Archive for May, 2015

“Faith of My Father” (May 24, 2015–The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday; The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Lafayette, Louisiana)

Posted in Sermons with tags , , , on May 24, 2015 by montgomerybrandt

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”—John 16.7[1]

In the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

From the age of 5 until shortly after my 12th birthday, my father and I were estranged. The foundation for our estrangement was the intense bitterness had for my father by my maternal grandmother, who deeply resented him for not doing “the honorable thing” by marrying my mother and providing her and myself with a stable home in the months following his first wife’s death.[2] But the immediate cause of our estrangement was that after years of making arrangements for me to go with him, my step-mother, and my half/step-brothers and sisters on family vacations and repeatedly having them canceled at the last minute by my mother, my father had had enough. He was tired of the fighting and continually having his hopes up that he and I would get to spend time with each other, only to see them get squashed. So in the summer of 1990, after having yet again experienced his hope of me traveling and spending time with him and my paternal family squashed, my father made a choice. He chose to completely step away, ceasing for a time all contact with me, leaving it up to me when I got older to decide whether I wanted to have a relationship with him or not. My step-mother recalled to me some years ago that after my father made this decision, he immediately prayed to God, begging Him to make a way for us to someday have a true father-son relationship.

In February 1997, after seven years of staying away, my father took a risk and reached out to my mother. He wrote that during the course of that next year, he was going to turn 65 and retire from his position as Superintendent of the Mississippi School for the Blind and that, in retirement, he wanted to spend time with all his children and grandchildren, including me. In the letter, he asked my mother to “please, let me be with my son.” My mother agreed and during Spring Break one month later, on the campus of the Mississippi School for the Blind in Jackson, the prayer that my father made to God seven years earlier and the hopes from my longing to be with my father all came to pass. I got off the bus, saw my father in the distance, and ran in excitement, him hugging me and I him for a considerable length of time. My father, who once went away, was now back with me and the time of separation in between God used to help heal hearts and bring about the beginning of reconciliation between two families who both loved their 12-year-old son, grandson, and brother very, very much. Because of the work that God did during that 7-year meantime, I have been blessed and very fortunate to have a real relationship with my father that has now lasted 18 years and as he is now at the age and state of health in which he draws closer to the nearer presence of Jesus, I will meet that day giving thanks to God for the relationship that my father and I have been able to have.

Today is the Day of Pentecost, oftentimes called the “Birthday of the Church,” the day in which the Church commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other first followers of Christ, bringing to fulfillment Jesus’ promise that “before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”[3] But in order to understand the significance of this day for the Church, we must first go back 10 days earlier to Ascension Day—this parish’s feast of title—the day in which the Church commemorates the ascension of Christ into Heaven, with fullness of body and divinity. It is in today’s Gospel, particularly the portion from John 16, in which we see the connection between these two important feasts, getting a foreshadowing of both Ascension Day and Pentecost. In John 16, we hear Jesus say that “it is to your advantage that I go away…” Why does Jesus say that He must go away and that it will be advantageous for us? 51 days ago, on Good Friday, when we saw Jesus hang on a tree, die, and buried in a rock-hewn tomb, we thought that all hope was lost and that Jesus was gone forever. Then on Easter Sunday, with the news that “Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified…has risen…He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you,”[4] our deep grief turned into great joy, for Jesus came back and was, once again, walking and talking with us, we being able to be physically present with Him. But come 40 days later, after just having come back to us, Jesus left us again, withdrawing from us, being carried up into Heaven.[5] So why did Jesus go away? What good did it do for us? The answer is simple, yet very important—the Incarnation.

With the ascension of Jesus into Heaven, we saw the conclusion of the “Incarnational Phase” of the Plan of Redemption, by which our humanity, humbly taken on by Christ and through which He made the full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice required on our behalf, now, in the Person of Christ, dwells at God’s right hand. Saint John says that “if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”[6] Yes, how great it was to have Jesus come back from the grave and be physically present with us, but if He had remained on Earth physically and not ascended, then He would have remained accessible only to a few and not to all. By remaining on Earth physically and not taking up our human form to God’s right side, with the marks of the nails through His hands and feet and the pierced mark in His side, then all of humanity’s full reconciliation with God would have remained incomplete. Again, “Jesus Christ…is the expiation for our sins…for the sins of the whole world.” Therefore, in order for Him to fully accomplish His purpose—to be the expiation of sin for all humanity, being accessible to all people—Jesus had to physically go away. Our advantage in Jesus’ physical departure is that by His taking up our humanity with Him into Heaven, our access to God is restored and can never again be broken, for Jesus is our one Mediator between God and humanity.[7]

