Sunday, March 14, 2021
Immanuel Episcopal Church, Ripley, Tennessee
The Reverend Alexander H. Webb II (“Sandy”)
March 14, 2021
The Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year B)
Revised Common Lectionary
John 3:1-21 (Expanded)
In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
This morning’s gospel reading contains what is arguably the most famous passage in the entire bible. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his...
at Sunday, March 14, 2021
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
In December, the vestry approved a design for a new dossal curtain and centerpiece for our renovated nave; it will take the place of our current dossal curtain later this year.
Our recent nave renovation project included efforts to restore our historic dossal curtain, which was a gift from Calvary Church on our opening day in 1950. However, deterioration due to dry rot in the dossal curtain’s silk fibers was more than anyone expected; the current piece is beyond repair.
at Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Monday, January 11, 2021
In seminary, I encountered a new word. Some of you may already know it, but it was new to me: Teleology . My professors used teleology enough in their lectures that I knew I needed to know what it meant, but I was too embarrassed to ask. So, I broke it down…
I knew that the phoneme “-ology” derived from the Greek word logos , which means “word” or “knowledge” or “thought.” Theology, words or thoughts about God. Psychology,...
at Monday, January 11, 2021
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Christmas Services at Holy Communion
UPDATED DECEMBER 22, 2020 at 2:30 P.M.
Late yesterday afternoon, Bishop Phoebe Roaf made a decision to suspend in-person worship throughout the Diocese of West Tennessee for at least the next several weeks. Her decision is effective immediately, and does include Christmas Eve. We will not have in-person worship on...
at Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Friday, July 31, 2020
Remembering Buddy: Creative Reflection from Deacon Randy from Church of the Holy Communion on Vimeo .
at Friday, July 31, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
A few months ago, Holy Communion received a loan under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. It made a big difference in our operations and gave us confidence that we could afford to continue paying our bills. With that money largely spent, we are now preparing to apply for “forgiveness.”
“Forgiveness” is a theological word that bankers have borrowed. Financial forgiveness is receiving permission not to repay a debt, but theological...
at Monday, July 20, 2020
Thursday, July 9, 2020
at Thursday, July 9, 2020
Monday, July 6, 2020
The hardest questions to answer in a seminary ethics class are those that put two goods in tension: If you select Option A, certain things will happen. If you select Option B, other things will happen. Each option has some good outcomes and some bad outcomes, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. How do you choose?
The easiest way out of these dilemmas is to appeal to some core value – a principle, or a rule – that will give you some perspective. If...
at Monday, July 6, 2020
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Trees have long memories.
Trees are changed by their experiences. The rings of trees absorb their history: Droughts, floods, fires, injuries, and diseases – they’re all recorded.
Our bodies have long memories, too.
Psychologists tell us that the human body remembers trauma in all its forms – the horrific traumas that are evoked by the word, as well as the invisible traumas that can be just as devastating. The body absorbs them all, and is changed by...
at Sunday, June 28, 2020
Monday, June 22, 2020
Images Courtesy Melissa McMasters, Overton Park Conservancy Director of Communications
Why can’t life be more like Overton Park?
For those of you who may not know about Midtown’s treasure, let me tell you: Overton Park is a 200-acre oasis in the city. Overton Park contains an old growth forest where plants and animals coexist sustainably. The people who exercise in Overton Park seek to live healthy lives and they reflect the diversity of our city – all races, all...
at Monday, June 22, 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020
Pilgrimage Opportunities to the Restored Nave
(in the midst of a global pandemic)
In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
God places the Prophet Ezekiel in a field of dry bones. The bones are long dead; the breath of life has long departed. God tells Ezekiel that the bones can live again, but Ezekiel has a hard time believing it; he looks around and sees only death.
at Monday, June 15, 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020
The church’s ancient doctrine of original sin can be hard to get our arms around. Why does Adam’s sin carry on to me? I didn’t eat the apple. I didn’t seek to be like God.
Here’s the key to understanding original sin: It’s not about you.
The idea that sin is about our own individual actions and inactions was rejected in the fifth century. Sin is about the state of the world. None of us started it, and none of us can stop it....
at Monday, June 15, 2020
Monday, May 11, 2020
Disruption is the forerunner of creation. Whenever God creates something new, he first disrupts something old.
In the very beginning, scripture tells us, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the deep. Then, God disrupted it. God created light, and then boundaries, and then life itself. God disrupted what was so that God could create what is.
The ministry of Jesus was similarly disruptive. A pandemic of sin had plagued the world since Eden, and just when it seemed that...
at Monday, May 11, 2020
Monday, May 4, 2020
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...
at Monday, May 4, 2020