Sermon: Death Has No Dominion

By Bill Wylie-Kellermann, last sermon as Pastor of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Detroit

Romans 6:1-11
Matthew 10:24-39

When I was called to St Peter’s in 2006 it marked the close of an important part of my life and the beginning of another. On the last night of 2005, Jeanie Wylie crossed over to God, having lived 7 years, and gloriously, with an aggressive brain tumor. Though marked with grief, that was nonetheless an amazing time for me, for our family: in those seven years she was teaching us how to die, and so how to live.

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Sermon: “Preceding the Dawn”

dawn.jpgBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Easter Vigil, April 16, 2017
– St. Peter’s Episcopal and Detroit Catholic Worker

Matthew 281-10

Dan Berrigan, now of blessed memory, who crossed over to the ancestors and saints a year ago this month, has since been repeatedly quoted as saying, “If you want to follow Jesus, you better look good on wood.” Theology in a quip. He also said, though less famously, “It all started with the Resurrection…If only we would have stayed put!”

I love the particulars, the details of Matthew’s story of how Jesus refused to stay put – and more often than not, God is in the details. Let me mention a few unique to Matthew’s Gospel. Continue reading

Advent 1 Sermon

Advent-1.pngAdvent marks the beginning of a new church year. Radicaldiscipleship also begins a new tradition for the year of posting sermons following the lectionary readings. It is a chance to honor the work of pastors who are part of this circle of radical disciples who spend each week examining the readings and the times.

Sermon by Bill Wylie-Kellermann
Advent 1 November 27, 2016, St. Peter’s Episcopal, Detroit

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

Advent is certainly the favorite liturgical season in our family. My own as well. We embrace the holy in candle-lit darkness as in our Taize services beginning tomorrow evening. In fact, in our household we light the wreath and sing on the eve before – kind of like a Jewish Shabbat service beginning the day at sundown. It’s the hour of prophetic promise. We anticipate the dawn and wait. There is a wakefulness in the dark, like a stiff cold breeze on the face. The stripped down sparseness of the season is so welcome a counter to the commercial shopping season of frenzied anxiety. Not to denigrate gift giving, but to deepen the gift, I commend it more as a season of gift making, than gift buying. In those crafts and constructions are a place for prayer. Continue reading

Finding our Voice

mary mToday on the Feast of Magdalene, we continue our biblical women series. This time with a male voice. But here Bill Wylie-Kellermann offers a sermon with Peter apologizing to Mary Magdalene.

John 20:1-18

There is a sweet irony, perhaps several, in St Peter’s hosting this service for the Feast of Mary Magdalene, one which makes this traditional gospel for the day more than appropriate.

John’s gospel is among the later to be written. The footrace, on the one hand so exuberant and on the other, so competitive, between Peter and John (or the other disciple) reflects within the text a certain struggle for leadership. Between Mary’s discovery of the empty tomb and her encounter with the Risen Lord, it poses the question: Who got there first? Well, John is fleeter and arrives first, but Peter entered in first, but then John looked around and was first to believe. Is this a carefully negotiated settlement or what? Continue reading

A Pentecost Sermon: They become the storytellers

mimes_10By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. A Pentcost sermon given on May 15, 2016 in celebration of her dad, Bill Wylie-Kellermann’s 10 years as pastor at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit.

It may be a little known fact around here- but I was once in a mime troop. We did the whole thing- white face, bow tie, suspenders. We were invited to events around the area. Christmas was a particularly busy time for us. We put on shows with short skits and we also were able to just mingle in the crowds. I loved it- particularly the wandering aimlessly with no other job that to be subtly funny and of course not speak with our mouths. Continue reading