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...

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...

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...

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...

The Neighborhood Distraction Luke 16:19-31 September 25, 2016 Recently, I received a piece of mail with a poster inside. It was a riveting photo, shot from a helicopter, of 300 people on a boat, all looking up and waving. One mom held up her baby. It was beautiful, like a collage, but then I realized what it was:...

The Joy of Money Amos 8:4-7 and Luke 16:1-13 September 18, 2016 I want you to know that the picture on the bulletin which shows a pile of coins is not a subliminal message from the Stewardship Committee. Yes, it’s true that it is Stewardship season. Soon, all of us who are blessed by the life of St. Paul’s, will...

Community of the Lost and Found 1 Timothy 1:12-17 and Luke 15:1-10 September 11, 2016 A few years ago, I read about Wanda Rodriguez, a hospice nurse at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. She overheard the name of a new patient being admitted,Victor Peraza, and she immediately went to talk to him. Forty-one years before,...