Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
3745 Kimball Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111
901 743 6421
holytrinitymemphis@yahoo.com

SERMONS

______________SERMONSA NEW/OLD NORMAL
A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Lent
Almighty God,
you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves:
Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls,
that we may be defended from all adversities
which may happen to the body,
and from all evil thoughts
which may assault and hurt the soul;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
AMEN.
~ The Collect for the Third Sunday of Lent
Soon after I began to serve as the rector of an historic downtown church in
another state, the husband of one of the parish matriarchs died. He was a retired
military officer, someone well-known in those parts. The Bishop, whom I had
met during my interview process just a few months earlier, was asked to preside
and preach at his funeral. My only job was to be a pastor to his widow.
As has often been my experience, she was a pastor to me. She had come to
grips fairly quickly with the untimely death of her husband. My sense was that
she was someone from whom I, still relatively new as a priest, might learn some
lessons. Before the funeral she told me she had been considering what life
without her husband might be like. She declared, “This is my new normal.”
On that day, a grieving wife gave me some wisdom for the ages. Since then,
I’ve often heard and used the phrase “new normal.” I don’t know about you, but
I’ve had several seasons in my life during which a new normal began. I’ve also
learned there’s something my new normal moments and seasons have in
common: for me, they always seem to have something to do with grief and loss.
We may be shocked at the arrival and presence of this novel Coronavirus
called COVID-19. We may be looking forward to things getting back to “normal,”
whatever that normal was or is for us. A local columnist recently came to a
different conclusion: “Just because we’re...using sanitizer and bumping elbows
doesn’t mean we won’t be affected in the Mid-South....This is the new normal for
now” (Bruce VanWyngarden, Memphis Flyer, 3/12/20).
Whatever this season of our common life becomes, I believe it is our new
normal, at least for now. It feels hard, if not impossible - borrowing words from
the Serenity Prayer - to accept this thing we cannot change. So many of our old
behaviors have been turned into new warnings (“Don’t touch your face! Keep
your distance!”). At least for now, we have lost the ways we’ve been used to, ways
in which we have lived, moved, and had our being in the world.
I believe that as a church, a nation, a world, we are in grief, and in the days
to come, we do not know what else we may need to grieve. We do know we don’t
have to go it alone. We can and we must care for one another in our grief. (I’ll
have more to say about grief in the April Tract newsletter.)
Throughout the New Testament, people misunderstand Jesus when they
first encounter him. The story of the woman at the well in John’s Gospel (4:5-42)
is not unlike the stories about the disciples when they met Jesus. His friends had
a certain belief, a theological understanding of who their Jewish Messiah would
be and what he would do. The Samaritan woman also thought she knew how this
strange, Jewish man would behave - until he says, “Give me a drink” (4:7).
She replies, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of
Samaria?” By the way, John says that “Jews do not share things in common with
Samaritans” (4:9). But Jesus is not your normal Jew. He explains that he can
give her a new kind of water, living water, that “will become...a spring...gushing
up into eternal life” (4:14). His water is also not “normal.”
The Samaritan woman asks Jesus for that living water, and he does give it to
her. But here’s the catch: First, he tells her everything she’s ever done - including
the fact that she has been married five times. And the fact that the man she’s
with currently is not her husband. No fake news here.
Now, she knows Jesus is a prophet, and yet, once again, Jesus is not offering
normal prophecy. He is also the Christ, the One who heals in God’s name.
Suddenly, the disciples appear, astonished to find him speaking to a woman. She
returns to the city, and exclaims, “Come and see a man who told me everything I
have ever done!” Then she asks, “He cannot be the Messiah, can he?”
Once the woman’s Samaritan friends hear her share this Good News, they
start catching what she caught. “Many Samaritans from that city believed in him
because of the woman’s testimony” (4:39). Jesus is not a virus. But Jesus is
definitely contagious. Fear is also contagious, but God’s highly contagious love
casts out fear. When we encounter Jesus, he invites us to let go of our losses, so
we can catch something liberating and life-giving: a new/old normal called love.
In these trying times, how does Jesus want to be caught now? How is he
inviting us to follow him into a new/old normal? What if this season of Lent is
about those old practices - prayer, fasting, and self-denial - done in a new way?
Poet and minister Lynn Ungar wrote a piece about COVID-19 last week.
Perhaps her words have some answers for us:
PANDEMIC
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
~ The Rev. Thomas A. Momberg
March 14, 2020

 ____________________________________________

MAY 3, 2020

 

Dear Holy Trinity Members and Friends:

 

Here’s my sermon from Sunday, focusing on Psalm 23.

