Sermon: Let Go of the Branch

indexBy Kateri Boucher at Day House Catholic Worker August 11, 2019

Luke 12: 32-4
Hebrews 11: 1-2, 8-19
Wisdom 18: 6-9

Some of you may have heard the story about the man who was being chased by a tiger and falls off a cliff. Luckily he catches a branch and is hanging there from it, trying to figure out what to do. In desperation he cries out, “If there’s a God up there, I’ll do anything if you’ll save me!” Suddenly a voice booms down from the heavens, “This is God and I want to save you! All you have to do is let go of the branch!” There’s a long pause as the man thinks that over, then he finally turns back up and says “Is there anyone ELSE up there?”

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Named and Claimed By God

2019-07Jul-21 Oscars Baptism_0060

Photo by Chris Baker Evens

Katie Aikins is pastor of Tabernacle United Church in Philadelphia. She and her wife Heather Bargeron are parents to their adopted 20-month-old son Oscar Emmanuel Aikins-Bargeron.  Katie preached this sermon on the occasion of Oscar’s baptism on July 21.

Baptism without the church, without the community of faith, would make no sense. One of the promises we make as parents is to raise our child in the community of faith.

This Heather and I know: That though we will make our promises to Oscar and to this church to raise him to follow in the way of Jesus Christ, to show love and justice, to resist oppression and evil, we also know that alone, we as parents will not be enough for Oscar to live into his full calling and identity as a child of God. The community of faith —the place where we are practicing resisting evil together, where we are growing together in our practices of justice and love – this is the context in which baptism unfolds in its meaning and fruitfulness.  Continue reading

Pentecost: Bellies in the Mud

20190608_144453By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
Reflection offered at Day House Catholic Worker in Detroit on June 9, 2019

Psalm 104
Acts 2:1-11
John 20: 19-2

I admit that I come to these readings today carrying my own fear and anxiety. The kind of fear that can force you to lock yourself in a room. I’ve been scrolling through too many headlines these past few weeks that make it hard to breath. Continue reading

Sermon: An Oak, a Fig Tree, and a Burning Bush

oakBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, homily at Day House Catholic Worker on March 24, 2019

Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15
Luke 13:1-9

It took me a while to get my hands deep enough into this Gospel to feel the unsettling force. At first, the reading seemed simple. The disciples ask Jesus about current events in their time, about people who had been killed, and asked if it was their own fault. Jesus declares with clarity, “NO! But if you don’t turn away from sin, it will happen to you.” This logic didn’t seem quite right to me.

Reading the text within a circle of community earlier this week, allowed the current events of Jesus’ time to morph into our own. Continue reading

Sermon: Gathered Body

footprintsBy Rev. Denise Griebler at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
January 27, 2019

Epiphany 3C    Annual Meeting Sunday

Luke 4:13-21, 1 Corinthians 12-20

Get comfortable in your body – best you can – as we begin – feet grounded – sit on  your bottom and let your back be straight but relaxed and just breathe – sometimes that’s enough! – you don’t have to do or think anything right now – just be here – relax your shoulders – relax your jaw – relax your cheeks and your eyebrows – and just keep breathing – enjoy being in your body as it is  – and staying relaxed and present, notice the people who are around you. Breathing.  Here. Continue reading

Sermon 2- Poets and Prophets of Silence and Speech

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Snow is another thing that slows me down and helps me be still. And it is another thing I am watching with fear as we get less and less each year. I savor these days.

Sermon 1/20/2019 at Day House Catholic Worker
Isaiah 62:1-5
By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Isaiah begins “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet.”

I believe in refusing to be silent. But I also believe in silence and quiet. I believe that we need to still ourselves long enough to hear those words when we are each called “my delight” and listen for “our new name pronounced by the mouth of the Lord.” God calls us by name, but it is so easy to miss when we aren’t paying attention.

It is not easy in our culture to find total silence or to stay in one place long enough to see what is right in front of us.

This week I am thinking a lot about Mary Oliver who died on Thursday. She is a poet who always had the gift of helping me to be quiet and altered my way of seeing the simplicity of life around me.

I have found myself struck with gratitude and grief realizing that there was something steadying to know that Mary Oliver was out in the woods somewhere paying attention to the beetles and the dew drops. So, my reflections tonight are filled with words from Mary Oliver tonight. Continue reading

Homily: I want the world to be wrapped in the cloak of justice

IMG_0231Homily by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann at Day House Catholic Worker
Second Sunday of Advent

Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 126

My Advent has started out differently than I planned.

As I think most of you know, my dad was taken into custody for a 12-day sentence when he refused to pay a fine for an action he was part of (along with Tom Lumpkin) with the Poor People’s Campaign on May 21. They blockaded the doors of the Department of Health and Human Services in Lansing calling out the systemic racism and abuse of the poor by the very department that is supposed to support the needs of the poor. The director of DHHS is currently facing charges of manslaughter for his role in the Flint Water Crisis. And we recently learned that Child Protective Services has started following the Homrich trucks in certain neighborhoods in order to immediately remove children from their families when their water is shut off. To cry out against this injustice, Tommy Tackett and my dad have gone to jail. Continue reading