Jesus says, in full, in John 16 that “it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” So now, 10 days later, with Jesus’ physical body having ascended into Heaven and now dwelling at God’s right hand, the Holy Spirit, our Counselor, the Advocate, Christ’s continued presence at work in the world, has come, dwelling within and amongst the People of God. On today, the Day of Pentecost, we see Christ’s body, first made visible to Our Lady and Saint Joseph, then to the Apostles, then physically taken away, transformed into a mystical Body—the Church. The Holy Spirit’s coming has caused Christ’s body to be reborn among and within a variegated group of people that confess Him as Savior and Lord, being brought into love and harmony with God. Because of the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ, no longer physically visible to us, has been seen by way of a plethora of local Christian communities throughout the world, made one by way of a common creed—Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again—starting from that first Pentecost day, continuing throughout the centuries and into this time right now.

At the very heart of Jesus’ physical departure and mystical return in the Person of the Holy Spirit is His desire for relationship. Saint Luke, in Acts 2, goes to great lengths to emphasize this point, naming every group of people present at that first Pentecost day—“Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappodocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians[8]—and highlighting Saint Peter’s sermon in which he quotes the prophet Joel: “And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”[9] By physically ascending and the Holy Spirit descending, Jesus expanded His relational reach from just a few to the whole world. It was all done for the sake of His relationship with us and by doing what He did, our relationship with Jesus has become stronger, wider in reach, and open to all the peoples of the earth. In the Person of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has kept His promise: “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.”[10] In the Person of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has left no one—Jew nor Gentile, rich nor poor, whatever nor whatever—desolate. He had to physically leave the few in the meantime in order to be mystically present with all in the here and now. Christ, through the Holy Spirit, has come and is here among us.

One of the most frequent comments I heard from my upperclass students this past school year was that, for many of them, believing in Christianity was hard, due to there not being any tangible or physical evidence available to back up its claims. If Jesus was still physically present on Earth, allowing us an opportunity to live with and listen to Him and feel His healing hand comforting us, then being a Christian in the 21st century would, no doubt, be a little easier than it is. But the simple fact of the matter is that Jesus, although alive, is not here physically. This leaves all of us who have not physically seen, physically heard, or physically touched Jesus to rely strongly on faith. Relying on faith reminds me of what Jesus said to Saint Thomas: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”[11] For me, I believe in Jesus because of the Holy Spirit. By being open to the possibility of God’s realness and that by loving me so much He became human in order to save me, I have felt the claims of Christianity become real, being drawn closer into it by the Holy Spirit. By this drawing of the Spirit, I have seen Jesus while in fellowship with my fellow Christians, heard Him in the reading and meditation of the Holy Scriptures and the witness of the early Church Fathers, and felt His comforting presence in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Because of my openness to the Spirit, I have been drawn to the love of God and say with the greatest of conviction that He is real, His love is everlasting, and His Word is true: “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.[12] Because of the Holy Spirit, I am in love with Jesus and have felt loved by Him.

“Holy Spirit, ever living

As the Church’s very life;

Holy Spirit, ever striving

Through us in a ceaseless strife;

Holy Spirit, ever forming

In the Church the mind of Christ;

You we praise with endless worship

For your fruits and gifts unpriced.”[13]

In the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations contained herein are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Old Testament Section, Copyright 1952; New Testament Section, First Edition, Copyright 1946; Second Edition © 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

[2] My father and his first wife were married for 27 years, from which union came four children (with one, a girl, having been stillborn). Although my father loved his wife, he became increasingly unhappy with the state of their marriage during its latter years, which caused him to stray away and engage in a five-year on again, off again affair with my mother, 23 years his junior and whose fondness for him he was well aware. Unfortunately, in May 1985, four months after my birth and on the evening immediately preceding my eldest half-sister’s graduation from high school, my father’s first wife died due to a long-standing health condition. The story that I have been told is that after the passing of several months, my late maternal grandmother approached my father to ask what his intentions were regarding my mother and myself. In reply, in regards to me, he stated that it was his intention to be an involved father in my life and that he was prepared to do whatever was needed for my care, but in regards to my mother, although he loved her, he was not in love with her, therefore was not going to marry her. My father’s response incited within my grandmother the thought that if he was not going to do the “honorable thing”—marry my mother and provide both her and myself with a stable home—then he didn’t need to be involved in my life at all. The negative emotional consequences that were a result of this meeting went on to have a deep effect upon all parties involved and would not be ultimately resolved until February 2, 2003—the date of my confirmation in The Episcopal Church.

