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TAT Article: The Rest of the Sermon

I'm grateful for a clergy mentor who like what he heard, but wanted to hear more. My response to his critique led to an article for the church newsletter, The Almond Tree. This was my opportunity for a Paul Harvey tagline: "And now you know the rest of the story":

Dear Immanuel Family:

As I grew up, I knew my mother was an avid listener of the Paul Harvey radio show. I too was drawn in, hearing his distinctive and unique cadence and listening to his thought-provoking topics. I was especially taken by his illustrations of Americana such as his speech, “So God Made a Farmer.”  Yet I rarely could walk away until I heard his famous tagline, “And now you know the rest of the story.”

A benefit of this interim time for me between Mary and the arrival of Fr. Randy is the clergy mentors surrounding me in this parish.  How rich we are to have so many capable clergy who worship among us in our pews!  One is Frank Wade, a long-time friend, a recent teacher in seminary, and now a treasured clergy colleague at our altar.  Frank offers me good counsel and wonderful advice.  This Sunday after services, he asked, “How do we equate ‘Hydrate, Perspirate, Urinate’ (my Aug. 11th sermon) to our own lives?”  If you missed it, find our sermons video library at www.icoh.net/Sermons

How do we equate ‘Hydrate, Perspirate, Urinate’ to our lives today, here at ICOH?

To HYDRATE ourselves with ‘living water,’ we are called to constant prayer, regular worship, diligent study, and finally to action. We assemble for worship as community. We gather around scripture to formulate our own understanding of texts, to join in dialogue, and then to act. We pray together, offering our petitions, supplications and thanksgivings, for ourselves and for one another. We are empowered through the sacraments of our Baptism and fed by the Lord’s Supper. Lifting our voices in prayer and praise, through song and the exchange of Peace, we become stirring waters of God’s Love in the world.  Hydrate yourselves. Then Hydrate the World.

To PERSPIRATE comes with work in the vineyards. When we end our worship in Zabriskie, our service begins in the mission field right outside our door. We are well known in Alexandria as “the Pumpkin Church,” and so many good works flow from the funds gained through the year-long efforts of the Patch. I know the heavy work of toting pumpkins, not once but twice in October. But there are also feeding ministries for others and our own, Christmas families backpacks in August and holiday gifts in December, scholarships and aid for students in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I regularly see the ICOH volunteers who tend to our gardens and grounds. Hydrate and Perspirate!

To URINATE. It is imperative our systems process hydration and perspiration properly; for if not, dehydration can occur, and death could follow. How do we share our faith in God, to be ‘not only hearers of the Word, but doers also?’ Our ‘system’ works best if we process what we take in, and release that which can bind us up. This might be through sacramental rites of reconciliation and penance, forgiveness and absolution. Maybe we cope with grief: for a loved one who died, a relationship that has ended, a move that was required. Please remember that the Alexanders coming to ICOH has involved a leave-taking full of great thanksgiving, but also tender sorrow, and now carries with it great anticipation and some anxiety: for Fr. Randy, for Patty, and for their sons, William, Peter and Andrew.

There you have it. And now you know the rest of the sermon.

David Crosby.  Good Day!