Below is a YouTube weblink to a musical setting of the 23rd Psalm, recorded by the amazing Bobby McFerrin (who grew up singing in an Episcopal church choir).  

 

This setting is dedicated to Bobby’s mother, Sarah, a voice teacher.  (Allow me to wish all you mothers and grandmothers an early Happy Mother’s Day!)

 

Spoiler alert: If you’ve never heard this, it may be a bit unsettling.  (I love it.  It reminds me of my mother Betty, of blessed memory, also a singer of songs.)

 

https://youtu.be/FrIISwwK9Y0

 

SERMON for MAY 3, 2020

My Cup Overflows

Psalm 23

The Fourth Sunday after Easter May 3, 2020

In your lifetime, who have been your favorite teachers? What was it about those teachers that make you remember them as a woman or man who inspired you to learn - perhaps inspired you to teach? Of course, those of us who follow Jesus would say that he is one of our favorite teachers. So...besides Jesus, who would you choose as the teachers for your life?

 

I’ve had many great teachers. There have also been some I wanted to forget. I’m thinking of a man who had the undeniably hard job of calling his class together the day President Kennedy was assassinated. I was a freshman at White Station High School, and when class resumed that afternoon, everyone was abuzz about what had happened just a few hours earlier. Calling us to order, our teacher said, “Now, boys and girls, I know the President has been shot, but I have a Civics class to teach.” I don’t remember learning anything that day, except how NOT to teach a class.

 

What I’ve learned from another teacher, whose student I have been for quite some time, is this: We teach who we are in times, of darkness as well as light. Parker Palmer began his academic career as a community organizer in the 60’s. Since then, he has been a teacher and spiritual guide for thousands. At the turn of the century, Palmer founded a non-profit, the Center for Courage and Renewal, which first nourished public school teachers and students, then clergy and congregational leaders, and now, leaders from all walks of life. In his early eighties, he still teaches who he is.

 

The first book Parker published, forty years ago, was The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life. His most well-known book and a must-read for all considering their own life’s call, is Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. Parker’s newest book is On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old.

 

It was yet another book that helped create the center Parker Palmer founded. It was a book called The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life. In it, Parker wrote something that, for me, connects with what is happening in our world and in our scriptures today: We become teachers for reasons of the heart. But many of us lose heart as time goes by. How can we take heart, alone and together, so we can give heart to our students and our world (which is what good teachers do)?

 

Take heart. Regain your courage, one dictionary says. Of course, the word courage has at its core, its root, the Latin word for heart. Regain the courageous part of your heart. Another dictionary says to “take heart” is to “feel encouraged,” to feel brave and courageous again - or for the first time.

 

Take, for example, those encouraged souls in our reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Those Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” and, “day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts” (2:42, 46). Glad and generous. That’s the kind of heart I want to have, today and every day.

 

More than half a century ago, my high school Civics teacher may have lost heart and could only teach who he was and where he was that day. It is indeed hard to have a glad heart every day, especially these days, when so much sadness, so much suffering, so much death is all around us. It is, I believe, the time and season for another of today’s lessons: the 23rd Psalm.

 

Psalm 23 is that world-famous and most-beloved prayer, in all times and seasons. The 23rd Psalm is appointed for Christians around the world to hear, each and every Fourth Sunday of Eastertide, each and every year. This year, especially in light of all we are facing, I believe the 23rd Psalm has the Good News of God in Christ we all need to take to heart, so we can both take heart and give heart to others, on any given day.

 

There’s an old joke about how there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who like Neil Diamond - or, to be more contemporary and culturally relevant - those who like Kanye West - and those who don’t. Those jokes are pretty dualistic, a little too either-or. (I like some music by each artist.)

 

There’s another saying about there being just two kinds of people in this world: those who approach life as if it were a glass-half-full and those who are more glass-half-empty folks. The Psalmist, the one who wrote the 23rd Psalm, sees life as a glass, a cup that overflows. No matter what.

