Ronald Steed

Manure Sunday...

Sermon for Lent 3 (year C), March 24, 2019 St. James, Poquetanuck & Grace Church, Yantic Looking at today’s gospel, you wouldn’t be far from the mark to think that we might call this "Manure Sunday". The very thought makes all the gardeners ...

Water into Wine...

Sermon for Epiphany 2 (year C), January 20, 2019 St. James, Poquetanuck & Grace Church, Yantic Illumined by God’s Word and Sacraments, may we shine with the radiance of Christ's glory. . The Wedding at Cana story is the first of seven "signs"...

hmmmm...

Sermon for Sunday, December 2, 2018 (1 Advent Year C) St. James Poquetanuck, Grace Church, Yantic, CT For me the holidays are difficult. I react badly to the artificial joy and commercialism that I perceive in this season, and I get on my hi...

Following Children....

Sermon for Sunday, October 28, 2018 (Proper 25 Year B) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT One of the disadvantages of reading the Bible the way we do every Sunday, is that we get little snippets of the story here and there, and thi...

1+1+1 = 1

Sermon for Sunday, May 27, 2018 (Trinity Sunday Year B) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT 1+1+1 = 1. That’s what Trinity Sunday celebrates; this odd and paradoxical idea that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are somehow one and the s...

Resurrection...

Sermon for Sunday, April 19, 2018 (7 Easter Year B) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT What is Christian Hope? Why do we worship today and then go out into the world… into our neighborhoods… to work on God’s mission? What is the hope...

Actuating Our Gifts...

Sermon for Sunday, April 22, 2018 (3 Easter Year B) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT At the Southeast Region Convocation yesterday, our Bishops, Ian and Laura led us through a discussion about “What is a Parish?" It was a great event ...

An Americanized Peace?

Sermon for Sunday, March 7, 2018 (4 Lent Year B) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT Have you ever been impatient with a situation, and completely exasperated with the people involved? Ever had the sense that “Whatever peace is, this plac...

Holding Mary's Heart...

Sermon for Sunday, December 24, 2017 (4 Advent Year B) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT Our King and Savior now draws near: Come let us adore him. “Mary! Mary Nazareth!" I look down at the list of homeless people waiting for intake...

Having Mystical Experiences?

Sermon for Sunday, November 12, 2017 (2 Advent Year B) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT What did they experience out there in the wilderness, all those from the whole Judean countryside and all of Jerusalem? What did Baptism and co...

Parable of the Quiet Singer...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT A quiet singer, sitting to the side, rose with the funeral congregation for the final hymn. He thought to himself "Although I can sing well enough, I w...

Flesh & Blood

Sermon for Sunday, November 12, 2017 (Veterans Sunday) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT Army Command Sergeant Major Roger Heinze was quoted in the Washington Post while talking to a team of soldiers in Afghanistan after a mission in...

Put on Your Wedding Robe...

Sermon for Sunday, October 15, 2017 (Proper 23) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT Matthew’s Parable of the Wedding Feast is difficult on two counts. First that it suggests that God is in the Destruction-of-Cites-by-Fire business a...

Stepping Forward...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT Forty gather on the grassy lawn in front of the church, nervously laughing as the facilitators line us up across the green. There have been a lot of ne...

Little Lending Library....

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT I see it on the corner along my walking path... a Little Lending Library. It calls to me. "I'll just take a picture" I say to myself, "Nothing more." ...

Sighs Too Deep for Words...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT I'm sitting on the front porch stoop when a friend and neighbor walks by. He sighs deeply. "Mike", I say, "That's a pretty heavy sigh..." and go to th...

To Crush Our Enemies...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT She asks "What is the purpose of Tai Chi?" Conan-the-Barbarian replys: "To crush our enemies, to see them driven before us, to...." She smiles and inte...

The Serenity Pray-er...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT In Cathy's office there hangs a framed poster of Julian of Norwich, by Cynthia Large. I ponder it often during the resting times and interstitial mome...

You Also Go Into the Vineyard...

Sermon for Sunday, September 24, 2017 (Proper 20) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT “All things come from you oh Lord; and of your own are we giving you" Today’s parable of the grumbling workers comes after a sequence in Matthew...

Spilling the Heart...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT The two lines face one another like Napoleon and Wellington drawn up for battle. I've never met my partner, my mock-angry opponent; I'm to be the angr...

Between a Rock and a Hard Place...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT "If I was the one interviewing her", she says gently, "I probably would have said that she isn't eligible... but, I wasn't the one who was talking with h...

Sailing Into the Mystic....

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT Paul had asked for an overnight vigil. I sat there to keep him company and the church open for those who wanted to stay with him a while. With Compline...

