From the Rector

The blog of the Rev’d David O. Browder, Rector of St. Thomas’. Law and gospel, grace, pop culture, links to interesting articles and videos.

Candlemas: Candles and Worship for Families

Have you ever heard of Candlemas? Perhaps the name is vaguely familiar but you can’t quite place its meaning. You’re not alone! You’re in the majority even among Anglicans! Candlemas is an old name for the feast our prayer book calls The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, commonly called The Purification of Saint Mary…

Report on the Vision Summit

vision summit

Last Saturday, 43 members of the parish met with Stephanie Caro, our Ministry Architects consultant, to think about our mission, values and ministries. We engaged in a number of exercises designed to surface the attributes and traits that, in the opinions of our parish, make Saint Thomas’ a distinctive and important place. We also spent…

Vision and Formation

vision and formation

Our Church Vision Summit is this Saturday! 9AM to noon! I hope you have made plans to be there because we to hear from you. The vestry, the transformation team and I need your help to round out and add to our vision and emphases. We want everyone to be excited about the future and…

Thinking about Vision

vision summit january 18 2019

Happy Epiphanytide and Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord and a restful vacation. One of the most important things we are doing this year is holding a church-wide Vision Summit from 9 am to noon on Saturday, January 18, in the church. We seek to…

What’s Advent All About?

As we continue in this season of Advent, it might be worthwhile to re-visit the reason we go through this particular season before Christmas. In Latin, adventus means a “coming, approach, or arrival”. In our Christian context Advent is the waiting for the coming, approach, or arrival of none other than Jesus Christ, the 2nd…

Henry L. Walters, Jr., 1927-2019

henry walters

Before I preached my first Sunday at St. Thomas’ back on September 15, 2013, I had been told of an esteemed man in the parish named Henry Walters. He was the Headmaster Emeritus; he had led the school for decades before retiring and he then took up lay leadership in the church. As a first-time…

In a Time of Change: Don’t Fear the Future

don't fear the future

As things change in our culture and society, we have an almost irresistible temptation to feel a lot of fear. This is, indeed, very common. Plato — in the 5th Century B.C.! — worried about changing culture; so feeling this way is not a new thing. As we consider our culture and society, we should…

Autonomy and Divine Justice

autonomy and divine justice

by David Browder There is a deep and inherent disconnect in the human condition that is the source of much tension and consternation. We desire complete and unfettered personal autonomy and, at the same time, we long for divine justice. Personal autonomy is located in the subjective: to be autonomous is, literally, to be “a…

Type A Students

type a students

by David Browder People who might not be as well-off financially often have certain preconceptions about those who are: sometimes they even believe them to be of an almost entirely different species. We humans feel compelled to break ourselves into tribes based on our shared characteristics. This compulsion is so pervasive that, in seminary, our…

Escaping to our own Worlds

in our own worlds

There are a lot of really smart people in this world. Very smart and very creative. Just think of all the movies, music, stories, shows, and books that have come out of the minds of these smart, talented people. I was thinking the other day about the sheer variety and quality of the many things…