Listen to the Latest Services

Sunday, November 19
Sunday 11 a.m. Eucharist
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Thursday, November 16
Thursday 5:15 p.m. Evensong
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Listen to Featured Sermons

Sunday, November 19
Sunday 11 a.m. Sermon
Preacher: The Rev. Jude Harmon
Sunday 11 a.m. Sermon
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The Rev. Jude Harmon’s sermon manuscript will be available soon.

Sunday, November 12
Sunday 11 a.m. Sermon
Preacher: The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw
Sermon from Sunday's 11 a.m. Eucharist
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The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw’s sermon manuscript will be available soon.

Listen to Past Sermons

Sermons from the last six months are listed below. Older sermons can be heard through iTunes podcast.

Sunday, November 19
Sunday 11 a.m. Sermon
Preacher: The Rev. Jude Harmon
Sunday 11 a.m. Sermon
Read sermon

The Rev. Jude Harmon’s sermon manuscript will be available soon.

Sunday, November 12
Sunday 11 a.m. Sermon
Preacher: The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw
Sermon from Sunday's 11 a.m. Eucharist
Read sermon

The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw’s sermon manuscript will be available soon.

Thursday, November 9
Evensong Sermon
Preacher: The Rev. Jude Harmon
Sermon from Thursday's Evensong service
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Sunday, November 5
We are all God’s children now
Preacher: The Rev. Dr. Ellen Clark-King
Sermon from Sunday's 11 a.m. Eucharist
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Beloved, we are God’s children now.

 

On All Saints Sunday we celebrate all God’s beloved children. We celebrate the saints you see in the stained glass windows – our family picture album of the great and glorious and frankly somewhat weird characters who are heroes of our faith. This year we remember those we see in the other family album of the AIDS quilts – mainly young men, mainly gay, who allowed us to share in their hard journey of suffering, allowed us to embrace them as brothers and sisters. And every year we give thanks for all the unsung saints of our own lives who have brought God’s love a little closer to us.

For this isn’t primarily a day for the Shakespeares and Einsteins or even the Kardashians of the kingdom of God. It’s a day for the everyday Janes and Joes whose names are not remembered by the church but who are equally precious in the sight of God. This is not a day when we celebrate the shining accomplishments of the few but the blessed loveliness of the many.

Beloved, we are God’s children now.

Let me tell you of one of my own saints, my oldest brother – Geoffrey. His life was desperately short – he was just three years old when he died from the multiple disabilities that had been with him since birth. I was only born a few weeks before Geoffrey died so I never got to know him. But I lived in the gift of his legacy. In one way Geoffrey could not be said to have achieved anything in his short life – he was never even able to walk or speak or feed himself. But in another way he achieved so much. His birth began my mum and dad’s journey as parents, while his total dependence gave them and his other carers an opportunity to offer unconditional love. He opened the hearts of those around him by his need and vulnerability and so made the world a more loving, God-filled place.

There is no life which is too restricted, too little, to be a beacon of God’s love. To be a saint in someone’s life. This is one of the ways that our faith is so stunningly counter-cultural. We don’t place premium value on doing and accomplishment, we place it on being and on loving. These 13 young lives who are being welcomed into the cathedral family today are all equally beloved by God. They will continue to be equally beloved and equally valued whatever they achieve or fail to achieve in their lives. There is no competition here – no way to gain more of God’s love or to lose even a drop of it – we are God’s beloved children now.

And this takes us some of the way but not quite all the way into the story of All Saints Day. For it’s impossible to think about All Saints without thinking about death as well as life. All these people remembered around us in the windows and the quilts are dead. They haven’t ‘passed’ – after all no one gets to fail the test of death – they died.  And death is scary, let’s not pretend otherwise. That’s why we all dress up in silly costumes and go out in the dark on hallowe’en – to scare away the monsters and bogeymen that hide in the dark of death. Getting some life-giving sweetness along the way from the candy given by the kindness of strangers.

Death is scary partly because it brings with it the heartbreaking pain of loss for those left behind. And it is also deeply scary because we don’t know what happens to us next. But our readings today give us some hints if we are willing to accept them. There is the reassurance of Revelation’s promise that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Then there is the letter of John admitting we don’t know exactly what we will become, but also saying: “What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him”. We will be like Christ, like God. We will be like our heavenly parent.

