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“Not the Sermon” Message

This Week at Trinity, Beamsville

Friday, July 19, 2019

Dear Friends,

            This week I’m inviting you to spend extra time reading someone else’s words as much as or preferably more than my own.  I don’t think it’s a sign of giving in to the heat; in fact, I hope it’s the opposite, in a metaphorical sort of way. 

            To explain:  at the bottom of this text there is a link, which I trust your computer will let you follow to a link that came my way on Thursday afternoon.  (If you’re reading this in hard copy, just flip the page and you’ll find it ready for your reading.)  It’s a piece written by The Rev. Winnie Varghese, an Episcopal (Anglican) priest in the United States, currently serving in New York City.  I wish I could say I’d heard of her before now.  I wish I could say there were less distressing circumstances that brought her piece to the forefront of this conversation.

            Even as I’m still processing, and giving thanks, for this colleague’s wisdom, I must also confess that I initially thought about passing it by.  The larger website that dropped the link in my mailbox had grouped it with other responses to this week’s latest White House horrors.  I was already close to my tipping point, and knew that I felt increasingly nauseous with every additional news report of the toxic, destructive, almost surreal rhetoric.  In short, I didn’t want to engage any further in that moment.  I suppose I was trying to pretend it was just an extended bad dream. 

            Truth is, it was the title of the blog that drew me in.  Quoting from Esther 4:14, it pulled me where I needed to be, simply with reference to one of my go-to Biblical women, who also happens to be our go-to story for this Sunday.  The words that followed did not disappoint.  In fact, they inspired and humbled, and moved me to where I knew they had to be shared further, with all of you.  While it may seem to stray into a political argument that does not seem to concern us, or even crosses a line into preaching politics more than the Gospel, I’m convinced this is a space that calls for global engagement.  I believe I would be naïve to think it isn’t part of our very local reality, too. 

            So, here are Winnie’s words, and here is an invitation to come on Sunday and hear more words beyond my own.  In various technological forms, this week we’re launching a mini-summer series that incorporates and draws on wisdom from this beautiful congregation.   It’s called ‘Old Familiar Faces’, although it has nothing to do with age.  It has everything to do with tapping into stories we call our own; into memories and moments where God has called us into spaces we didn’t think we could go.  It has everything to do with speaking truth about a truth that calls us back, spiritually and ethically, to where God has always longed for us to be. 

With love to you all,


“For if you keep silence at such a time as this…” (Esther 4: 14, NRSV)


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