Tag: Ven. Grant Rodgers


Homily for the 24th Sunday of Pentecost – October 23, 2016

http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/20161023ho.mp3 I am very conscious today that for many of you, this may be the last time we ever connect in person; I am also conscious that this is most likely the last time I will ever speak from this pulpit.  Over the last eight years, I have preached to you something like 350 times on Sunday’s alone, so, if you have been listening, you have already heard what God sent me here to say.  But keep the ears of your hearts open today too, just in case. I want to say to you that in all those 350 or so times, every time out, I was trying to proclaim to you, in the best way that I could, something significant, something worth thinking about, something of the truth and life of the awesome God we serve through Jesus Christ. We have studied and reflected together.  At least 60 (and probably more like 70 or even 80) of you have taken part in adult formation classes we have offered in the Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening studies and in sermon\discussion series. We have explored Benedictine and Franciscan spirituality, reflected on Jesus in the movies; we have considered “contemporary faith and spiritual practice,” and we have tried to imagine where the church might be going in the 21st Century.  We have re-visited the painful legacy of the Residential Schools and made an effort to empathize with contemporary First Nations people; we have looked at inter-faith issues and we have visited mosques together; with the help of Dr Nancy Reeves, we promised to say Yes to God; with the help of people like Matthew Fox, Marcus Borg, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Harold Kushner, Brian McLaren, Lillian Daniel, Thomas Green sj, Stephanie Spellers and Michael Ingham, we met Jesus again for the first time, we...

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HOMILY – THE REV. GRANT RODGERS – REFLECTIONS ON MY IMMINENT DEPARTURE – AUGUST 21, 2016

THE 15TH SUNDAY OF PENTECOST-AUGUST 21, 2016 http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/20160821h.mp3 A year ago I accepted an appointment to Vancouver School of Theology  (VST) as Director of Anglican Formation, a position which seems to suit me and which I love. Initially, it looked like the arrangement – of working 1/3 time there and 2/3 time here — had the potential to be a new lease on life for me and for St John’s as well, with creative interaction between the two realms.  It was ideal for me, as it allowed me to remain in this parish which I have loved leading and serving. It also carried the exciting possibility of bringing another person into the ministry picture at St John’s.   After nearly a year, though, we had some supply help, but no one emerged to fill that 1/3 space that my being at VST created.  I began to be aware that you can say you’re 2/3 all you like, but 100% of the work and expectations of the Rector were still present, despite my efforts to delegate and draw back.  Those expectations and assumptions are only natural when people have been so accustomed to one pattern. The problem is that I have at least 1/3 less time to do all that, and to meet all the expectations. I spoke to people at the Synod office several weeks ago about whether there was someone out there who might provide ministry on a 1/3 basis but there seemed to be no one at all on the horizon. Despite all that, until very recently I saw myself continuing indefinitely as St John’s – to retirement age and beyond.  It has been a place that I have enjoyed, I have had good support, we have a great clergy team, we have dedicated leaders, and there is a...

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Homily – Easter Sunday – The Ven. Grant Rodgers

http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/20160327h.mp3 St Paul, in his first letter to the church at Corinth, wrote: “All will be made alive in Christ” or as the old King James Version puts it: “In Christ shall all be made alive.” Either way, what we are talking about is life. We gather today to celebrate this promise, this hope, this reality; to embrace the life we share in Christ and to re-enter it through the sacrament of the Eucharist; to worship the God “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that do not even exist” (Romans 4). We are not just expressing a belief or remembering an historical event; in some real way, we are celebrating the life that is in us. And Jesus is the first expression of this life, this new creation; Jesus is life. As theologian N.T. Wright puts it: “Easter was the moment when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.” My theme at Christmas was a bit of ancient wisdom: “Christ became what we are in order that we might become what he is.” Today, let us celebrate the fact that “All will be made alive in Christ” – another phrase worth remembering. The bulb in the ground, the child in the womb, the bear hibernating deep in its cave; the husband who has languished on the couch all winter – all feel this inexorable pull toward life – and amazingly, spring to life. It is in all of us to know that we are constantly being summoned toward transformation and renewal and evolution, as compellingly as Jesus summoned Lazarus out of his tomb. Anais Nin: And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it...

