A Good Word: Mission

By The Rev. J.C. Austin “I have a mission for you.” It’s one the classic tropes in action movies and spy thrillers. The elite operator looks down at the manila file folder that has just been tossed in front of her, papers and photos now half-spilled out on the table, then looks up at her […]

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Speaking the Language

By The Rev. J.C. Austin “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” But this one about the difference between talking to someone in a language they understand versus their own language, their […]

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Going Far to Come Near

By The Rev. J.C. Austin This story about Jesus’ bodily ascension into heaven is a strange one on many levels. First, it’s objectively strange: as a rule, people aren’t generally swept up into the sky, seemingly by invisible hands, never to been seen again. Second, it’s strange that somehow this story feels stranger than Easter, […]

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The End of Love

By The Rev. J.C. Austin Do you ever hear a song and it takes you back to a particularly significant moment or season or event in your life? Perhaps the song was literally playing when it happened; perhaps it simply encapsulates the memory in some perfect way. Sometimes the emotional reaction to hearing it is […]

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The In-Crowd

By The Rev. J.C. Austin Having lived in New York City for almost twenty years, I came across plenty of celebrities out on the street, in restaurants or stores, and so on. Part of the code of being a real New Yorker is that you pretend not to notice or even recognize them, but you […]

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Exit, Pursued By a Bear

By The Rev. J.C. Austin “Exit, pursued by a bear.”  When I say that, you either know exactly what I’m talking about, or you have no idea. There’s not any middle ground on this, and it’s definitely not something that you can figure out just from the line. It actually comes from the play, The […]

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Going Ahead

By The Rev. J.C. Austin “You gotta stick the landing.” If you’ve ever watched Olympic gymnastics, you’ve heard that phrase uttered over and over again. People who know next to nothing about gymnastics but want to offer some kind of commentary when watching will look at you knowingly as the athlete lines up for their […]

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By The Rev. J.C. Austin (NOTE: This is an expanded version of the sermon The Rev. Austin presented) I’ve had some wonderful transcendent moments in my life, but there’s only one that I would really call a conversion experience. It happened in, of all places, Giants Stadium in New Jersey, about 12 years ago. It […]

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