 

When I first looked at today’s lessons, I remembered all the Sundays I’ve preached on Good Shepherd Sunday. We hear Psalm 23 every year on this Sunday because we also hear part of the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel, in which Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd. Jesus lays down his life for his sheep, who hear and who know his voice, and follow him.

 

The last Gospel verse we heard today was, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Not just life, but abundant life. Not just a glass or cup that is full. A cup, a life that overflows, no matter what. Jesus taught who he was, in darkness and light, living his life abundantly.

 

One Bible teacher says this about Psalm 23: “This...Psalm is not merely for moments of death. It needs to be read, heard, and understood...as a psalm about living...it puts daily activities, such as eating, drinking, and seeking security, in a...God-centered perspective that challenges our usual ways of thinking” (John White, Feasting on the Word, p. 451).

 

When I realized the 23rd Psalm was appointed for this Sunday, this year, the first part of another verse grabbed my throat, and then, my heart: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...(v.4).” It took me a few moments, amidst our coronavirus crisis, to remember the next part of that fourth verse: “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” The verse continues, of course, with, “The rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”

 

Parker Palmer has walked through his own valley of a different kind of deadly shadow. He has survived what he calls “three deep dives,” three profound experiences of clinical depression. He says “depression is not so much like being lost in the dark as it is like becoming the dark.”

 

He goes on to say: After my first depression, which was in my mid-forties, it took me ten years to...begin to write and speak about it. Only then did I have the ability to say, “Yes, I am all of the above. I am my darkness, and I am my light. I am a guy who spent months cowering in a corner with the shades pulled down, as well as a guy who can get on stage in front of several thousand physicians and deliver some challenging messages. I am all of that, and I don’t need to hide any of it.” It’s my way of saying to myself, “Parker, welcome to the human race!” Dear friends in Christ, welcome to the human race!

 

My prayer is that we learn how to teach who we are, like Jesus, in times of darkness and light, distance and closeness, scarcity and abundance, emptiness and fullness. When we lose heart, may we take heart in the words of the 23rd Psalm. God will keep filling our cup to overflowing. No matter what. I invite you to join me this week in praying this part of the Bible, Psalm 23.

 

I invite you to pray as if your abundant life in Christ depends on it. Because it does.

The Rev. Thomas A. Momberg Vicar,

Holy TrinityEpiscopal Church

3745 Kimball Avenue

Memphis, TN 38111 holytrinityec.org

fathermom1949@gmail.com

301.825.2846 



__________________________________________________________________________________________________

SUNDAY - APRIL 26, 2020


Holy Trinity Members and Friends:

 

How is your “new normal” going?  Part of my new normal is to send y’all my sermon from the previous Sunday every Tuesday.

 

Some of you heard or saw me preach it on Sunday (we had 17 folks on Zoom together that day, a new high for our online worship!).  

 

Whether you join us on Sunday mornings at 10 or not, I want you to know what I have to say about the Gospel for the day.  So, I’ve attached my sermon below.

 

Also in this e-mail is one of the three music videos I wanted to share Sunday morning, which, unfortunately, didn’t happen.  (I’m still learning...).

 

Here’s one of those music videos.  It’s my favorite of the three:

 

https://youtu.be/QOPLLOrcugI

 

And here’s my sermon:

 

 

Making Jesus Known Again                                                                      Luke 24:13-35

The Third Sunday of Easter                                                                       April 26, 2020

 

     This weekend, one of the headlines from a major news outlet reads, “Reopening has begun. No one is sure what happens next” (The New York Times). Some states are reopening, others are not. Each state that is reopening is doing things differently. Urban areas and rural areas will be reopening differently. To all of this, our response might be: “Things were already confusing and uncertain enough!”

 

         There’s some old wisdom about how bad news is bad, but it’s better than any kind of news about uncertainty. The problem is, these days, we have news that is both bad and uncertain. One economist, Elizabeth Ananat, put it this way: “In some ways, I’m even more anxious about the reopening than I am about the shutdown.”

 

         And there’s this bad news fact: as a country, we have now passed a milestone no one thought possible three months ago: more than 50,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. More than any other country. More than the era of the Vietnam War. More men than women, more older folks than younger folks, more black, indigenous, and people of color than white.

