LENT2A 2017 – JMA+ On my office desk I have a simple piece of artwork. Some see it as abstract. Other’s don’t. It is made of wood and can be held in your hand. In fact, if you hold it in your hand, the message within the art is unintelligible. If you sit it down and gaze at it from a distance, most people can see the...

I enjoy history. I delight in listening to a person’s personal history. I like learning about American history and Biblical timelines and contexts. I find classic cars thrilling and many old movies beguiling. My own memories often tickle me. I believe history provides understanding that allows us to live healthier in...

Last Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Falcons was captivating and unpredictable. Even so, I recall another game that caught my attention. It didn’t have the same dynamics as the Super Bowl and it wasn’t widely publicized, but I recall reading about a High School football game that took place in October...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...