The Rector’s Blog

814 of 46 items

Daring Reads – a book group for exploring faith

by Drew Downs
Daring Reads

Many of us grew up in households which were culturally Christian. We celebrated Christmas and dressed in white for Easter. We attended church on a regular basis and went to Sunday School when our parents made us. We prayed over meals at the dinner table and gave to outreach ministries at church. It seems that […]

Sermon Series – A New Beginning

by Drew Downs

To read or listen to the sermons, you may click on the links below or visit our sermon page! 1/8 – Baptism 1/15 – Invitation 1/22 – Adversity 1/29 – Respond 2/5 – Purpose 2/12 – Reconsider 2/19 – Choice 2/26 – Hope

Why we’re reading only one lesson on Sunday

by Drew Downs

Last November, we made a small change in our worship each week. Beginning in Advent, we have chosen to read only one lesson, rather than two. I wanted to share again why we are trying this out. On page 357 of the Book of Common Prayer, under the heading “Lessons” it says The people sit. […]

Christmas 2016

by Drew Downs

Dear Friends, “…until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.” This is how the writer of Matthew describes the birth of our Lord and Savior, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace. Not in flowery prose, but the linguistic gymnastics of the past perfect. –“until she had borne”– Like the birth was a […]

Advent 4 – Worship Fully

by Drew Downs
Advent + Christmas at St. Stephen's!

Read: Psalm 111 To catch up, read the previous posts: Spend Less,  Give More, and Love All. I really get into Advent. While other people are getting ready for Christmas, I’m fully into Advent. Anticipation. Waiting. Christ is coming! This, of course, rubs my family and friends the wrong way. My love for Advent comes off as […]

Advent 3 – Love All

by Drew Downs

Read: Psalm 34, Isaiah 61 To catch up, read the previous posts: Spend Less and Give More. It is very easy to look at religious faith as a tool for being a good person. Do this. Don’t do that. Make these particular choices. Avoid those. Be prudent and wise and everything will work out for you with […]

Advent 2 – Give More

by Drew Downs

Read: Isaiah 9:6-7, Ephesians 1:3-10 To catch up, don’t forget to visit last week’s post: Spend Less. This time every year, I think of the French philospher Jacques Derrida. Weird, I know. But stick with me. Derrida named the inherent problem with giving gifts: their unspoken obligations. If you think about the social contracts we enter into, […]