 

         Robert Jones, the CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) wrote this in a recent article called “Flattening the Curve of Xenophobia” (https://sojo.net/articles/flattening-curve-xenophobia):

 

         If history has a lesson for us here, it is this: where there is a massive wave of suffering and death, a second wave of racism and xenophobia is typically not far behind. Do I need to state the obvious? This is bad news. And yet, it is not news of uncertainty. Robert Jones continues: Experiences of mass grief and economic stress easily generate a desire for someone to blame. This is especially true of events that defy logic, such as the randomness of illness. Amidst any truth or certainty, there are questions:

 

         Why is one person infected and not another? Why did this person die while another experienced only mild symptoms? Why have I lost my job while others have not? And most importantly, how can we restore a sense of order and safety in the wake of such devastating losses? These are all good questions, but I have some additional questions. Maybe you do, too.

 

       The questions for us Christians might also include these: In all this fear, anxiety, and death, where is Jesus? Has anyone seen Jesus lately? And if we have seen Jesus, or when we do see Jesus, how will we know it?

           Those first disciples, before they knew Jesus had risen from the dead - whether at the empty tomb, or in the upper room, or, as in today’s Gospel story, in the breaking of bread - those first disciples were definitely filled with fear and anxiety. If you had been following Jesus as closely as they had, wouldn’t you be afraid and anxious, too?

 

         Cleopas and the other, unnamed disciple may not have expressed or felt any anxiety or fear when they met this stranger on the road to Emmaus, a good seven-mile walk from Jerusalem. They were too busy “talking with each other about all these things that had happened” (Luke 24:14). In the midst of that discussion, Jesus joins them. And what does Luke’s story tell us happened next? “Their eyes were kept from recognizing him” (24:16).

 

         Recognition. That’s a “re-” word, like re(-)opening. It’s also a word that tells us they had seen, they had been cognizant of Jesus, right up until now, right after his resurrection. Until now, their eyes have not yet been re-opened. They cannot see - quite yet, once again, who this fellow traveler is.

 

         Dictionary definitions tell us that to “recognize” is to not just to see again, but also to learn again, to know again. Let me repeat: To recognize” is to see again, to learn again, to know again. For Christians, recognizing Jesus is to see him again. And again. Recognizing Jesus, for Christians, is to know Jesus, again and again, and then, to make Jesus known, again and again. Being Christian, following Jesus, is never a one-and-done affair.

 

         Even the two disciples in today’s much-loved story - those two who finally “got it” again about Jesus, whose eyes were (re)opened (24:31) - even they had to keep learning about Jesus and keep knowing him, in order to make him known, in their new world. In our new world, we, the followers of Jesus who showed up today, online - we need to keep seeing and learning about Jesus, knowing Jesus. Again. We need to make Jesus known. Again.

 

         So what might all of that look like? We cannot make Jesus known if we do not know Jesus. And even if we have known Jesus in the past, what does it mean to know Jesus again, right now? It probably means we need to learn more about Jesus, perhaps as if we were learning for the first time.

 

         A week from this Wednesday, on May 6th, we will offer Bible study. (Again!) And yet, this particular Bible study may feel like it’s being offered for the first time. Why? Because it will be, like our Sunday worship today, online. Our new Bible study, using this same Zoom technology, will be called “Praying the Bible.” We’ll start with the Gospel of Matthew and pray our way through the Gospels. We’ll try to see, and to learn about, and to know Jesus. Again.   Perhaps this Bible study experience will be as if we are coming to know Jesus for the first time, so we can make him known. Again.

 

         These days, we may wonder if we will recognize each other when we finally come together again at 3745 Kimball Avenue.   For example, some of us may worry a bit that our new, more freely-flowing hairdos will keep even our dearest friends from seeing the real us. “Tom, is that you?”

 

         There is something different about these “virtual” meetings, these new ways we have come to see, to learn about, to know each other, without all of us being in the same physical space. This difference can be disappointing and even off-putting. We cannot now, for example, actually break bread together or exchange the Peace of the Lord with one another by shaking hands or exchanging hugs. So, how can we be the peace, be the hope, be the love we want and need to see? Well,...I think we’re doing it, right now.

