Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sermon: Lent 5 2013: Ann Stocker

Ann Stocker, who is a therapist and social worker. She works for the Institute of Family Living as well as Youth Unlimited. At Messiah she runs at outreach programme that helps young mothers with life challenges, including the practical aspects of parenting but also spiritual and emotional concerns. This is a joint programme with a nearby Pentecostal Church (Stone Church). I ask Ann to come by a couple of times a year to update the congregation about her ministry and solicit donations to support it (Ann has to raise all the money to run her programme). I often ask her to preach, as well. In my book she is triple qualified to do so: a mature Christian Disciple, a holder of an M.Div., and someone who occupies a pastoring role in her community. I've said before that I think most Anglican Churches are far too restrictive in their notions about who ought to preach. I think that the Rector of a Church ought to be the chief preacher, of course, but there is nothing wrong with asking folks like Ann and even members of the congregation to "give us a word."

I especially appreciated that Ann manage to explicitly touch on all four lessons that were read that day (Hebrew Bible, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel). I would say that my preaching is always informed by all four texts, but I rarely mention them all in a single sermon. So good on her!

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