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Home to Heart: Dreams

I recently saw a sign in the park near my home: “COVID-19 helped me dream.” What an unexpected thought: A global pandemic helped me dream. I do not know what the writer meant, but I have found myself more open to new possibilities recently, to the opportunities that this crisis presents for me as a person and for us as a community of faith. This moment may be dark, but our future is bright. Have you ever noticed that most dreams come to us in the night? We need to be... Read More
Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Monday, May 4, 2020
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Home to Heart: Sabbath

Theologian Walter Brueggemann suggests that observing sabbath is an act of resistance. The patterns of life in American culture do not encourage us to take times of rest. We have to claim them, and then we have to guard them. God did not design creation to work that way: On the seventh day, God rested from all of his labors – all of his labors. And, in the Fourth Commandment, God begs us to do the same. Brueggemann goes on to say that it is our consistent disregard for the Fourth... Read More
Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Monday, April 27, 2020
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Home to Heart: Windows

Church buildings in the Eastern Orthodox tradition are known for the beautiful icons that adorn their walls. Theologians in that tradition often say that their icons are “windows” to the divine, objects through which people can see God. While the western church’s tradition is different, I wonder: What are our windows? What objects draw our eyes towards God? Our long season of self-isolation has made me realize that our church building itself is something of a window... Read More
Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Monday, April 20, 2020
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Home to Heart: Worth

Nature photography generously donated by Cindy McMillion. Many of us have recently received first quarter reports from our financial advisors, and the numbers are not what we are used to seeing. Someone recently said to me, “I’m worth 30% less than I was last month.” While it is true that the market price of our financial assets may have declined significantly in recent days, and while it is true that many people are experiencing a significant reduction in their... Read More
Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Monday, April 13, 2020
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Home to Heart: Presence

  Like so many of you, I have been spending a lot of time at home lately. I have been spending time in one place rather than in my usual many places. While this change has taken some getting used to, it has also reminded me of simpler times, of times when rootedness was valued more highly than busyness. In the Old Testament, God’s people respond to God’s call by saying, “Here am I.” Jacob in his dream, Moses before the bush, Samuel in his bedroom:... Read More
Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Monday, April 6, 2020
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Home to Heart: GRIEF

  I have felt an abiding feeling of sadness lately, both in myself and in the people with whom I have spoken on the telephone. I expected that this pandemic would generate feelings of fear and uncertainty, but where is the sadness coming from?   On reflection, I realize that the sadness is grief. So many people have had to give up so much because of this virus. Long-anticipated trips have been cancelled. Plans for retirement have been delayed. Rites of passage like... Read More
Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Monday, March 30, 2020
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Reflection for Lent 5

by Deacon Gerri Endicott The Traditional Collect for this, the Fifth Sunday in Lent:   Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant unto thy people that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and... Read More
Posted by Emily Austin at Monday, March 30, 2020
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The Glory in Practice: Unorthodox Lenten practices abound at Holy Communion

During a recent adult formation meeting, the Reverend Sandy Webb elicited a gasp from attendees when he described a man whose Lenten sacrifice was enough to give you goosebumps. The man, said Fr. Sandy, gave up heated water for Lent. Warm water in his coffee. Hot water in his shower. Are you shivering yet? Indeed, a popular way to observe Lent is to make a small sacrifice in your daily life. Such a sacrifice references the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness before... Read More
Posted by Emily Austin at Saturday, February 1, 2020
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Feast of Lights service for the Epiphany | The Reverend Jonathan Chesney

The Reverend Jonathan... Read More
Posted by Emily Austin at Sunday, January 5, 2020
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The Details Matter | The Reverend Jonathan Chesney

The Details Matter The Reverend Jonathan Chesney Christmas Day | Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019 Church of the Holy Communion Your details matter. They matter to God. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying; I’m not saying God is a cosmic Santa Claus keeping up with the naughty and nice list, watching every jott and tittle, scoring when we do right or fall short. That’s also not to say that God doesn’t care how we live; a tremendous amount of... Read More
Posted by Emily Austin at Wednesday, December 25, 2019
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A Service for the Longest Night

The following sermon by Rev. Jonathan Chesney was included in Church of the Holy Communion's Longest Night Service on Dec. 12, 2019.    It is the best of times; it is the worst of times.   The best, because, what could be bad about emphasizing joy, peace, and good will? About lifting up charity and kindness? About giving gifts and spending time with loved ones? The worst because, as a larger group, we humans do not do nuance very well…... Read More
Posted by Emily Austin at Thursday, December 12, 2019
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Congratulations to the Eagle Scout who knew he could ...

The Eagle Court of Honor ceremony is bound to include a few cheers. The ceremony for Carter Ross Gammill, may well have set a cheering record. Carter, 18 and a lifetime member of Holy Communion, could barely contain his glee. His shouts were the hoot-hoots now heard in the woods wherever Boy Scouts camp in this region, a small but unmistakable mark of a teen who threw himself into becoming an Eagle Scout and never doubted he would prevail. “The hoot-hoot is a special... Read More
Posted by Jane Roberts at Monday, April 1, 2019
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Old-world apprentice, Memphis style

Terry Rogers, 17, earned a reputation at the Carpenter Art Garden in Binghampton as a kid who could paint. Before he knew it, he was on the mural team, making $10 an hour creating bold, colorful street art there and around the city, including an installation at Tillman and Summer. Now, if he has to pinch himself to know what is happening is real, stained-glass artist Suzy Hendrix just smiles to herself. She needed an apprentice. Church of the Holy Communion asked to help by paying him a... Read More
Posted by Jane Roberts at Thursday, March 28, 2019
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Letting Jesus Love Us

In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. Jesus says, “How often have I desired to gather [you] together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” Jesus’ image is tender: A chick would feel entirely safe nestled in the cleft of his mother’s wing. He would feel the softness of his sisters and brothers gathered in tightly ‘round. He would feel the warmth of community. He would feel that while he might be small, his... Read More
Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Sunday, March 17, 2019
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On feeling awkward and why it matters

St. Mary’s Upper School Chapel Address 2/23/2019 Hello!  Good morning! I’m so glad to get to be here this morning. Thanks to Rev. Bush for inviting me and to y’all for welcoming me! As she said, my name is Jonathan and I’m an Episcopal priest here at the Church of the Holy Communion. I got married to my wife, Ali, in September, moved down here, and started at Holy Communion in October. Ali is an environmental educator and sometimes she... Read More
Posted by Jane Roberts at Thursday, March 7, 2019
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