[3] Acts 1.5

[4] Mark 16.6-7

[5] Luke 24.51 (NRSV)

[6] I John 2.1-2

[7] I Timothy 2.5

[8] Acts 2.9-11

[9] Acts 2.21 (cf. Joel 2.32)

[10] John 14.18

[11] John 20.28

[12] John 14.8

[13] “Holy Spirit, Ever Living,” written by Timothy Rees (1874-1939), sung to the hymn tunes In Babilone (Dutch Traditional Melody, 1710), Abbot’s Leigh (composed by Cyril Vincent Taylor (1907-1991)), and Nettleton (composed by Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844)).

“The Front Lines” (May 16, 2015; The Ordination of Peter Nathaniel Johnston to the Sacred Order of Deacons–The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Lafayette, Louisiana)

Posted in Sermons with tags , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by montgomerybrandt

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”—II Corinthians 4.5[1]

To the Right Reverend Jacob Owensby, Reverend Father in God, Bishop of the Church in Western Louisiana; the Reverend Joseph Daly, Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, and the Reverend Dr. Duane Peterson, Associate Rector; all my brother and sister clergy; the Ordinand and his family; all the Christian faithful gathered, greetings in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

On an October evening in 2011, my New York mentor, Father Andrew Mead, then Rector of Saint Thomas Church (Fifth Avenue), invited myself and a member of the parish staff to the Saint Thomas Rectory on Park Avenue for a chili dinner (being that his wife, Nancy, was out of town and he wanted to have some company to hang out with). While my fellow invitee drove his car through the maddening Manhattan traffic, Father Mead and I walked the several blocks that lay between Saint Thomas Church and the Rectory, giving us an opportunity to talk, mentor to mentee. As we began walking, Father Mead asked me a Commission on Ministry-type question: “Brandt, what is it that you feel called to do as a Priest?” I had a mapped-out vocational plan: “After finishing my required two-year curacy in Alabama, I’m going to go back to graduate school, get a Ph.D. in American religious history, then, hopefully, teach at a seminary or in a college/university theology or religious studies department.” “What about the parish?” Father Mead inquired. “It’s not that I have anything against parish ministry,” I said defensively, “but I just feel this strong call to live out my vocation as a Scholar-Priest.” “But many great Scholar-Priests also serve in parishes, Brandt,” replied Father Mead. “Parish ministry is important. It keeps you grounded and in touch with reality, with what’s going on with the people in the pews. It’s important that you be on the front lines with your fellow Priests. Never forget the front lines!”

This was the first of several “Meadiums” that I would learn from my now elder colleague and, needless to say, it was an important one. In a nutshell, what Father Mead was telling me was that “it’s not about you!” Although I failed to then realize it, looking back on that walk now almost four years ago, I admit and acknowledge that, subconsciously, I was trying to make it about me. The lecture room and the halls of academia were great loves of mine and it was there that I wanted to make my mark. I wanted to make scholarly contributions to the studies of African-American, American religious, and Anglo-Catholic history. I wanted to be a theologian and scholar on the same level as the Chadwick Brothers[2] and John Hope Franklin[3] and one of the leading Priest-Scholars of my time. But even though Father Mead did not dismiss the contributions of ordained academics to the Church’s life and witness, what he was making me realize was that many of them, like the Chadwick Brothers, Charles Gore[4], Austin Farrer[5], and Michael Ramsey[6], in addition to their academic vocations, were also deeply involved in parish and pastoral ministry. They did not hide behind the comforts and safety of a lecture stand; they were on the front lines preaching about Jesus and Him crucified, died, buried, and risen. For them, it was all about Jesus; everything they wrote, taught, and published all came from a deep love for Jesus, lived out by active ministry amongst and for God’s people and without that, all that they did would not have been as impactful as it was. The crucial lesson that I learned from Father Mead that October night was that if I enter into ordination with it being about me and not about Jesus, just to be well known and not willing to engage in the real work of ministry, then I will be setting myself up for failure. “…Do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”[7] It was a lesson that I needed to learn and thanks be to God that I did.

