All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Resurrection People

John 20:1-18
March 31, 2013
Bonnie A. Perry and Andrea L. Mysen

Gracious God, hear our call, touch our hearts, fill our lives, 
In your Holy Name we pray.

Amen.

(Please be seated.)

Good morning!

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Years ago, the brilliant yet cantankerous Baptist preacher Carlyle Marney was speaking to some students at a Christian college. When a student asked, "Dr. Marney, would you say a word or two about the resurrection of the dead?" Marney replied, "I will not discuss the resurrection with people like you: I don't discuss such things with anyone under 30. Look at you all: in the prime of life. Never have you known honest-to-God failure, heartburn, impotency, solid defeat, brick walls or mortality. You're extremely apt and handsome—white kids who have never in all of your lives been 30 miles from home, or 20 minutes into the New Testament, or more than a mile and a half from a Baptist or Methodist church, or within a thousand miles of any issue that mattered to a kingdom that matters. So what can you know of a world that makes sense only if Christ is raised?"

Marney is a bit provocative, and while I’m sure a number of those students indeed knew something of real life, his point is well taken.

We have to dwell in death to find New Life.
We have to know despair to truly understand hope. 
We have to welcome/endure sorrow to find joy.

Easter only really makes sense if we’ve endured a Good Friday.

By the cool darkness of early morning, she makes her way to the grave. She’d watched him die. Her heart aches. Tears clouding her sight, Mary Magdalene makes her way to the grave. Just to be near him; just to be close by, once again, to the One who had changed her world.  Her Jesus.  Her Teacher. Her Rabouni.

We know the story from the other side, from Easter morning, but Mary, whose entire world ended nailed on that cross –  Mary  goes to that grave, ventures to that tomb wrapped in the  wretched pain of [Good] Friday.  That Sunday is just one more day,   the third day of desolation.  

Mary arrives at the tomb to find the stone is rolled away. She presumes that someone has stolen Jesus’ body. She runs to tell the disciples that his body has been taken. Peter and the other disciple come running, and find a tomb with linens strewn and little else, burial cloths are all that remain. 

So what, do these hand-picked—chosen disciples do---they go home.  They leave, back to a place of the safety of a place they know, narrow and limited, confined and constrained. They go home, they leave.

But Mary, Mary stays. In her grief,  in her sorrow, Mary stays in the garden weeping, looking again into the tomb. “Women why are you weeping?  For whom are you looking ?”  

He speaks to her.  She thinks he is the gardener, who else would he be this early in the morning.  He speaks to her and calls her by name.

“Mary.”

She hears, she sees, she knows.  It is the Lord.

And in unexplainable splendor, in unimaginable glory, He who was dead is now alive,  her despair has become hope, sorrow-- joy. Jesus is alive. 

Out of the tomb, life emerges. Out of Good Friday, Easter comes. 

******    *******   *********

In some lectures at Southern Methodist University, Carlyle Marney confessed that there were days he didn’t know if he believed in the resurrection or not.

Not long before Marney died in 1978, he preached at First Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina.  He preached about death, resurrection and the church. On the way back to the hotel, one of Marney's friends said, "If I didn't know better, I'd think you believe in the resurrection." Marney quickly responded, "Well, I do . . . when I'm around the right people."  

It seems, it seems that for Marney, the right people, the people he needs are resurrection people.

We become resurrection people when we stay at the tomb weeping.  We’re not going to see or know resurrection if we leave, if we disengage and remove ourselves from the pain.  The disciples went home yet Mary stayed at the tomb. We need people like Mary who will bring us the good news and assure us of its reality so when we don’t know, we don’t believe they can nod and know and carry us along.  Because that’s what resurrection people do.  

True enough there will be days when I will go home, unable to understand or bear the pain anymore, but some of you will stay and you will hear God’s voice, hear God calling your name.  And then you will come and find me and tell me all.  

Other times I will do the same for you.  Together we will spread the news and then we will do what resurrection people do.  We will process through this city in the face of death refusing to be bowed by senseless violence, we will take people to dialysis until a kidney donor is found, we will care for and comfort one another in our deepest sorrows and pain and we will give to each other hope for what is yet to come. For we are not people of the grave, for we by the grace of God are resurrection people. And so we will rejoice together when morning comes.  

Alleluia!  Christ is Risen.

The Lord is Risen indeed Alleluia.

Amen.

  1. This Week
  2. Services Times
  3. Contact Us
  4. Sermons
Annual Meeting Jan. 28, 2018: Rector's Address

Annual Meeting Jan. 28, 2018: Rector's Address

Here is a link to download Bonnie's address.

Weekly Message for February 18

Weekly Message for February 18

Dear Friends,    

 

How much longer will the killing continue? 
 
