the Spirit being knocked down. If the candidate happily accepts it, it’s a contented child. The minister can’t lose! Our candidate Read more…

Clergy Reflection – June 23, 2017

  Dear Brothers and Sisters, Last week I had the wonderful privilege of hosting our talented St. John’s choir at my home in Boxford for an end-of-the-year Choir Party. Most of the choir and their significant others were able to be there and we had a delightful time eating, talking, laughing and catching up with Read more…

Clergy Reflection – June 2, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, This past Monday, it was my honor and pleasure to march as part of the Beverly Farms Memorial Day Parade. Over the course of the almost two hours I had the opportunity to chat with the other marchers including Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill, several of the city council members including Ward Read more…

Clergy Reflection – May 19, 2017

Pentecost People On June 4th, we celebrate the festival day of Pentecost ( literally “50th day,” observed in many Christian communions as the fiftieth day after Easter Day). It is the day when the liturgy focuses on the gift of the Holy Spirit to sustain the Church throughout its life and the spiritual journeys of Read more…

Clergy Reflection – May 12, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Last year I was privileged to join Joanne Patton as her guest for an evening honoring Operation Troop Support. We gathered with many of their volunteers and supporters for a wonderful dinner, music, and awards ceremony. Joanne is one of the founders of OTS, and, as you might imagine, was well Read more…

Clergy Reflection – April 29, 2017

Dear Sisters and Brothers, One of the great joys of my life is sitting by the marsh in our backyard. Bill and I have a couple of chairs back there, and from their seats we can survey a large beautiful marsh, cattails, grasses, woods, damp breezes, and a myriad of wildlife. In the evenings, there Read more…

Clergy Reflection – April 21, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, What a glorious Holy Week and Easter we celebrated here at St. John’s this past week! Spectacular music, humble foot washing, moving prayers, breathtaking flowers, sparkling silver and candles, bread and wine, reverent worship leaders, and the spirit of a community gathered to worship Jesus Christ. To share just one snapshot Read more…

Clergy Reflection – April 7, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,   It began with a cough on Tuesday. By Wednesday I was feeling worse. By Thursday, I had a fever, canceled all my commitments, and stayed in bed. The dreaded flu! I say to God, “Really? You let me get sick just before Holy Week? The busiest time of the year?” Read more…

Clergy Reflection – March 31, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I am not a winter person. I like skiing and skating just fine, but dislike being cold. It’s much more fun to swim and hike and garden in the warmth of summer. So with March “coming in like a lion” and now today “going out like a lion” too, I am Read more…

Clergy Reflection – March 24, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Our Lenten book group is reading The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Fortunately, St. John’s is filled with insightful bookworms who love this sort of stuff and who together generate some wonderful discussions! I happily go along for the ride! The whole book Read more…

Clergy Reflection – March 11, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The most fun I had this past Sunday was singing and jumping around with the kids during Church School. I taught them the song “Father Abraham” with all the accompanying hand and body motions. We sang and waved our arms and legs and spun around, finally collapsing in giggles. We then Read more…

Clergy Reflection – March 3, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Parenting is hard work! My daughter Emma is now 15 and my son Duncan is 18. I only became an empty-nester last fall when they both left home for school for the first time. I know first-hand the challenges of juggling parenthood with the rest of life. St. John’s is filled Read more…

Clergy Reflection – February 24, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, This week two parishioners gave me a great gift: they lovingly criticized me. While that doesn’t sound like much of a gift, it truly is. I confess I don’t like criticism. I don’t like being told that I am wrong or mistaken or hurtful or deficient in some way. It doesn’t Read more…

Clergy Reflection – February 17, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, As I watched the snow fall last week, it was with a peaceful heart as I did not need to drive in it! Last week I was on retreat at St. Margaret’s, an Episcopal convent in Duxbury. Every day I worshipped throughout the day with the nuns, ate my meals in Read more…

Clergy Reflection – January 27, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Did you know that the color of the hangings on the altar tell you what church season we are in? Do you know what a lavabo bowl is? Do you know that our weekly scripture readings are part of a three-year cycle? Are you looking for a unique spiritual practice? These Read more…

Clergy Reflection – January 20, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, On Tuesday evening I led a number of people gathered around the organ as we meditated, chanted, and gently pondered a passage from the “Gospel of Thomas.” Later, as I led the group on a contemplative walk around the semi-darkness of the church, the mindfulness of the exercise heightened my awareness Read more…

Clergy Reflection – January 13, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, This past Thursday as I entered the chapel, I was greeted by a beautiful, graceful greyhound. “Olive!” I exclaimed, “I haven’t seen you in a while,” as I gave her a vigorous rub-down. It was only then that I looked up to also greet Olive’s owner Priscilla Ring, another beautiful and Read more…

Clergy Reflection – January 6, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Throughout my ministry, I have been the privileged confidante of concerns and fears of my parishioners. There was the elderly couple whose grandson was a drug addict. How do they save him? There was the empty nester couple who son transitioned to a woman. Will their friends at church ever talk Read more…

Clergy Reflection – December 23, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I always delight in time spent in Church School with the youngest members of our parish family and other St. John’s events where I may get to know our young people. They teach me a lot! For instance, at the pageant rehearsal this past Sunday, after the holy family had arrived, Read more…

Clergy Reflection – December 16, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters, We celebrated a lovely Blue Christmas service last night. The church was full of candlelight and prayers and hope. I find it one of the most tender and meaningful services of the year. It is when I am privileged to learn about the hurts and challenges of many of you so Read more…