 

         When I was preparing this sermon, the words in that little spiritual song we heard just before the Gospel came back to me. I first heard them about forty years ago, before I went to seminary. It’s a song popular in the renewal movement called Cursillo, a word that means a little course - in Christianity. The lyrics move from an endless ocean, to a fiery sunset, to Jesus’ eyes of love while on the cross. Finally, there are these words:

 

��

 

Have you ever stood in the family / with the Lord there in your midst?

Seen the face of Christ in each other? Then I say:

You’ve seen, Jesus, my Lord / He's here in plain view.

Take a look, open your eyes / He'll show life to you.        

        

 

         Take a good look, everyone. Jesus is here in plain view, in the midst of this little family of God. Yes, Jesus wants to show life to us, so we can make him known again, and make life known again, in our own, new world.

 

 

~ The Rev. Thomas A. Momberg, Vicar

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

3745 Kimball Avenue

Memphis, TN 38111

holytrinityec.org



____________________________________________

APRIL 19, 2020

PEACE BE WITH YOU

A Sermon for “Thomas Sunday” 

John 20:19-31                                                                                                    (The Sunday after Easter)

 

         So, here we are again, both together and apart, as we begin another week. How was your week? How is your practice - to be as safe and as well as you can - going for you? Have you got it “down” yet, that practice? No? Contrary to what we may have been taught, practice does not make perfect. Church historian Diana Butler Bass says that practice makes pilgrims.

 

          I don’t know about you, but these days, I’m trying to learn how to enjoy this different way of living and moving in my world. I’m also aware of how incredibly privileged I am, with a sufficient income, a lovely house, and an amazing partner who shares a home and a life with me. My health has its challenges, but I’m grateful again this morning to have put both my feet on the floor - and to have taken a few more steps on my journey with Jesus.

 

         You and I are definitely on a journey, a pilgrimage, a new way of life, and death, and resurrection. Today is the Sunday after Easter, the second Sunday of the fifty-day long Easter season. It’s also the Sunday church folk get to hear about Thomas, the disciple known for doubting. Each and every year, this story about Jesus and Thomas is told in churches worldwide.

 

         Now, allow me to state the obvious. This beloved little church called Holy Trinity has more than its share of Toms, Tommies, and Thomases. Might Holy Trinity be a church that could also be called...Holy Thomas!

 

         I wonder: was the Thomas who encountered Jesus...holy? He was, I’d guess, wholly unhappy. He was absent when Jesus appeared to all his other disciples on that first Easter Monday, the first day of the week. Thomas was usually right there with Jesus, smack dab in the middle of the action.

 

           For example, when Jesus’s friend Lazarus died, and Jesus left to be with Mary and Martha, the apostles didn’t want to go back to Judea, where some had attempted to kill Jesus. But Thomas says: "Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16).

 

         Later in John’s Gospel, when Jesus explained how he was leaving to prepare a heavenly home for his followers, and that one day, they’d all join him there, Thomas said, "Lord, we do not know not where you are going. How can we know the way?" (14:5)

 

         “The Way” was the first name given to these pilgrims, these people who decided to follow Jesus. The name “Christian” came later, but it has always been “The Way.” It is the Way of Life, and Death, and Resurrection. And at this moment in time, at the beginning of this story, when Jesus appears to his friends after his resurrection, Thomas is the only one. He is the only disciple who is stuck in time, several days behind his friends, still back at that terrible moment of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. That Easter Monday, when all the other disciples have seen the risen Lord, Thomas is still a pilgrim on the Way of the Cross.

 

         Sometimes, when I gather with folks to talk about faith and life, I ask the question, “What season are you in?” For example, spring may have sprung, and it may be the Easter season, but Lent may not have officially come to an end in my life. I may still be in Holy Week. For me, these days, it may still feel more like Good Friday than Easter Monday.

 

         Thomas sees all his friends so excited, full of resurrection joy, but he simply cannot go there or be there with them. “We have seen the Lord,” they tell him. That’s easy for them to say. But that’s hard - actually, it’s impossible - for Thomas. At least, right now.

