Let It Rot

Sermon by The Reverend Christian Baron, Co-Rector, July 16, 2017, Pentecost 6, Proper 10, Year A, Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom…”

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Good morning. I have always been fascinated by things that are rotting. When I was young, maybe 8, I remember taking a plastic wheelbarrow out to the tiny street we lived on.

I was so excited because I and my friend Sasha found a rabbit that had been killed by a car. I was sad and mesmerized.

I scooped it up and brought it to my mom to show her… I mostly did it because I was interested in rot… in things that were rotting.

I also started playing football at age 8… the same age as when I found that rabbit… I went to the same school for 13 years, K-12, in the same building… in Allendale.

The school had an old gravel track. It wasn’t good for much except for collecting puddles and letting football players run laps.

The track circled the football field and on the northern side of the track, there were woods.
It was the closest place for the janitors at school to discard the grass clippings for the school.

Every time I’d run around the north side of that track I would hold my breath and run as fast as I could because I hated the smell of rotting grass. But I was still fascinated by the rotting. Why did it smell so bad?

Read more

Nobody Can Imagine What God Is Doing Through Jesus… Except For Infants.

Sermon by The Reverend Jodi Baron, Co-Rector, July 9, 2017, Pentecost 5, Proper 9, Year A, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30


“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants…”

In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It is good to be back with you, friends. I’ve been absent the past two Sundays to take advantage of some of the continuing education and vacation time you offer me & Christian each year. It was good to read, rest, and rejuvenate.

It was good to spend time with my family in some of our favorite places, to reunite with friends we haven’t seen in too, too long, to read from authors I’ve neglected since before seminary…whose voices I’ve missed.

Like Rob Bell, for instance. As you may, or may not, know from our Parish Communications, the Education and Spiritual Formation For the Whole Parish Committee has invited the whole parish to join in reading Bell’s newest book, What Is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything.

We gathered at my house last Thursday for dinner and to begin discussing the book, together.

Read more

Fishing Without Bait and Kingdom Hospitality

Sermon by The Reverend Christian Baron, Co-Rector, July 2, 2017, Pentecost 4, Proper 8, Year A, Matthew 10:40-42

“Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple– truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… Amen.

Good morning.

It is good to be back with you today. Were you able to make it last week for church? Did you get to hear Fr. Zachariah? Did you get a chance to speak with him and his family? What did he preach about? What did you learn about them and from them?


Wonderful… What a blessing to have them… The bad side of having him fill-in for us when we are gone is that I never get to hear him preach or hear him say the Eucharistic prayer.

But I’ve known Zachariah for many years.

We worked together in the social work world about 10 years ago.
We worked with young men who were refugees and looking for safety from war and violence and oppression.

Read more