We – us everyday and extraordinary Janes and Joes – will be like the one who loves all of us intimately, individually and equally. We will be like the one who defeated death. We will be like the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness and who longs for all her children to be peacemakers. We will be part of a whole ginormous shining crowd of people who are like God. Part of the crowd with the Blessed Virgin Mary, with Francis, with Gary and Andrew named on the quilts, with my brother Geoffrey, with your own beloved dead.

Beloved we are God’s children now. This is the identity we celebrate and claim for our own in baptism. This is the identity we live into together as a community of faith, a family of spiritual seekers. This is the identity we share with the whole communion of saints, living and dead. And this is the identity that awaits us all on the far side of death as we are transformed to an even closer resemblance to our heavenly mother.

Beloved we are God’s children now. How will you live into that identity? What legacy will your life leave for God’s children who are being baptized today and those yet unborn?  How will you have touched the world with God’s gentleness? Where will you have sown seeds that bear fruit in the future? What will you have given time, talents and treasure to in order to build a hope-filled world?

 

My closing prayer is very short and comes through words by Michael Leunig:

“Let us live in such a way

That when we die

Our love will survive

And continue to grow. Amen.”

 

 

Sunday, October 29
In the end, we shall be examined in love!
Preacher: The Very Rev. Dr. Alan Jones, Dean Emeritus
Sermon from Sunday's 11 a.m. Eucharist
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The Very Rev. Dr. Alan Jones preached from notes.  No manuscript will be available.

Thursday, October 26
Downhill Skateboarding for Your Life
Preacher: The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm C. Young
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“… whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be servant of all” (Mark 10).

 

The film begins with an indistinct figure furtively pulling a chain across a country road. The next frame shows professional skateboarder Liam Morgan charging down hill. Watching him draws you to the edge of your seat – he seems so close to disaster. He shifts into a speed crouch accelerates and then carves through impossible turns. He slides into light and then shade, on a perfect afternoon.[1]

 

A voice-over interviewer asks for his advice. “What would you say to kids who want to be pro downhill skaters?” As he answers you realize that the chain was to stop cars from coming up the road while he was bombing down it.

People often complain about getting older. They are right about your body not working as well. But one of the greatest blessings is that as you add more seasons to your life you encounter more people. You see how their stories develop and connect. There is a joy in watching time pass, in seeing the changes it brings. God blesses us with the gift of holding the past and the present simultaneously in our mind.

I have known Liam for his whole life. I think I baptized him. A third of the video shows him skateboarding the same street our old church is on and talking about how various friends were injured there.

He answers the question of how to become a pro skater. He says that the most important thing is not getting sponsored. It is not the free equipment, travel, fame and money. He says that you need to skate for the love of the activity itself. In fact, he says it will be more fun for you without the money and fame.

We have a hard time understanding this. In our society so much seems to be based on buying, selling and competing. We see so many advertisements that tell us that we will be happier with an upgrade to first class, an exclusive sports car or a beautiful house. We are more likely to be fooled into thinking that going to the best college or getting the most prestigious job will make us happy.

When James and John ask Jesus for the seat of honor it is like calling shotgun to claim the front passenger seat. They want to be upgraded, set above and apart from the other disciples. This makes their friends angry.

It is easy for us to look down on them as if we were not trying in our own way to get seats of honor ourselves. Because we stand on this side of history we know that the people on Jesus’ right and left are the ones who are crucified with him.

Jesus says that being the winner, having that seat of honor or any other special privilege that sets us apart, is far less joyful than being the one who serves others. We were made to care for each other, to find fulfillment in our connections, even by our dependence on each other. The most complete person will be the one most fully committed to others.

So many times I have heard this story about the greatest one being servant of all. It is not wisdom that you hear once and then are immediately changed forever. We keep coming back to Jesus’ words because we need help with this. The presence of Jesus in stories like this transforms our life over time. We hear this story over and over and like a sunflower we turn our face to the light.

Last week I received a letter from a friend who used to surf with Liam’s dad and me. He wrote, “even more than the waves I remember our time together on our way to the ocean.”

I sometimes wonder how Liam will answer the sponsorship question twenty years from now. I wonder if he will say that even more important than skating itself are the friendships he has made through it.

Your life is an adventure. Take a risk to live for something other than getting ahead of everyone else. Launch yourself down hill. Feel the wind on your face. Enjoy every turn. Love this life for its own sake. Look for chances to take care of each other.

[1] Prism Skate Company, “FACES – Liam Morgan,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1X-BEz9suM&feature=youtu.be

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