This past Tuesday, the Pew Research Center released a report that stated that although Christianity still dominates American religious identity by 70%, a large number of people have been exiting the doors of Christian denominations and doing away with Christianity altogether. It was also reported that while 86% of Americans say they grew up as Christians, nearly one out of five of them said that they weren’t anymore.[8] One of the reasons I believe this is is due to an “it’s about me” perception that is oftentimes conveyed within certain expressions of the larger Church. It is a perception that has led to many thinking of the Church as being too political, intolerant of those wrestling with deep spiritual issues and doubt, more wrapped up around the personality and prestige of the senior pastor, and just a once-a-week “stage show.” What these non-active and former Christians want is an authentic proclamation of the Gospel, to hear about Jesus and know that He is someone who truly cares and when met with this off-putting perception, it causes them to think, “Well, if this is what being a Christian is about, then I don’t want to have anything to do with it.” The Church—the universal Body of Christ—is called to confess the faith of Christ crucified, died, buried, and risen, bearing witness to Him in all the places it is. “And whatever you do,” Paul says, “in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”[9]

At the time of the writing of his second letter to the Corinthian Church, Paul was finding himself having to deal with the “it’s about me” perception. Some in Corinth were charging Paul with being haughty, puffed up on his own ego, and only concerned about his own personal gain. Having these charges made against him poised a potential hindrance to the spread of the Gospel and, in typical Pauline fashion, Paul wastes no time in setting the record straight. First off, it should be remembered that Paul was always honest and forthcoming about the life he lived prior to his conversion: “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness.”[10] From the get go, Paul owned his past, that he was, at one time, “a persecutor of the [C]hurch, as to righteousness under the law blameless.”[11] But what Paul also made clear was that he had been humbled, that because of Jesus he “…renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways…refuse[d] to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word…”[12] Paul answered the Corinthian charges by making it absolutely clear that what he was preaching was not himself, but the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul did not and could not preach himself, for it is only Jesus, God Incarnate, who can redeem and renew. He was a preacher who looked to Christ for help and was on the front lines for Him since his conversion. For Paul, it was all about Jesus and knowing that the Gospel he was preaching was Jesus’ Gospel and not his. Like Jesus, all that Paul did in ministry to God’s people was done “…not to be served but to serve…”[13]

Just as it was important for the Apostles and other Christian expositors during the New Testament times, it is equally important, in this day and age, that those within the Church called to ordained ministry remember that it is Jesus whom they are charged to preach and not themselves. “And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…”[14]   The ordained vocation was not instituted for the purpose of allowing one to show themselves off, making it all about them, but, rather, for the revealing of the glory of Jesus Christ, being on the front lines for Him and proclaiming His Gospel. Everything that the Church’s clergy—Deacons, Priests, and Bishops—do should be done with the aim “…to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by…word and example, to those whom [they] live, and work, and worship.”[15] For the ministry of the ordained to be successful, they must be all in, totally committed to Jesus. When they are all in for Jesus, the people will take notice. When the people take notice, their hearts will become more open to the Gospel, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them to Jesus, the very Splendor of Truth. But, again, the only way that any of this can happen is for the ordained leadership of the Church to remember this crucial point: “It’s not about me. It’s about Jesus!”

This morning, as a faithful gathering of Christians, we have gathered together to offer to God our thanks and prayers for Peter, who will momentarily make the transition from being a layman to a duly ordained clergyman of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. After having been nourished by the riches of Christ’s grace and strengthened to glorify Christ in his own life as a member of the flock, Peter is, today, being called forth by God and with the affirmation of the people from the flock to offer ministry to and be a leader of the flock. As Peter becomes ontologically changed by the invocation of the Holy Ghost, it is important that he remember that it is not about him but about Jesus so that the gifts that he brings to the ordained vocation can be effectively used to equip God’s people for the work of ministry and for the reception of the Gospel by those who seek and want to be found by God. From this day forward, together with our Bishop and all the clergy, Peter will be on the front lines for Jesus, preaching not himself, but Jesus Christ as Lord, being a servant to the people for the sake and greater glory of Jesus.

Peter, my friend, you have oftentimes heard me refer to you as “the little brother that I never had.” So out of the deep respect that I have for you and in these last remaining moments of your lay life, I would like to offer four pieces of big brotherly advice:

