Author Archives: canongreg

About canongreg

I have been Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Wellsboro, PA since 1994.

The Canon Rector’s Retirement

For all those who have followed this space, much has taken place in my life since my last post. As of January 1, 2019, I have retired. The last parish I served was Saint Paul’s, Wellsboro, PA, where I had … Continue reading

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To Make America Great

Remember back in grade school on that day that you did not do your homework? When asked for it, you knew you quickly had to come up with a creative excuse. So you blurted out the most credible excuse you … Continue reading

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Moral Courage in Acts

Wait! Stop! Hold the presses! That first reading for Sunday (Acts 10: 44f.) from the Acts of the Apostles was a groundbreaking moment in God’s plan of salvation in the world. It was a pivotal moment in the early Church … Continue reading

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Connect the Dots: Palm Sunday and Easter

Strange though it may be, this message spans both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. The one is a solemn recollection of our Lord’s betrayal, crucifixion and ignominious death. The other is a solemn celebration of the ultimate victory of God … Continue reading

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Of Ashes and Parkland

Earlier this past week, I suppose– like most of you– I was fixated on pancakes and Ash Wednesday. I found it jarring and distressing to come home Wednesday evening to learn that there had been another school shooting. This time … Continue reading

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The Joy of Lent

If you have a living, dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus, then Lent is an exciting time. What’s exciting is that it is the yearly invitation to focus on ways in which you can grow closer to Jesus through the … Continue reading

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Christmas Joy is Hope

We come again to the most wonderful season of Christmas. W e may celebrate the day with many cherished, familial customs and traditions. For some our celebration may be with  family and friends. For others it might be or alone, … Continue reading

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A new look at John the Baptist

The humility of John the Baptist is striking. In an era when most are compelled to blow their own horns and where self-aggrandizement is the order of the day, John’s response might be a paradigm to us all. “Who are … Continue reading

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Render unto Caesar . . .

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God’s.” Most of us have little trouble rendering onto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Every year, quite a while before the deadline of April … Continue reading

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“The Thing I do, I hate. . .”

Here’s a meditation on Romans 7:15-25 Before we decide that St. Paul has gone around the bend, before we analyze him from the view of modern psychiatry, before we dismiss that second reading from the Epistle to the Romans as … Continue reading

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Ascension–why’s it important?

Most of us can relate to many of the aspects of our Lord’s life. For example, most of us can relate to the idea that it’s good news that someone has conceived and is about to bring a child into … Continue reading

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How to be human

Moral Theologians instruct us that there are three main virtues, known as theological virtues. They are Faith, Hope and Caritas. Caritas is one of those specialized Latin words. Sometimes it is translated as Love; at other times Charity. In English, of … Continue reading

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The Lord is Risen Indeed Alleluia!

Alleluia. Christ is Risen. The Lord is Risen indeed. Alleluia. This has always intrigued me. In scripture, God always speaks the language of positivity and the language of hope. Even at those moments such as one encounters with the prophets, … Continue reading

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Palm Sunday: the Passion of Jesus

He died. Just as any of us do. For some of the people standing there, it was a huge disappointment. No new era of reign of God appeared. Just one more human life snuffed out. Call him an itinerant preacher, … Continue reading

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Jesus Wept

When I read the raising of Lazarus, it strikes me how I have come to appreciate it differently over time. I have always been deeply touched by what my grandmother taught me was the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus … Continue reading

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Blindness that cannot be healed

When you read Saint John’s portrayal of the Lord Jesus in his Gospel, suddenly it will come to you that the beloved disciple’s portrayal of the Lord Jesus is complex. For although John portrays Jesus as a totally transfigured being, … Continue reading

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A new look at an old story: Nicodemus

Nicodemus was not a bumbling fool. Neither was he a coward because he came at night, nor was he an ignorant person who came to ask a question whose answer he did not understand. Although he is often portrayed as … Continue reading

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To be Changed into His Likeness

Some years ago when I was preaching at a Lenten Series supper and Evensong at Saint Andrew’s, Tioga, I preached a sermon about moral and ethical theology. After the service, the late George Williams came up to me and said … Continue reading

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The Minimum

When I was in seminary, I’d a friend who had spent a significant time in the Army before he discovered a vocation to the priesthood and came to seminary. Because of his years in the Army, he’d picked up on … Continue reading

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The Least in the Kingdom

No mere reed shaken with the sultry wind of the desert; No mere reed shaped by the prevailing winds of popularity and fashion, John the Baptist is an uncompromisingly harsh figure which arose from an uncompromisingly harsh desert wilderness. You … Continue reading

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John the Baptist

The enigmatic figure, John the Baptist looms over Advent. His stern voice of deep approbation pierces across centuries even to this day.  Curiously clad, and yet more wondrously subsisting on crunchy honey, John is the last formidable voice from that … Continue reading

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Zombie Apocalypse Part 2

Transitions are always difficult. We’ve seen some evidence of that in the events of the past week surrounding the election; but we also see it in the apocalyptic language of this Luke 21:5-19, the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday … Continue reading

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The Zombie Apocalypse has not yet come

While on travel to Williamsport the day before the general election, my eye caught sight of one rather distinct yard. Amidst the collection of election posters in yards all up and down the street, there was this one yard. What … Continue reading

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Election Day and Beatitudes with a Twist

  If you have turned on the TV for even 5 minutes this past week, it would be almost impossible to overlook that Tuesday is election day. Regardless of which is your favored candidate, and regardless of which is elected … Continue reading

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But I Need that Mercedes!

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that goes like this: “The hardest substance known to humankind is water.” At first glance, water does not seem to have the appearance of being a hard substance, especially if it is examined only … Continue reading

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