Month: November 2020

Sermon for Nov 26 – in which we explore American Thanksgiving, the Order of the Holy Cross, Advent, and the challenge of saying goodbye to dear friends (all in one sermon)

Today we have an intriguing confluence of things to talk about. It is American Thanksgiving. As an American, I can’t let that go unremarked… Yesterday was the feast of the Founder of the Order of the Holy Cross. And as a member of the Order, I can’t let that go unremarked either… This coming Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, New Year’s Day for the Church. A big deal… But of all these things there is something that is an even bigger deal here at Volmoed.  

Today we acknowledge the powerful presence of Bernard and Jane Turkstra and face the reality that they are moving on – and so Volmoed, too, will move on…  

It’s a lot to cover… so I’m thinking we should have coffee now… 

Thursday 25 November – The Feast of James Otis Sargent Huntington

This week saw our celebration for the second time at Volmoed of our Order’s Founder’s Day. We were pleased to host the other Volmoed residents and staff to a festive lunch following the midday Eucharist.

Fr. James Otis Sargent Huntington was the first member of the Order of the Holy Cross to make his life profession, doing so on 25 November 1884 in New York, NY, USA. James Huntington was a passionate advocate of social justice, seeing prayer and action as inextricably intertwined. He has been described as forward-reaching, looking for enriching change and development, interested in the future.

We ask for your prayers for us and for our brothers throughout this Order that was established by the confident endurance of that remarkable man, that we may continue faithful to the spirit of our Founder.

Sermon for 28th Sunday after Pentecost – O those talented slaves…

Readings for today

One of the marvelous aspects of Jesus teaching throughout scripture is that it is generally in the form of parables… Marvelous and frustrating. It’s marvelous because parables don’t go out of date. And frustrating because there is always ambiguity in a parable – even those that seem to have a nice little summary of the meaning at the end. The parable we heard this morning is one that has shaped us in ways we may hardly realize.  

We hear of a very wealthy man who, before going away for a long trip gives certain amounts of money over to three of his slaves. And the parable seems to concern itself with how the slaves proceed. 

Part of the ambiguity of a parable is that we can look at what the parable might have meant when it was told – in that time, in that place, and to that audience. We can also look at what it means to us, in this time, in this place. Both ways of understanding are important, but the second one may be the most important. It focuses us on what we are going to do in response. 

So, lets dig in. 

Sermon for All Saints Day, 2020 at Volmoed

Readings for the day

Preached by Br Daniel

We as monks take three vows on the occasion of our life profession; and they are obedience, stability, and conversion to the monastic way of life.  This last vow is a bit of a hold all.  Apart from the obvious, that of conversion, it also contains that which helps to lead to conversion, like simplicity of life, celibate chastity, humility, and other such easy things.   

This is very helpful to me when I look at today’s gospel reading.