 

         I wonder: When have you been in that kind of place, the place Thomas was in, a place the word “doubt” doesn’t begin to describe. Thomas was clearly devoted to Jesus, ready to die with him, if need be, and then, suddenly, Jesus is gone. Surely Thomas’ grief over losing Jesus was as great as anyone’s, and now, today, his pain is palpable. “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,” Thomas demands, “(unless I can) put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."

 

       Jesus appeared to all the other disciples in a moment that Thomas, for one reason or another, simply missed, Now, the good news those disciples shared, this miraculous return of their risen Lord, all of it may well have felt like even more bad news to Thomas. Was Thomas’ pain in part because he had been left out of their celebration? Why would Thomas NOT need and deserve physical proof, when all the others had it? Why should Thomas be denied the very thing all the others had been freely given?

 

         Was Thomas simply mad about this? Was he still sad? Was he, like all the others, afraid? Remember that first verse of today’s Gospel text? “The doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear...”      

         John’s Gospel account, which has in recent years been described as being relatively anti-Semitic in its portrayal of the children of Israel, tells us that it was fear “of the Jews.” No matter who the disciples were afraid of, their fear was real. I’m guessing Thomas was also afraid.

 

         So...is doubting holy? Was Thomas holy? Were the other disciples? We who seek to follow Jesus need to remember how Jesus appeared to them that day. We need to remember how Jesus was holy. There were holes, wounds, the mark of the nails in Jesus’ hands and in his side.

 

         Once again, Debie Thomas, an Indian-American student of the Bible, gives us some insight. Here’s what she says about Jesus’ wounds: This year - more than ever - I cherish the wounds in Jesuss post-resurrection life.  On this first Sunday after Easter, even though we are a resurrection people, we are still hurting.  The world is still wounded. Regardless of where on the planet we live, we are still anticipating grief on a scale most of us have never experienced before.  This year especially, Jesuss scarred body speaks with great power, tenderness, mercy, and truth. Allow (those scars, those wounds, those holes) to speak to you (today).

https://www.journeywithjesus.net/lectionary-essays

 

         Into that locked room, not once, but twice - both on the day after his resurrection and one week later - Jesus comes and stands among his friends and speaks four little words. They are the same four little words we followers of Jesus still speak to each other. “Peace. Be. With. You.

 

         No matter what season we are in. No matter whether we see the risen Lord for the first time, or the second, or we have yet to see him. No matter what our circumstance, no matter what we see or do not see, dare to believe this: Jesus will come and stand among us, speaking peace, even into our fear. No matter how scary this virus may be or may get, no matter how much pain and suffering there is, Jesus still speaks peace to those who are far off. Jesus is still speaking peace to us, who are near (Ephesians 2:17).

 

       Jesus came into that room in those first Eastertide days. He came and stood among his disciples, and he said, "Peace be with you." My sisters and brothers, Jesus has come into each of our rooms on this Second Sunday of Easter. He is standing among us, and he saying, "Peace be with you." The question is: How will we receive the peace Jesus has given us, once again, today? How might we dare to believe that his wounds bring us healing?

 

         Allow me to offer you a prayer, a simple sign of the peace of Christ, in a spiritual song I learned some time ago. If the words sound familiar to you, it’s because they are an adaptation of a prayer attributed to St. Patrick. As you will see, there are some motions - body movements - that go with this prayer. The movements ground this prayer more deeply within me.

 

         Let’s call this prayer a practice, a practice of health and wholeness and holiness, a practice of safety and protection, a practice of peace that, I hope and pray, will help you and help me to move a bit more fully into the next chapter of our pilgrimage, this chapter called the Second Week of Easter.

 

         Here are the words:

 

   Peace be with you, peace before you,

Peace to the right of you, peace behind you.

Peace to the left of you, peace above you.

Peace below you, peace within you.