  1. Always remember your Diaconal vows. Today, you are being ordained as a Deacon, the order of ministry particularly charged to be of service to the poor, the sick, the friendless, and the needy. Although your primary vocation will soon be as a Priest, I encourage you to never forget nor disregard your Diaconal vows, for you will find some overlap between the duties assigned to each respective order. As a Deacon, you will today promise “to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.”[16] At the time of your ordination as a Priest, you will promise “to love and serve the people among whom you work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor.”[17] As a Deacon, you will be particularly charged to serve the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely, but as a Priest, you will be called to serve the people among whom you work, which will include the particulars mentioned in the Bishop’s Diaconal charge. Furthermore, at their consecrations, Bishops promise “…to be in all things a faithful pastor and wholesome example for the entire flock of Christ,”[18] which encompasses all of the particulars served by the Diaconate and all of the people among whom you work of the Priesthood. So I encourage you to always remember and value your Diaconal vows, appreciating the fact that the Diaconate is the one order in which all the Church’s clergy share, aspects of which can be found in the other two. Although your primary vocation will soon be as a Priest and you may, possibly, even become a Bishop one day, always remember that at the core of your sacramental ministry, you are and will forever remain a Deacon.
  1. As my preaching professor at General Seminary told me, I say to you, “Keep your Jesus count high!” As a lover of the Church’s great hymns, you may be familiar with this mid-19th century hymn by Frederick Whitfield: “There is a Name I love to hear, I love to sing it’s worth; it sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest Name on Earth. O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, because He first loved me.”[19] Jesus—Yeshua, “God Saves”—truly the sweetest Name ever to hear. This is who those non-active and former Christians are searching for, who the active Christian community seeks to proclaim, and who is calling you to service in the ordained vocation. Therefore, never be ashamed to speak the Name of Jesus. Preach boldly about Jesus, proclaiming to your people His Good News. To paraphrase Paul, “Be a fool for Christ!”[20] Your preaching will be the most striking and public of all your clerical functions[21] and will play a crucial role in how one perceives Jesus, whether it is actually worth it to pick up their cross and follow Him. Therefore, always remain faithful to the Message. Proclaim the Gospel with boldness and joy. In the pulpit here at the Church of the Ascension, at daily chapel, Eucharist, and in your classroom out at Ascension Episcopal School—Sugar Mill Pond Campus, at all the places you go and in all the things you do, keep your Jesus count high! Preach Jesus!
  1. Love your people. To quote Lifeway Christian Resources President and CEO Thom Rainer, “If we know that our pastor loves us, everything else falls into place. If he doesn’t, nothing else matters.”[22] Remember what John says, “…Whoever loves God must love others also.”[23] Love your people and Jesus will do the rest.
  1. And, most importantly, always remember that it is not about you! Not only will you be entering a new vocation within the Church, but with that will come a new style—“the Reverend.” Coming from the Latin reverendus, meaning “honored” or “esteemed,” it is an honorific that conveys the respect and esteem that the Christian faithful have for you and upon which the community “orders” you to function among them as an ordained leader. From this day forward, may every time you see “the Reverend” before your name and are addressed with a title of the ordained vocation remind you of the trust that the people of God have in you and of the sacred responsibility that will be placed upon you this day. May it remind you that you are on the front lines for Jesus and that as God’s people look to you as a leader among them, may you, in turn, give to them that which you have received, that Christ Jesus died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day.[24] “…Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness…eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”[25] Don’t ever make it about you. Do it all for Jesus!

As you begin this new adventure, may you abide in peace, loving and serving the Lord!

In the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[1] All Scripture quotations contained herein are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Old Testament Section, Copyright 1952; New Testament Section, First Edition, Copyright 1946; Second Edition © 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

[2] William Owen (May 20, 1916) and Henry (June 23, 1920-June 17, 2008), both highly distinguished Church of England Priests and ecclesiastical historical scholars.

[3] (January 2, 1915-March 25, 2009); author of From Slavery to Freedom (first published in 1947 and regularly updated), the authoritative scholarly text on African-American history.

[4] (January 22, 1853-January 17, 1932); early 20th century Church of England Bishop and leading theologian on the Doctrine of the Incarnation.

[5] (October 1, 1904-December 29, 1968); Church of England Priest and theologian credited with bringing to Christian theology the notion of “double agency,” the idea that one’s actions are their own, but are also the work of God, though perfectly hidden.

[6] (November 14, 1904-April 23, 1988); Church of England Bishop who served as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury from 1961-1974 and was a leading Anglo-Catholic theologian.

[7] Proverbs 3.5b-6

[8] Grossman, Cathy Lynn. “Christians Drop, ‘Nones’ Soar In New Religion Portrait,” USA Today (, accessed May 13, 2015.

[9] Colossians 3.17

[10] Acts 22.4-5

[11] Philippians 3.6

[12] II Corinthians 4.2

[13] Mark 10.45

[14] Ephesians 4.11-13

[15] “Ordination of a Deacon,” The Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 543.

[16] Ibid.

[17] “The Ordination of a Priest,” The Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 531.

[18] “The Ordination of a Bishop,” The Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 517.

[19] “O How I Love Jesus,” 19th century American melody, written by Frederick Whitfield (1855).

[20] I Corinthians 4.10

[21] Long, Thomas G. The Witness of Preaching (Second Edition) (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), p. 11.

[22] Rainer, Thom S. “Ten Things Church Members Desire In a Pastor” (, accessed May 15, 2015.

[23] I John 4.21 (Good News Translation)

[24] I Corinthians 15.3-4

[25] Ephesians 4.1-3