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Showing posts from September, 2018

Poem for Monday Morning

Morning Rush Hour Glimpse: Mary-Martha
travel mug in one hand battered watering
can in the other cigarette screwed into the corner
of his mouth broken -down slippers terry -cloth housecoat
pried open by potbelly hair an unkempt
salt-and-pepper bird’s nest he singly spritzes
the twiggy clutch of hardpan yellow mums by the sagging
front porch step the one thing necessary

Year B, Proper 20: After the Ecstasy the Laundry--Thomas Merton at 4th and Walnut

A Sermon Preached at the cathedral Church of St Mark Year B Proper 20: Proverbs 31:10-31; Psalm 1; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge One of the persistent themes of Mark’s gospel is the constant misapprehension on the part of the disciples about the identity of Jesus. They can never quite wrap their minds around what Jesus is up and who he really is. Whether it’s thinking of the messiah as a kind of military victor who will lead the Israelites to political triumph over the occupying Imperial Roman powers or seeing Jesus as another instance of wonder-worker and healer, the disciples in Mark are a little like the Three Stooges or the Keystone Cops. They fail to recognize Jesus’ true identity and try again and again to understand him on the basis of received knowledge and according to existing categories. One of the reasons why Jesus tells people after a healing or act of power not to tell anyone else, is because he knows all too well the huma…

Funeral Homily for Barbara Losse

A Funeral Homily for Barbara Losse Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark. The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Today we gather to celebrate the life of Barbara Losse—a long-time employee and friend to the Diocese of Utah, life-long Episcopalian, and cherished member of the Cathedral. Foodie, lover of family gatherings, Sunday New York Times crossword adept, Utah Gymnastics fanatic, movie buff, grammarian, and lover of literature Barbara will be sorely missed and her time among us was too short. You’ll notice as we move through the liturgy that the choir is singing a number of selections from the Sacred Harp Shape-note tradition. Barbara was a passionate lover of Sacred Harp music and I think it gives us a little window on who she was, her faith, and the invitation her life and witness extends to each of us. Sacred Harp music is, like Barbara, well, singular and unique. It’s a tradition that originated in New England in the early 1800s and is characterized by its unconven…

Poem for Thursday Eucharist

Dashing through Luke 7: 36-51
slash of morning sun douses the labyrinth that topsy -turvy journey to now -here where there are no dead ends center periphery host guest changing places trading names oh tomato big as a fist pigeons wheeled by pinch of bus’s brakes in the round dance of love the ‘woman from the city’ loves and is forgiven is forgiven and loves save the grace versus works debate for later she’s busy adoring pouring herself out to the Adoring One who pours himself out to her the wooden door still standing wide open Simon tapping his toe

Year B, Proper 19--Letting God Be God & Being Made Beautiful

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Year B, Proper 19: Proverbs 1:20-33; Psalm 19; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Time and again in Holy Scripture, we see God overturning our fixed and settled ideas about how things should be, in favor of how they actually are. When the Jews around Jesus hear him talking about the Kingdom of God in parables, they expect him to use the Cedars of Lebanon—massive, majestic 1,000 year-old trees—as appropriate symbols of Israel’s future glory. Instead, he talks about mustard seeds. Weeds. He talks about leaven in the bread and uses images of corruption and spoiling to point to how pure and holy God works in the world. And when the disciples try to hush the children up and keep them from coming to Jesus (he’s a busy man after all not a daycare worker), Jesus tells the disciples that unless they become like little children, they cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s not that our God is a kind of d…

Poem for Feast of St. John Chrysostom

Poem for Feast of St. John Chrysostom
birds up before the sun one a finch I think sings in fits and starts from parking lot chain-link as mountains shoulder forth dingy cinnamon from predawn blue black on this Chrysostom’s feast day afflict the comfortable comfort the afflicted he of the ‘golden tongue’ whom pickpockets adored for crowds so transfixed by his words they made easy marks ‘so make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance’ the words like birds drifting in freely given freely shared nothing held back nothing spared


Funeral Homily for Brent Myers

A Funeral Homily for Brent Myers One of the great gifts of Brent’s time among us was his simplicity and forthrightness. Don’t get me wrong, by simplicity I don’t mean that Brent was simple. He was as complex and variegated, nuanced and multi-faceted as any one I’ve ever met. He could discourse on old movies quoting lines from Betty Davis, play Bach fugues, cook wonderful meals, opine on the short-comings of Virginians and a whole host of other topics at the drop of a hat. What I mean by Brent’s simplicity is a kind of glimpse of an integration of all the different parts of oneself into a splendidly made whole. Brent was who he was without apology. He didn’t try to make himself out to be holier than he was or put on an act of contrite groveling in the name of some imagined idea of piety. Brent was Brent and that was enough. He was ‘splendid’ and ‘marvelous’ and ‘sporting’ in the language of Psalm 104. One of the ways to hear our Gospel for today with its imagery of the many dwelling plac…

Year B, Proper 17: "Be Opened"--Life without Boundary

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 125; James 2:1-10, [11-13], 14-17; Mark 7:24-37 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge In our gospel reading for today, we find Jesus going beyond his home turf, entering into a foreign land. God is on the move, venturing forth, migrating across human-erected boundaries. In typical Markan fashion, we get a very human portrait of Jesus—he is exhausted, and slightly frazzled from his on-going dispute with the Pharisees. He wants to slip into a house, disappear into the crowd, and just be anonymous. He wants a break. No such luck.! Instead of being able to enjoy a moment of invisibility, Jesus is immediately recognized by a gentile woman, a Syrophoenician, who pleads with him to heal her daughter. Up until this mutually transformative encounter with the Syrophoenician woman, Jesus is under the impression that his mission is primarily to the Jews— “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fai…

Poem for Thursday Eucharist: Luke 5: 1-11

dawn’s cobble-wash of cloud comes undone blends to blue ‘put out into the deep water’
no net no boat even effort
everything left open -ing to You


Year B Proper 17: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
When St. John of the Cross, the 16th century poet, priest, mystic and monk was being administered last rites on his deathbed at the tender age of 49, he interrupted the proceedings with a hoarsely whispered request. “Please,” he begged, “read me the Song of Solomon.” The Song of Solomon is passionate, sensual love poem that uses the figure of the lover and the beloved to portray the relationship between the individual soul and God. So often, in our meritocracy-based, do-it-yourself culture, we think that the spiritual life is just another thing we can master with a little elbow grease. If we buckle-down and get serious, set our house in order, we think we can storm heaven by our own efforts. In the thrall of what some people call the ‘self-improvement industrial complex,’ we think that the spiritual life …