~ Ruth Cunningham

 

~ The Rev. Thomas A. Momberg

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

April 19, 2020




     


FROM THE DESK OF FATHER MOMBERG-VICAR OF HTEC
        This article is taken from THE TRACT
May 2020


 

 

From the Desk of Rev. Tom Momberg

 

 

And now for something completely different.
~ Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Back in the 1970s, a ragtag group of young Englishmen created a surreal series of TV sketches. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, dubbed Monty Python’s Flying Circus - or simply, "The Pythons” - totally changed the way comedy was done. Their work included absurd situations, outrageous innuendoes and sight gags, alternating with animation that merged with live action. Something completely different, indeed.
That comical phrase came to mind as I continue to reflect on what God might be up to in these, our own “completely different” days. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing requirements have forced all of us to engage in other kinds of meeting, newer ways of connecting, such as telecommuting, learning through distance education, and videoconferencing - not to mention making a good, old-fashioned telephone call!
When the coronavirus became a reality in this country, it was time for something completely different. Zoom, a communications technology company founded less than a decade ago, is now a leader with their own version of “something different.” Countless companies, all kinds of educational institutions - even churches have switched, at least for now, to online classes and “virtual” worship, using platforms like Zoom.
On Palm Sunday we began to offer online Zoom worship. Now, using your telephone or computer, you can go to a website link and join Holy Trinity friends on Sunday mornings at 10 am. Anyone can worship with us...from anywhere on the planet!
And starting May 6th, we’ll begin offering a new Zoom (audio-video) class called Praying the Bible. I will host this one-hour class at Noon on Wednesdays. If you prefer, you can participate simply using audio (just call in with any kind of phone). Or you can use a “smart” phone or any other kind of computer (desktop, laptop, or tablet) and join us in both audio and video. Each week, you choose how you want to connect.
As with our current Sunday morning worship at 10 am, anyone will be able to study the Bible and pray with us on Wednesdays, from wherever they - or you - may be. Anywhere in the world, that is. Talk about something completely different!
Changes can be hard. Differences may be challenging. I believe I am called to face into these hard, challenging times with you. I pray you will let me be your companion and guide on this spiritual journey. Of course, Jesus, our chief guide, is also with us.
In the merry month of May, I invite you to join us in this completely different way of praying, studying, and worshiping. Let us keep coming together, while we are apart.
In the peace of Christ,
Tom+
fathermom1949@gmail.com / 301.825.2846

 

And now for something completely different. 
~ Monty Python’s Flying Circus 

Back in the 1970s, a ragtag group of young Englishmen created a surreal series of TV sketches. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, dubbed Monty Python’s Flying Circus - or simply, "The Pythons” - totally changed the way comedy was done. Their work included absurd situations, outrageous innuendoes and sight gags, alternating with animation that merged with live action. Something completely different, indeed. 

That comical phrase came to mind as I continue to reflect on what God might be up to in these, our own “completely different” days. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing requirements have forced all of us to engage in other kinds of meeting, newer ways of connecting, such as telecommuting, learning through distance education, and videoconferencing - not to mention making a good, old-fashioned telephone call! 

When the coronavirus became a reality in this country, it was time for something completely different. Zoom, a communications technology company founded less than a decade ago, is now a leader with their own version of “something different.” Countless companies, all kinds of educational institutions - even churches have switched, at least for now, to online classes and “virtual” worship, using platforms like Zoom. 

On Palm Sunday we began to offer online Zoom worship. Now, using your telephone or computer, you can go to a website link and join Holy Trinity friends on Sunday mornings at 10 am. Anyone can worship with us...from anywhere on the planet! 
And starting May 6th, we’ll begin offering a new Zoom (audio-video) class called Praying the Bible. I will host this one-hour class at Noon on Wednesdays. If you prefer, you can participate simply using audio (just call in with any kind of phone). Or you can use a “smart” phone or any other kind of computer (desktop, laptop, or tablet) and join us in both audio and video. Each week, you choose how you want to connect. 

As with our current Sunday morning worship at 10 am, anyone will be able to study the Bible and pray with us on Wednesdays, from wherever they - or you - may be. Anywhere in the world, that is. Talk about something completely different! 
Changes can be hard. Differences may be challenging. I believe I am called to face into these hard, challenging times with you. I pray you will let me be your companion and guide on this spiritual journey. Of course, Jesus, our chief guide, is also with us. 

In the merry month of May, I invite you to join us in this completely different way of praying, studying, and worshiping. Let us keep coming together, while we are apart. 

In the peace of Christ, 
Tom+ 
fathermom1949@gmail.com / 301.825.2846

And now for something completely different.

