First Sunday in Lent

Holy Trinity, Danville--Genesis 9:8-17, I Peter 3:18-22 It’s Lent. Penitence is in the air. You came together four days ago and confessed your sinfulness and got doused with ashes as a sign of your contrition. We will continue to explore that theme explicitly today and Fr Richard will have the opportunity to keep on doing [...]

Ash Wednesday

St Michael’s, O’Fallon The beginning of Lent, for most of us, triggers a series of associative responses from the past. This chain of associations is rarely the same for any two of us, since we each come with our own unique perspective. I was brought up in a Baptist household, so Lent was something other [...]

Last Sunday after the Epiphany

St Paul's, Pekin--Mark 9:2-9, Psalm 27:5-11, II Peter 1:16-21 Some of you may have heard me relate the story of how I entered college in 1969 with the intention of majoring in Political Science, and then going on to law school, and perhaps a career in politics. Instead, as a result of a rather profound [...]

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

St John's, Decatur--Mark 1:29-39, I Corinthians 9:16-23 As time goes by, as I get older, I find myself constantly revising my idea of what constitutes "old." Every time I visit a retirement community or a nursing home, I remind myself that the people I meet there, though they look "old" to me—and to themselves when [...]

Choral Evensong in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston--Micah 4:1-7, John 9:1-41 I bring you greetings from the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Springfield: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. I am delighted to be with you here in this cathedral church, to renew a friendship of [...]

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Christ Church, Springfield--I Samuel 3:1-20 Father Kevin Martin is a retired priest in Texas with decades-long experience as a congregational development consultant. I used to look at his online newsletter from time to time; more recently it’s a Facebook group. He once listed several convictions that he believes are essential to congregational health and growth. [...]

First Sunday after the Epiphany (Baptism of Christ)

Trinity, Lincoln--Mark 1:4-11 I was in the fourth grade in January 1961 when John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States. I remember my teacher holding us over into our lunch hour to watch it on television. All these 57 years later, I also remember President Kennedy concluding his inaugural [...]

First Sunday after Christmas

St Bartholomew's, Granite City--John 1:1-18 Science was not my favorite subject in school. In a time when graduation requirements were different than they are today, and with different college entrance requirements, I got through high school with only one year of science—tenth grade biology. In college, I had to take a year of what they [...]

Christmas Eve

Springfield Cathedral What do you want for Christmas?  Haven’t we heard that question a lot in the last few weeks? Haven’t we asked that question a lot? Sometimes, the answer is quick and definitive, and sometimes it’s slow and vague. I’ve often answered, when asked that question by my wife or children, “All I want [...]

Fourth Sunday of Advent

St Luke's, Springfield--Luke 1:26-38 These last few days, the last week before Christmas, is the peak period for the arrival of Christmas cards in each day’s mail. I enjoy them, but I don’t enjoy all of them equally. Even a trite, unattractive card containing a short hand-written note from someone I know personally is much [...]