Here are some groups and activities you might consider supporting with your time and your money: 
 
  • The IL Council Against Handgun Violence 
  • Moms Demand Action 
  • Gabby Giffords' PAC 

  • And here's a list of congressional representatives who have received the most amount of money from the National Rifle Association. Apparently they are all praying for the people in Florida directly affected by our country’s latest mass shooting. I invite you to pray for their souls and to drop them a note wondering if God is answering their prayers. Will it make a difference? I don’t know. But, being held hostage by a diabolical association that has convinced our elected officials that it is the God-given, constitutionally-sanctioned right of every American to wander around with a semi-automatic rifle is absurd. Seems like all of us ought to start loudly pointing out this insanity.
     
    I’ll be at the Moms Demand Action Lakeview gathering on the 24th of February. Let me know if you’d like to come with me. Please let me know what other courses of action you plan to take to end gun violence in our country.
     
    This evening, All Saints’ will be hosting a gathering for the friends, family, and neighbors of our long-term neighbor John Vanzo at 7:00. Tomorrow morning at 10:30 there will be a visitation in the sanctuary and a memorial service at 11:00 am. All are welcome. 
     
    I’m super excited that we will finally kick off the All Saints’ Youth Group with an overnight this Saturday. Please RSVP to Hilary Waldron if your 7-12 grade child is planning on attending. 
     
    Following the 11:00 Worship service we will have a Newcomer’s Brunch at O’Shaughnessy’s at 12:15. Please join us!
     
    This Sunday, Emily will be preaching, I’ll be celebrating, and our choir will be singing some wonderfully moving Lenten music. It seems like the right time to be praying and repenting. So please come and join me.
     
    All my best,
    Bonnie

     

    Memorial Service for John Vanzo

    Memorial Service for John Vanzo

    AUGUST 13 2013 11The memorial service for our friend and neighbor John Vanzo will be held at All Saints' this Saturday the 17th, at 11:00 am. There will be a visitation in the sanctuary prior to the service, beginning at 10:30am. All are welcome. 

    On Friday evening, the 16th, we will host a time of conversation and story telling for John's friends and family. All are invited from 7 to 9pm to share a drink, and hear and tell a favorite story of the very many sides of John.

    May John's soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

     

    Lenten Evening Prayer

    Lenten Evening Prayer

    On Thursdays, February 15-March 22, brief services of Evening Prayer will be offered at 7:00pm, with scripture, poetry, and song. Come find rest for your souls.

    Inquirers’ Class

    Inquirers’ Class

    On Thursdays, February 15—March 22, the Inquirers’ Class will take place in the Reading Room next to the sanctuary. Designed especially but not exclusively for those new to All Saints’ and/or the Episcopal Church, this 6-week series is an exploration of adult spirituality through history, prayer, scriptures, theology, church polity, and more. If desired, it may also serve as preparation for the rite of confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church in May or June.

    The book we’ll refer to occasionally in the class is called Jesus was an Episcopalian (and you can be one, too!): A Newcomer’s Guide to the Episcopal Church by Chris Yaw. If you’re interested in joining the class, consider getting a copy to look over.

    Contact Bonnie or Emily for more info.

    Bags for RCS

    Bags for RCS

    We're running low on paper and reusable bags for our Tuesday night pantry. Please bring us your extras! 
     
    We will be taking donations on Tuesday evenings, M-F 9am-4pm, and on Sundays during church services. Look for the bins by the doors. Thanks for your help!

    Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

    Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

    Tuesdays 6:15-8:00pm 

    RCS is looking for help serving and cleaning up after dinner on Tuesdays from 6:15-8:00pm.

    If you're able to volunteer, contact Emily or Operations Manager Parker Callahan, or call 773-769-0282.

    Donate to The 1883 Project

    Donate to The 1883 Project

    Please consider supporting the restoration project of our historic building. To make a donation, click here

    1883 Construction web 

    Fixing This Old Church

    Fixing This Old Church

    Here is a collection of photos of the progress of our 1883 Project. Here is a collection of bell tower photos. Check back often for updates.

    Sunday Service Times

    8:00 am Inclusive Language Eucharist
    9:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir
    10:00 am Children's Church School
    10:00 am Coffee Hour
    11:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir

     

    Contact Us

    4550 N. Hermitage in Chicago, IL 60640 (Directions)

    Phone (773) 561-0111

    Email info@allsaintschicago.org 

    Information about pastoral care.

     

     


    Bonnie on Huffington Post

    Occasionally Bonnie's sermons are published on the Huffington Post. Here are some links.

    Pain. Change. Hope.

    November 15, 2015

    What Does St. Francis of Assisi Have to Say to Us Today?

    October 4, 2015

    Wake Up Calls

    September 6, 2015

    Christmas Reminds Us That We, Like God, Are Human, Too

    December 24, 2014

    The Deep Sleep of Racial Oblivion: One Pastor's Sin of Omission

    November 30, 2014

    Pulpit Swap

    The Pulpit Swap between St Thomas and All Saints is part of our ongoing effort to bring our parishes closer together as we engage in a conversation about systemic racism and how we can work together to forge new possibilities and outcomes.

    Going Home—Changed

    Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Bonnie Perry of All Saints Episcopal Church on October 16, 2016.  

    When Prayers Go Unanswered

    Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Dr Fulton L Porter celebrating at All Saints Episcopal Church on Oct16 2016.