Thursday, December 20, 2018

Padre's Post - Anticipating Christmas II

This year, the fourth Sunday of Advent is squeezed in one day before Christmas Eve, but its message is too important to be neglected. The church's focus remains upon Mary, the Christ bearer. Mary is the ideal image of all humanity, willing to receive and give birth to the divine through her life. In Mary's story the image is that of actual childbirth, but in our story what does recognizing and giving birth to the divine look like?

I think it looks like times of quiet and stillness when we sense a vibrant communion with all of life around us.

I think it looks like what Christi Brewer Allen is doing through the Church of Goodness, or what Jeff Newton, Ruth Lawson, and others are doing through the compassionate work helping the under-resourced and struggling in our city.

I think it looks like what the St. Andrew kitchen looked like last night filled with joyful people preparing a Christmas meal for others.

I think it looks like forgiveness winning over a grudge, compassion winning over apathy, acceptance and understanding winning over judgment, creativity over mockery.

I think giving birth to the divine in any life looks like a life as it was intended to be kind co-habitation with all who share their little piece of the planet.

So whether its Nazareth, Bethlehem, or Kokomo, may the divine in our life be given birth through our lives, just as it was in Mary's.

Fr. Richard

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Padre's Post - Anticipating Christmas

Christmas at St. Andrew has always been magical. I can still remember my first, having arrived in 2000 at the beginning of Advent. The beautiful church becomes radiant with lights amidst the greenery and the glow of candles adorning the pews. The air is filled with the smell of heaven being wafted by the thurifer, together with the singing of carols being led by the pipe organ and Christmas Choir.

This year, perhaps more than ever, the anticipation of Christmas has been intense. Well before Advent, Rick has brought together voices from throughout our city to prepare for late night Mass on Christmas Eve. Listening to the interviews posted from various choir members, I believe they have already experienced the gift of Christmas. The music and community they have shared is filled with beauty and wonder.

The days of Advent are coming to a close. This Sunday we observe the 4th Sunday of Advent with ONE service at 10am. Following the service we will hang the lights and greenery that has adorned the church for decades.

Make Christmas a holy season. Join us this Sunday at 10am to sing the Magnificat with Mary. And then, return on Monday Night at 6pm or 10:30pm for the glorious Christ mass.

A quiet, intimate Mass will be offered on Christmas day at 10am.
Christmas Lessons & Carols will be offered on Sunday, Dec. 30th, at 10am.

May God's peace and beauty be with you, and welcome home to St. Andrew for Christmas.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Gift Of Joy

Father Richard's sermon for December 16, 2018

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Padre's Post - In Advent

The third Sunday in Advent features the pink or rose colored candle. Its light represents the gifts of joy amidst the long journey in darkness. We need the little doses of hope and joy when bearing difficult times. We need the reprieves from bad and worst news. We need the splashes of light amidst dark and heavy times.

We need gifts of joy in the form of clear pet-scans, generous and unexpected aid from friends and strangers, appreciation for quiet and faithful presence, being part of a Christmas choir, receiving a poinsettia and delivering the same, hearing that others want to help your child go to a life-changing trip to Chile, celebrating the anniversary of the day you met your daughter, a day of sunshine after two weeks without, joining others in common prayer, celebrating the ordination of a dear friend and sister, lighting the Advent candles at the end of a long day just to bask in its gentle light.

We do not need a lot. We can bear much. All we need along the way are the little gifts of surprising joy. This is the message of the third candle in Advent.
Rejoice and exult with all your heart!...even for the little things.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Angels Can Fly Because They Are Light

Father Richard's sermon for December 9, 2018

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Padre's Post - Advent Reflections

The season of Advent is about long awaited hopes and dreams coming to fruition before our very eyes. Events once only imagined and dreamed find their way into reality. This makes the season of Advent an appropriate time for Mindy Hancock's ordination into holy orders of the Episcopal Church.

Since the day she and Josh and their two daughters, Maleah and Maidie (Ethan would come later), became members of our church as ordained Nazarene ministers, I have imagined and hoped for this day to arrive. Mindy has been engaged in the process of discernment, study, and examination for a lifetime...Ethan's lifetime to be exact, and in November, Mindy completed, with excellence, all requirements and preparation for ordained ministry. She will be ordained as a Transitional Deacon of the Church at St. Andrew, with the intention to be ordained to the priesthood later in 2019.

Congratulations Mindy! Your gifts and wisdom and experience will be a blessing to the church and the world we serve.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, December 2, 2018

What Is Advent?

Father Richard's sermon for December 2, 2018

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Times Ending, Times Beginning

Father Richard's sermon for November 25, 2018

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Consecration Sunday

Father Richard's sermon for November 18, 2018

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Power Of Faith And Belief

Father Richard's sermon for November 11, 2018

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[No Text Available]

Friday, November 9, 2018

Padre's Post-The Season of All Saints and Thanksgiving

It is the eve of my mother's 100th birthday. (She celebrated 84 of them upon the earth). I was made aware, just today, that she was born the day before the official end of World War I (Nov 11, 1918). It is appropriate, for I always knew her as a woman of peace - she was quite remarkable in many ways. She lived for the sake of so many others while possessing a deep contentment and independence. In this month of remembering the communion of saints, she remains high upon my list.

