Palm Sunday – April 14, 2019

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder

Today, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of what in traditional Christian churches is called Holy Week. It is the most spiritually intense week of the year for Christians. It’s the time of year we seek to enter more deeply into the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. To set the scene we just heard St. Matthew’s account of the Passion of Christ. If we were to follow the plan as it is laid out in the Book of Common Prayer, we would be back in church every day this week, where in the service of Holy Communion on Monday and Tuesday we would read through Mark’s account of the Passion; Wednesday and Thursday we would read through Luke’s account of the Passion; and on Friday, Good Friday, we would bring have the climatic reading of the Passion according to John. That’s pretty intense.

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Mothering Sunday – March 31, 2019

“Good Parenting 101” – Beth Christianson

In lots of ways, I still consider myself to be pretty new to this Anglicanism thing. Before I began coming to church at St. Mary’s, my impression of the Anglican church was synonymous in my mind with England and Englishness. But I’ve learned a lot about our rituals, our church calendar, the festivals and feasts and fasts we observe, and I’ve come to appreciate how much deeper into the history of the Church our Anglican roots go. The lectionary we are following in Lent dates all the way back to the 5th century. We share feasts and fasts with other liturgical churches, holy days which Christians have been observing for nearly all of our history.

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Lent 2 – March 17, 2019

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder

Sermon on Matthew 15. 21-27

The Gospel lessons in the first three Sundays in Lent comprise what we might call a mini course in demonology. Everything you wanted to know about demons but were afraid to ask. Well, may not everything you wanted you needed know about demons.

So last Sunday Jesus goes into the wilderness and is tempted by the devil himself on three separate occasions, which serve to inform our understanding of the triple renunciations Christians make in Holy Baptism.

Today we have the story of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was tormented by a demon.

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Lent 1 – March 9, 2019

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder

Sermon on Matthew 4. 1-11.

The Gospel lesson for the First Sunday of Lent is the same every year. It’s the story of how Jesus after His Baptism was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he fasted 40 days and 40 nights and was tempted by the devil.

Starting today and for the next two Sundays we are going be considering the reality of demonic temptation, which are the obstacles that we face on our journey to Jerusalem where at Easter we will celebrate the Paschal Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

For converts to Christianity preparing for baptism at Easter, these lessons would have been very instructive. Christian baptism begins with a triple renunciation of the demonic powers of the world, the flesh, and the devil. But just because in baptism and in confirmation you renounced the demonic powers and received the Holy Spirit, doesn’t mean that the demonic powers are going to leave you alone. St. Peter, in a letter to the newly baptized, wrote, “Be sober, be watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith. (1 Peter 5, 8,9)

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Advent 4 – December 23, 2018

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Rev’d. Canon Claude Schroeder

Sermon on John 1:19-29; Philippians 4:4-7

Today, we are nearing the end of our journey through Advent.

But we started our service today, as we have throughout Advent, in the dark.

The ringing of the Advent bell comes to us both as a “wake up call” but also as ‘warning chime,’ as we will sing in our offertory hymn today.

And were given once again, in the hauntingly beautiful chant tones of the Advent Prose, to confess and lament the wreckage that sin has brought about in our lives, and in our relationships, in our marriages, in our families, in our communities, and also in the Church.

And so were also given to express our deep longing and need for “the heavens to drop down from above, and the heavens to pour down righteousness.”

This is Advent.

The root of that word “righteousness” is the same root for the word “justice.”

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Advent 3 – December 16, 2018

St. Mary’s Anglican Church – Canon Claude Schroeder

Sermon on Matthew 11:2-10; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s the hap-happiest season of all…

I’m sorry. I just can’t do this. Besides, you did not come to church today to hear me sing that song, did you? I would hope not.

It’s Advent after all, and Advent, as I read this week, offers a resounding ‘No’ to sentimentalized Christmas cheer, instead, invites us to name our sorrows, lament unfulfilled longings, pay attention to the pain of waiting in the wilderness — all with quiet hope. “Advent begins in the dark.” (Duke Kwon) Continue reading “Advent 3 – December 16, 2018”

Advent 2 – December 9, 2018

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder

Sermon on Luke 21:25-33

Advent is the time in the Church when we focus on the promise of Jesus’ coming.

The Collect for Advent declares, “He came to us in great humility and He will come again in his glorious Majesty to judge both the living and the dead.” In between these two comings, there is a third coming and that is His coming to us right here, and right now.

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Trinity 25 – November 18, 2018

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Beth Christianson

Endings and Beginnings

We are fast approaching the end of one season in our church year and the beginning of another. In Trinity season, we have been working our way slowly through Mark’s gospel, following Jesus as he taught, healed the sick, raised the dead, and annoyed the Pharisees. Only today and next Sunday remain before Advent begins again, and today is in fact our last day in Mark’s gospel. Continue reading “Trinity 25 – November 18, 2018”

Remembrance Sunday – November 11, 2018

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder

Ordinarily, today we would have been attending to the cycle of readings appointed for Trinity XXIV in our church calendar.

But today is not an ordinary day.

Today is November 11, a day in our civic calendar that is given over to ceremonies and prayers in remembrance of the war dead.

We will be engaging in such a ceremony at the end of our service.

But this November 11 is also the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and so it seemed good and right that we should interrupt our cycle of readings, and attend to the readings assigned for services for peace.

I want to begin this morning by discharging my duty and responsibility to you on this Remembrance Sunday to announce and declare to you the good news that the war is over. Continue reading “Remembrance Sunday – November 11, 2018”