The late George Burns once said, “The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.” Well, George; we’ll see. Immediately following the countercultural blessings called the Beatitudes, Jesus takes three images and tells the people intrigued by…

The Rev. John Atkins will arrive at St. Paul’s February 1. His first Sunday will be February 5. His sermons will be found under this heading each week!

Advent in Prison December 11, 2016 My family once visited Alcatraz, the prison in San Francisco Bay. I recall the spectacular view of the city and Golden Gate Bridge But to prisoners, that view must have seemed like another planet. It isn’t just that Alcatraz is surrounded by a mile of water. It’s the claustrophobic ce…

Ordinary Joes, Unexpected Gifts Advent IV: December 18, 2016: Today, I’m thinking of Advent in 1958, when my father invented a game during dinner. He began to give mysterious clues to a Christmas gift he and my mother were planning to give me + my siblings. I think he was so excited, he just couldn’t contain himself. “…

The 2nd Sunday in Advent Changing our minds (Matthew 3: 1-12) I can’t say we weren’t warned. The city of Kettering notified our neighborhood last summer. “Your street is going to be dug up to put in a new water line. Sorry for the disruption,” they said. They weren’t kidding! Last Tuesday, a porta-potty was delivered 4…

The First Sunday in Advent: God’s Dream of Shalom (Isaiah 2 and Romans 13: 11-14) Last Sunday, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize was awarded at the Schuster Center. It celebrates a shining moment in Dayton’s history. Twenty-one years ago, Richard Holbrooke, a talented diplomat, helped broker a peace treaty ending the Bos…

Things Fall Apart Sermon for November 11, 2016 Luke 21: 5-19: Jesus said, the days will come when not one stone shall be left upon another, they shall all be thrown down. As always, Lois, our parish administrator, has given us a picture on the bulletin cover which is meant to illustrate this morning’s Gospel. But what…

All Saints Sunday Nov. 16, 2016 Has there ever been a fall season like this one? A classic World Series between 2 great teams, (both deserving to win) ending in the 10th inning of game 7 (after a rain delay?) You can’t make this stuff up. Meanwhile, our nation is holding its breath,tied in emotional knots about the ele…

Good morning. I’m here this morning to tell you a story. .. it’s a love story 61 years in the making. My early memories are of life in a small Pennsylvania town; memories of a mother, a father, and a grandmother; memories of playmates, schoolmates and teachers, Sunday School at a Lutheran church. Memories of feeling lo…

The Magic Word When we were children, our mothers prompted us, Remember to say the magic words: please and thank you. Frankly, it was much easier to understand the magic of “please.” “Please” got us something, i.e., please may I have another brownie? This was magic. But it’s harder to see any magic in thank you. It was…

St. Paul's is located at 33 W. Dixon Ave, Dayton, OH 45419; phone: 937-293-1154; fax: 937-293-3723 Office hours are Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.