“Signs of Victory”

March 29th, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley

“Signs of Victory”

March 29th, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley
  1. Homily—Palm Sunday15

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

 After the cold snowy winter we just endured in our region of the country, it’s nice to think of palm trees!

 It’s nice to imagine palm trees swaying in a soft, warm breeze, alongside a sandy beach and the blue ocean. Palm trees make us in the Northeast think of a peaceful vacation, far away from the stresses of urban life.

 Now the events that Read More


“The Troubled Soul of Jesus”

March 22nd, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley

“The Troubled Soul of Jesus”

March 22nd, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley
  1. Heb5.5-10/Jn12.20-33

 In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

 Does God really care?

 Children are fitted with suicide bombs. Drug gangs shoot innocent bystanders. Airplanes crash.

 All this happens in a world that “the Lord hath made.” However sure we are of our faith, we find the many apparent imperfections of God’s world disturbing.

 But so did the Son of God! As his ministry became more popular, Jesus found himself threatened by both Read More


“Uplifting”

March 15th, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley
  1. Num.21/Jn.3

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

 After the fall of the Soviet Union, many statues of the cruel dictator, Josef Stalin, were torn down. When Saddam Hussein was removed from power in Iraq, a giant image of him in the center of Baghdad was destroyed.

 Countries run by powerful leaders often have such statues erected in public spaces. They are intended to make it very clear who is in charge. Their symbolic power Read More


“The Best of Both Worlds”

March 1st, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley

“The Best of Both Worlds”

March 1st, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley
  1. Mk 8.

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

 One of my first mentors in the church was the Rev. Canon John Andrew.

 For many years, Father Andrew was the Rector of St. Thomas Church in Manhattan; he died last year at the age of 83. I’m thinking of him today because we had a custom for many years of having dinner on March 1st, which was the anniversary of my first day of work Read More


“Ashes to Go”

February 15th, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley

“Ashes to Go”

February 15th, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley

Mt. 6

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

I rarely preach during the services on Ash Wednesday.

The people who come to church on this day are usually in a rush to get back to work or catch a train home. The special liturgy for the day is already on the long side. So I tend just to let the words of the service speak for themselves.

Still, I sometimes think that it would be useful … Read More


“Candlemas Compromise”

February 1st, 2015 by J. Douglas Ousley

 In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

I first heard the expression, “Not kosher,” from my father.

There were no Orthodox Jews in the rural Massachusetts town where I grew up. So my father had to explain to me the Hebrew dietary laws.

Yet if I had been studying Church history at that time, I would have known about the restrictions that Jewish tradition placed on what the faithful should eat. For example, shellfish were forbidden food … Read More