It is good to remember the great ones from life and history - the persons who lived with grace and courage, who manage to contribute more than they consume - encourage more than they criticize - give thanks more than they take for granted.

I am presently reading "The Book Of Joy, Lasting Happiness In A Changing World", written from a five day retreat and conversation between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama - talk about great ones! Early in the book the Dalai Lama responds to Bishop Tutu's curiosity as to how the Dalai Lama manages to be authentic, humble, and approachable while being so revered. The Dalai Lama responded, "I have always thought of myself as one of the seven billion other persons on the planet. I am one of all of them and so I am one with all of them. From that place I have always tried to make people aware that the ultimate source of happiness is a healthy body and a warm heart."

Remembering the saints is timely medicine following the elections. We need to hear wise words from well lived lives. See again the images of those who shared and even gave up their lives for the sake others. We need to recognize compassion and empathy as necessary ingredients for a great life and certainly a great nation.

So, conjure the memories of the great people from your life. Recall those teachers, relatives, workmates, and alumni. Recall and re-read your heroes from history - and realize, they were simply one of a multi-billion (depending on how long ago they lived) people on the earth... just like you me.

Happy Birthday Eve, Rita. Thanks for being a great mom, and a remarkable person.

Fr. Richard

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Padre's Post-Why So Long?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
Charles Dickens 1812-1870

I thought of this quote while absorbing the news of yet another mass shooting, this time in Thousand Oaks, CA. I realized we live in one of those times, like the decades prior to abolition, civil rights movement, etc., when the future readers of history will wonder "Why did it take so long to make reasonable and necessary changes in laws and attitudes?"

Fr. Richard

Monday, November 5, 2018

Padre's Post-Feast Of All Saints

The litany of names scrolled upon the screen each year at the Feast of All Saints is profound. All who have died from this parish for the past 130+ years are remembered, if only for the time it takes to roll from top to bottom of screen. But, in that second of visual remembrance, a past saint's life in the parish literally flashes before us.

For me, whose life in this parish is a brief eighteen years, names such as Cheryl Lakin, Diane McCord, John Eklem, Naomi Manton, Larry Bailey, Lee Lacey, Frank King, to name just a few, recall volumes of friendship, shared meals, parish life, precious wisdom, loving service, life in community...

The names of all who lived and shared and hence died from this parish remind me that what I experience at St. Andrew is more like family than it is congregation. Life here is precious, and those with whom we have shared it and are no longer with us, are missed and beloved.

Come throughout November as we remember the communion of saints with whom we share eternal life.

Fr. Richard

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Padre's Post-The Season Of All Saints

In all sacred traditions there is pilgrimage - journeys to explore holy places and cultivate intimacy with the mystery of the divine in the world and our own lives.

Every year we walk the sacred journey through the life of Christ from All Saints to Easter it is a communal pilgrimage filled with both familiar and revelatory experiences.

Tomorrow, Nov. 4, the pilgrimage begins as we join the communion of saints, remembering their lives and gifts and influence as we seek to be the beloved community in our day.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Prayers Of The Blind

Father Richard's sermon for October 28, 2018
Including Prayers Of The People for the Tree Of Life Synagogue

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Stewardship I – What Would Make Jesus Say “Wow”?

Father Richard's sermon for October 21, 2018

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Call To Suffering III

Father Richard's sermon for September 23, 2018

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Call To Suffering II

Father Richard's sermon for September 16, 2018

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Call To Suffering

Father Richard's sermon for September 9, 2018

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Giver Of All Good Things

Father Richard's sermon for September 2, 2018

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Padre's Post-Being The Beloved Community

"See how good and pleasant it is for the brothers and sisters to dwell together."

As I have experienced the three congregations come together to share two services in August, there is a palpable sense of joy and affection that fills the church. Being a member of St. Andrew has made us family. People, who were separated by three different worship hours, now find themselves sharing a pew, receiving the sacrament side by side at the communion rail, exchanging an exuberant sign of peace with one another. There is a deep sense of belonging and love in our church.

The summer season is coming to a close. Come and be present with your church family as we continue our journey to becoming God's Beloved Community.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Father Richard's sermon for August 19, 2018

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Be-Loving Community II

Father Richard's sermon for August 12, 2018

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Padre's Post-The Beloved Community III

At our home, Annie insists upon an arbor that frames the entrance into the front garden. She said, “I like the feeling of passing through the arbor from one world of reality into the world of home”. She is greeted by the smells, sights, bees and butterflies that fill the garden that is our front yard, and feels she is no longer in Kokomo, but the mystical realm of home.

This is the vision intended for the community of the church. When one crosses the thresholds between one world and the beloved community, we are greeted with the seen and unseen ways and ethos of love, of peace, of grace, and of forgiveness. What a beautiful gift to give to the world. What an amazing privilege to be part of such a community of humanity and divinity, of flesh and of spirit, of beauty and grace, of belonging and of sharing of one’s life for the help and sake of others. This is the church. This is who we are, this is who we can be, this is what we are intended to be..."

Join us this sunday as we continue our journey on being God's Beloved Community. Sunday Services 8am & 10am

Fr. Richard