~ Monty Python’s Flying Circus

 

Back in the 1970s, a ragtag group of young Englishmen created a surreal series of TV sketches. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, dubbed Monty Python’s Flying Circus - or simply, "The Pythons” - totally changed the way comedy was done. Their work included absurd situations, outrageous innuendoes and sight gags, alternating with animation that merged with live action. Something completely different, indeed.

 

That comical phrase came to mind as I continue to reflect on what God might be up to in these, our own “completely different” days. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing requirements have forced all of us to engage in other kinds of meeting, newer ways of connecting, such as telecommuting, learning through distance education, and videoconferencing - not to mention making a good, old-fashioned telephone call!

 

When the coronavirus became a reality in this country, it was time for something completely different. Zoom, a communications technology company founded less than a decade ago, is now a leader with their own version of “something different.” Countless companies, all kinds of educational institutions - even churches have switched, at least for now, to online classes and “virtual” worship, using platforms like Zoom.

 

On Palm Sunday we began to offer online Zoom worship. Now, using your telephone or computer, you can go to a website link and join Holy Trinity friends on Sunday mornings at 10 am. Anyone can worship with us...from anywhere on the planet!

And starting May 6th, we’ll begin offering a new Zoom (audio-video) class called Praying the Bible. I will host this one-hour class at Noon on Wednesdays. If you prefer, you can participate simply using audio (just call in with any kind of phone). Or you can use a “smart” phone or any other kind of computer (desktop, laptop, or tablet) and join us in both audio and video. Each week, you choose how you want to connect.

 

As with our current Sunday morning worship at 10 am, anyone will be able to study the Bible and pray with us on Wednesdays, from wherever they - or you - may be. Anywhere in the world, that is. Talk about something completely different!

Changes can be hard. Differences may be challenging. I believe I am called to face into these hard, challenging times with you. I pray you will let me be your companion and guide on this spiritual journey. Of course, Jesus, our chief guide, is also with us.

 

In the merry month of May, I invite you to join us in this completely different way of praying, studying, and worshiping. Let us keep coming together, while we are apart.

 

In the peace of Christ,

Tom+

fathermom1949@gmail.com / 301.825.2846

And now for something completely different.
~ Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Back in the 1970s, a ragtag group of young Englishmen created a surreal series of TV sketches. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, dubbed Monty Python’s Flying Circus - or simply, "The Pythons” - totally changed the way comedy was done. Their work included absurd situations, outrageous innuendoes and sight gags, alternating with animation that merged with live action. Something completely different, indeed.
That comical phrase came to mind as I continue to reflect on what God might be up to in these, our own “completely different” days. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing requirements have forced all of us to engage in other kinds of meeting, newer ways of connecting, such as telecommuting, learning through distance education, and videoconferencing - not to mention making a good, old-fashioned telephone call!
When the coronavirus became a reality in this country, it was time for something completely different. Zoom, a communications technology company founded less than a decade ago, is now a leader with their own version of “something different.” Countless companies, all kinds of educational institutions - even churches have switched, at least for now, to online classes and “virtual” worship, using platforms like Zoom.
On Palm Sunday we began to offer online Zoom worship. Now, using your telephone or computer, you can go to a website link and join Holy Trinity friends on Sunday mornings at 10 am. Anyone can worship with us...from anywhere on the planet!
And starting May 6th, we’ll begin offering a new Zoom (audio-video) class called Praying the Bible. I will host this one-hour class at Noon on Wednesdays. If you prefer, you can participate simply using audio (just call in with any kind of phone). Or you can use a “smart” phone or any other kind of computer (desktop, laptop, or tablet) and join us in both audio and video. Each week, you choose how you want to connect.
As with our current Sunday morning worship at 10 am, anyone will be able to study the Bible and pray with us on Wednesdays, from wherever they - or you - may be. Anywhere in the world, that is. Talk about something completely different!
Changes can be hard. Differences may be challenging. I believe I am called to face into these hard, challenging times with you. I pray you will let me be your companion and guide on this spiritual journey. Of course, Jesus, our chief guide, is also with us.
In the merry month of May, I invite you to join us in this completely different way of praying, studying, and worshiping. Let us keep coming together, while we are apart.
In the peace of Christ,
Tom+
fathermom1949@gmail.com / 301.825.2846