Author: Nicholas Knisely

I have come to set fire to the World

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We imagine, viewed through the news of this moment in World History, that all conflict is destructive and regrettable. We imagine that heaven is a place where a great angelic choir sings together in a great harmonious sound, where there is no dissonance, no conflict, but only pure music. But what if sometimes conflict is necessary for transformation. What if conflict, pain and strife aren’t destruction, but birth? What if fire comes not to burn […]

Some thoughts on the Lambeth Call on Human Dignity

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The bishops and bishop-elect of the Diocese of Connecticut posted a letter to their diocese about the just concluded Lambeth Conference. (I haven’t yet done so, I want a bit more time to reflect on what happened before I do.) In their letter they do a fine job of reporting on the experience we had in the afternoon on August 2 as the gathered bishops took up the question of the proposed Lambeth Conference Call […]

A Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 13C) – Luke 12.13-21 1 by The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns

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Thanks to the kindness of Canon Gerns, I have this fine sermon to share with you this morning. As I’ve mentioned, I’m in Canterbury attending the Lambeth Conference this week. I send you greetings from the mother church of the Anglican Communion and prayers for all of you this week. Thank you Andrew for this gift.   May only God’s word be spoken.May only God’s word be heard and believed.Amen. It has been said that […]

Teach us to pray. And then, by your grace, let us change the world by our prayers.

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Prayer changes things. I’m not certain how. I know it changes me. I know it changes other people as they pray. I’ve seen it. I believe it changes the world, though I don’t know by what mechanism it does this. I’ve fashioned my life around this belief. The lessons this week talk about prayer, and particularly about how the presence of righteous people can turn aside wrath. We hear Jesus’ disciples asking him to teach […]

Why the sudden shift to the Lambeth Conference program?

Climate Change / Reconciliation / Religion / Science

The unexpected release of a series of Lambeth Conference Call statements on assorted subjects, and the equally unexpected news that bishops attending the Lambeth Conference next week would be voting on them, has knocked a bunch of Anglicans around the world back on their heels. Some in the Communion are delighted with this sudden turn – but most of the voices I hear are dismayed. And here in the Episcopal Church, many people in our […]

Right now, we need to be like Mary.

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We live in a world that talks and proclaims with increasing intensity. But is anyone listening to anyone else? Sure, we hear what is being said, but rather than hearing the other person, we are formulating a rebuttal while the words are still ringing in our ears. In the Gospel reading this week, Mary chooses to sit and listen to Jesus. And Jesus commends her for it. In this week’s sermon, I speak about the […]

General Convention #80, Dispatch 1

General Convention

I’m grabbing a few minutes between sessions on this second day of our meeting to post some quick impressions of what it’s like here at this unusual General Convention. We’re a year late, and unexpectedly shortened in our meeting, and rather than the leisurely pace of the first week of Convention typically, we’re hammering our way through the work we have before us. There’s a focus here that usually only emerges about halfway through in […]

I saw Satan fall like lightning

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In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus sends the disciples as heralds into the countryside to proclaim the Peace to people and the Kingdom of God. When they return, they joyfully report that they have witnessed the forces arrayed against God routed and fleeing before them. Jesus responds to their joy and triumph by telling them, prophetically, that he saw the Satan fall like lightning. The Ruler of this World’s time of dominion is coming to […]

Love can overcome division


Paul writes to the Galatians and strongly affirms their freedom in the Gospel. But he warns that their freedom can become a base of operations for earthly passions and emotions to create division and pain. The reading from Luke’s Gospel this week, where the disciples want Jesus to smite the Samaritans because they don’t agree with Jesus’ behavior, is an example of what Paul is talking about. So too is this long month of the […]