"Unapologetic Theology: A Christian Voice in a Pluralistic Conversation" is the title of a book by my beloved theology professor and friend, the late William C. Placher. It is also now the title of this blog, a place where I hope to add a Christian voice -- God knows, not "the" Christian voice, but "a" Christian voice and not just any old voice, but a distinctly Christian voice -- to the pluralistic conversation going on about just about everything.
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Letting Go, Holding On
High school graduation season.
It's a delightful disruption to the schedule, as our friends' children graduate and we attend their parties, and as we prepare to host our own tomorrow morning after daughter Elizabeth graduates.
A recurring theme at high school graduation parties is photo displays. Here's the rough, first stab at a layout...although Elizabeth hasn't seen it yet, so it's prior to the "Dad, please don't put that out there!" screening and editing process.
High school graduation photo displays are a rare chance to celebrate a loved one; to celebrate a life still very much being lived.
On the table is a photo I took of Elizabeth about 18 minutes of age:
And another photo of her about 18 years of age, looking as young-adultish as ever:
but my favorite -- the Elizabeth that is kind of frozen in my mind and heart and head -- is the one where she's holding on:
High school graduation accentuates the process of letting go. And let go we will, proud and astonished to see this little girl now a young lady, so full of grace, so full of confidence, so boosted.
We'll let go. But as parents we'll always be holding on. And full of joy for the times we're held onto.
A sermon preached June 19, 2016
The Rev. John Ohmer, Rector
The Falls Church Episcopal, Falls Church, Virginia
(“Dear Lord: Carry your word into the most protected parts of our hearts.”)
Today I don’t have a traditional sermon. I certainly don’t have a sermon about Father’s Day, but now that I’ve mentioned it, happy Father’s Day. Today, instead of a traditional sermon, I feel led to share some things that have been on my heart this past week.
I’ve been your Rector here since August of 2012. Those of you who have been here a long time know that my preaching style is almost always “expository,” a fancy word that simply means you take a passage of scripture, and having studied it during the week, you show – or expose – its meaning and relevance as best you can, and then you sit down, trusting Holy Spirit will be hard at work simultaneously translating for each of you what you need to hear on any given Sunday.
One of the implications of this style of preaching is I tend not to preach “to…
A sermon preached January 29, 2017 The Rev. John Ohmer, Rector The Falls Church Episcopal
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the p…