Going First...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT He is standing across the street, looking angry at our local collection of Occupy Wall Street protestors; glaring. I can see the wheels turning while he...

Homelessness and the Rock from which we were Hewn....

Sermon for Sunday, August 25, 2017 (Proper 16) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT Before I knew that I was coming here to St. James, Fr. Ron asked if I would be willing to talk to you about homelessness since I serve on the Board of th...

Murmuration of the Heart...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT As I finish a tidy story about pervasive self-criticism, the Chaplain’s energy seems to sink deeper into the chair. She tilts her head a little to the s...

Being with...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT I carry my cup of shelter-coffee from the counter to the table and sit down with two men. "Hello" I say "How's it going?" A short response; then silenc...

Serendipity...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT On my daily walk, I catch up on an old friend and neighbor… I slow the pace and say hello… our conversation begins where it left off a few months ago. T...

Breaking Bad in Southeast Connecticut...

Sermon for Sunday, July 30, 2017 (Proper 12) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT I've been binge watching the Netflix show Breaking Bad over the last three weeks. It's really compelling drama about a brilliant and egotistical High Sc...

The Kingdom of God runs on Dunkin Donuts....

Sermon for Sunday, April 30, 2017 (3 Easter) St. James Episcopal Church, Poquetanuck, CT Nobody. Nobody follows a dead Messiah… and that’s just a fact. Jesus was not only one who claimed to be Israel’s Messiah. There were at least a dozen o...

Walking the Labyrinth...

Mystic Micro-Gospels; small spiritual stories in and around my neighborhood in Southeast CT I walked a labyrinth during a Lenten retreat. Christian designs matured during the Middle Ages based on Roman labyrinths, and are sometimes found on the...

What Deacons do... What can we do together?

What gifts we lack will be found in their fullness when we come together with others outside our Parish who turn out to have the gifts we need. And those gifts are often found in the most surprising places… we find Jesus in the face of the most un...

Heaven and Earth Fit Together and Intersect...

Sermon for Sunday, January 8, 2017 (1 Epiphany) St. David’s Episcopal Church, Gales Ferry, CT (missed due to weather) Today’s gospel reading about John’s Baptism of Jesus is short and tidy, but there is a lot to unpack in this milestone event...

Inviting oneself to dinner with enemies....

Sermon for Sunday, October 30, 2016 (24 Pentecost Proper 26) St. David’s Episcopal Church, Gales Ferry, CT Half of Luke’s Gospel is about Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem at the end of his ministry. We’ve been travelling along The Way with him al...

Our Parish is Tied to Our Neighbors....

Sermon for Sunday, October 16, 2016 (22 Pentecost Proper 24) St. James Episcopal Church, New London, CT Luke’s parable today is one of the stories Jesus told his disciples on the road to Jerusalem. Right away there is something interesting. ...

Crossing Chasms...

Sermon for Sunday, September 26, 2016 (19 Pentecost, Proper 21) St. David’s Episcopal Church, Gales Ferry, CT My Retirement Ceremony from the Navy was in 2007, the week after this lesson about the Rich Man and Lazarus was the Sunday Gospel. Th...

Who are our Enemies?

Sermon for Sunday, May 29, 2016 (2 Pentecost Proper 4) St. David’s Episcopal Church, Gales Ferry, CT Put away from us, we entreat you Lord, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us. I had a lot of memorable pati...

Putting Your Fingers in the Wounds of Christ...

Sermon for Sunday, April 3, 2016 (2 Easter) St. David’s Episcopal Church, Gales Ferry, CT The Lord is my strength and my song, * and he has become my salvation. I have a good friend named Barbara who lives not far from here. Barbara is an E...

Hens & Chicks….

Sermon for Sunday, February 21, 2016 (2 Lent) St. David’s Episcopal Church, Gales Ferry, CT You speak in my heart and say, "Seek my face." *Your face, Lord, will I seek. The Rev’d Samuel Wells, one of my favorite writers, says that Christian...

Settling Refugees in Southeast Connecticut...

Last week, I attended a presentation at the Rotary Club of New London on Refugees by Chris George, the Executive Director of Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS), based in New Haven, CT. I learned a lot. First, the term “refugee...

We go wherever the pain is...

One of the things I struggle with constantly is the place where my faith intersects with my work. In the last few years, I have studied the work of Walter Wink pretty intently. Mr. Wink devoted his life to the understanding of Power and authored...

"Resilience" - Faith Communities Need This Too!

"The old argument that liberal churches are in decline and conservative ones are growing is not true. The denominations that once seemed impervious to decline are beginning to look like most other American religious groups. Everyone is in the same...

Sunflower Field at Buttonwood Farm

For the Harvest Most gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up and the clouds drop down the dew: We yield you hearty thanks and praise for the return of seedtime and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of i...