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Showing posts from June, 2018

"There's a crack in everything/That's how the light gets in"--A Funeral Sermon for Beverly Stauffer

A Funeral Sermon for Beverly Stauffer In the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are gathered together here today to celebrate the life of Beverly Stauffer long-time friend and member of the Cathedral, beloved wife of Vince. One of the ways to hear our passage from John’s Gospel today, is as an affirmation of our unconditional acceptance and belovedness in God. That there are “many mansions in my father’s house,” means in one sense that there is a place for each us at the banquet of divine love. Each of us, with our faults and foibles, our quirks, and our unique gifts is invited to participate in the love of God, to make God’s life of self-giving love our own that He might live his life in and through us. The way each one of us lives out the love of God is going to look differently in each of our lives. This is the adventure of the Christian life that is both a discovery on our part as to what it looks like to co-operate with the presence and action of God in our life, and a di…

Proper 6, Year B: Losing Your Illusions: Axel Rose, Mustard Seeds, and the Veil of Separation from God

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 1 Samuel 15: 34-16:13; Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17; Mark 26-34 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
“O God, help me to believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is.”—Galway Kinnell
One of the biggest roadblocks on the spiritual journey is the presumption that God is somehow absent. In fact, Teresa of Avila writes, “All difficulties in prayer can be traced to one cause: praying as if God were absent.” This presumption, which gets stronger as we get older, is what must be dismantled on the spiritual journey. You could say that the whole purpose of the spiritual journey, the journey into union and communion with God, is about dismantling the monumental illusion that God is distant, or absent. The way of union with God is the way of subtraction. It’s “losing our illusions” to quote those great theologians of the 90s Guns n’ Roses. When we approach the spiritual journey from the standpoint that God is ab…

Proper 5 Year B: Who is my mother, brother, sister?--The New House Jesus is Building

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 1 Samuel 8: 4-11, 16-20; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3: 20 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge One of the things that happens when we hear the word Satan, is that a part of brain turns off and we unconsciously dismiss the entire scripture story as hopelessly outdated, or a slave to so-called primitive thinking. We brace ourselves for fire and brimstone salted with a little Dante. Visions of a little man with a pencil-thin van dyke, horns, pointy tail and pitch fork dance in our heads. Or we hear Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” character from Saturday Night Live whose response to nearly every question was the predictably slapstick, “I don’t know… could it be… Satan?” So Satan is either irrelevant, the stuff of caricature, or the butt of a joke. But the character of Satan plays an essential role in the gospels—not as a little horned devil in a red jumpsuit, but as the embodiment of two fundamental aspects of how huma…

Proper 4, Year B: Humans Being vs Human Doings--Freedom from Pharoah's Bricks

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 1 Samuel 3: 1-20; Psalm 139: 1-5; 12-17; 2 Corinthians 4: 5-12; Mark 2: 23-3:6 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge One of the first things we have to face when we encounter the stories of Jesus’ conflict with the Pharisees is the long Christian tradition of casting the Pharisees in the role of representatives of all of Judaism and misreading these conflicts as somehow representative of the clash between Christianity and violent, misguided Judaism. Let’s be clear—Jews have never permitted observing Torah to override decisions to save life. The law, properly understood, is about human flourishing, and walking the path of true happiness, not simple adherence to rules handed down by a capricious depot God in a policeman’s uniform gleefully rubbing His hands together whenever we break a rule. The law is given as gift to the people of Israel as a way to shown them how to walk in the ways of justice, mercy, and peace—to care for …