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Homily for Epiphany 3

Homily for Epiphany 3/January 24, 2016 The Venerable Grant Rodgers http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/20160124h.mp3 A month ago we were singing Christmas carols! It seems hard to believe, but it’s an indication of how quickly time moves on, and a reminder that life itself moves along very quickly, which in turn raises a question of what we’re doing with our lives. The poet Mary Oliver, reflecting this sense of how quickly it all passes by, asked: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Good question!


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Homily for Christmas I, 2015

December 27, 2015 Today, in addition to continuing the celebration of Christmas, we celebrate our patron saint, John the Apostle and Evangelist, whose festival day is December 27, and often seems to get overlooked in the aftermath of Christmas. There is much uncertainty even about who John is.  Someone by the name of John is mentioned a number of times in the New Testament.  All the references could be about the same person, but it could also be two or more people.  John was a fairly common name at that time, so there could indeed be several different New Testament figures of the same name.  But in every case what comes across is someone who was there – someone who was with Jesus at the key moments of his ministry, and thus speaks with authenticity as someone who knew Jesus intimately: “We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us” (First Letter of John 1: 1—3).  Today’s Gospel (from John 21) suggests John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved . . . the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper.” Depending on how you read the references to John in the New Testament, he could come across as passionate and fiery, with great ambitions of attaining the highest possible heights, or possibly as a boyish, affectionate, naïve or even effeminate character –...

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Homily for Christmas Eve, 2015

The Venerable Grant Rodgers, Rector I know I would be remiss if I did not say to you at some point this evening: “The Force be with you,” because we live in a culture that likes its religion with a little popcorn on the side, and maybe a little imagination and science-fiction along with it.  Some people carp a lot about how Christmas has been high-jacked or gone off the rails or become completely secular. My Christmas would not be complete without my yearly watching of the movie adaptation of Dickens’ great story of Ebenezer Scrooge, or reading Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” or O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” — not mention Dr Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Merry Christmas, Mr Bean,” “Blackadder’s Christmas Carol,” etc.  And frankly, if you can’t find something of the Gospel in Star Wars, you need to go back to Sunday School. For me, Christmas is not something I own because I am a pastor or even because I am a Christian, and Christ is not some dead relative whose reputation I feel I need to defend.  Christmas is a gift — a gift that is meant to be shared.  After all, in the original story, there was a child in the manger, not a dog. Am I right?   However, when people take the “dog in the manger” approach, especially at Christmas, it never seems to edify anyone, and often goes horribly wrong. Take the Puritans for example. Once upon a time there were people called Puritans within the Church in England, people deadly serious about their faith, who wanted to do away with anything frivolous or fun or foolish, and as a result nearly succeeded in getting rid of Christmas altogether.  And they did, for a while.  In June...

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HOMILY FOR THE REIGN OF CHRIST – THE VEN. GRANT RODGERS

http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/20151122h.mp3 NOVEMBER 22 2015 A little boy and his “papa” are being interviewed by CNN in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. The little boy is trying to make his father aware of the danger: “Bad guys are not very nice … They have guns and they can shoot us because they’re really, really mean, papa. We have to be really careful or we have to change houses.”


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Homily for the Twenty-Third Sunday of Pentecost

http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/20151018h.mp3 Commemorating St Luke the Apostle October 18, 2015 We celebrate today (October 18) the festival of St Luke, apostle, theologian, Gospel writer, physician.   Saints days remind us that our history is about people, not formulas or doctrines or theories – that the Church is about real people paying forward their experience and wisdom and example, not merely a bureaucracy or institution.


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Homily for Pentecost 21 – Thanksgiving Sunday

http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/20151011h.mp3 Last week I saw an amazing video on the TV news about a young woman interacting with a dolphin from a boat while holidaying in the Bahamas. Suddenly she dropped her cell phone into the ocean. Moments later, the dolphin had gone down, retrieved it for her and gently gave it back.


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Homily for the 16th Sunday of Pentecost, August 30, 2015

http://www.stja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/20150830h.mp3 The fact that we have the parish picnic today reminds me of my probably inordinate love of food, and the fact that I have gained way too much weight over the last few years. But how much is too much? What’s the ideal? What’s the norm?


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