Preached at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Charleston, West Virginia, on the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, July 27, 2008. It was my privilege to be the last in a series of supply priests who assisted during the transition between the departure of an interim rector and the arrival of the new rector.
St. John’s is a congregation which honors the old ways of doing things (and so has, for example, an excellent choir), while embracing the inclusive thrust of the Episcopal Church. As it happened, this Sunday coincided with 1) the beginnings of Lambeth, 2) the approaching arrival of a new rector (The Rev. Susan J. Latimer, formerly of the Diocese of Maine), and a Gospel lesson that talks about the new and the old.
The sermon talks about how one determines value in things old or new. It also suggests (and this is the preacher’s point of view, so St. John’s should not be tarred with it) that the current discussion in the Anglican Communion to move toward our being a confessional church is inappropriate for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is that such a move eliminates the patience that we are required to display in loving one another.
Nobody said that loving others was easy – but it is the commandment!
Download this sermon [note: a fairly large file]