In case you were thinking I might have been taken up in the Rapture, no such luck. I haven't posted sermons for the last two Sundays simply because I haven't written sermons for the past two weeks. This is quite an unusual situation for me since I usually preach every Sunday.Even though I truly enjoy the study and preparation of a sermon, as well as the preaching itself, it has been good to have a break. To listen to other voices.
Two weeks ago I was away with our vestry on a planning retreat. It's become a tradition that we share a very informal but meaningful Eucharist together on Sunday morning to close our retreat time together. It's also part of this tradition that the vestry "preach" the sermon. This year, since the Sunday was the Baptism of Christ, each person at the retreat spoke briefly about what they remembered (or did not remember) about the day of their baptism. I also shared a brief reading about baptism from the old classic O YE JIGS AND JULEPS. (I know I have had this book for a long, long time because the cost printed on the cover is 60 cents!!)
Yesterday the Rev. Canon Jeff Batkin (who facilitated our vestry retreat this year) preached at St. John's, sharing some of what we talked about on the vestry retreat, specifically about discovering and celebrating our gifts as a parish and getting away from negative language. We have actually been doing this for awhile now at St. John's--focusing on the blessings.
I'll be back in the pulpit this Sunday, but for now, count your blessings.