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June 19, 2016

Sermons - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 16:41

June 12, 2016

Sermons - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 16:41

June 5, 2016

Sermons - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 16:40

Oobleck and You (May 29, 2016)

Sermons - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 00:46

Fuzz Balls

Father Rob's Blog - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 00:24

Owlfishjp 057

Friday was such a beautiful day I decided to head out and do some evening fishing.  Do you see who was waiting for me when I got to the stream?  Maybe enlarging the pic a bit will help.


Unfortunately, because I brought a camera that is good for underwater close-ups of fish and not for pictures of wildlife further away, this is not a very good shot.  It does not even begin to capture how adorable that little ball of fuzz with two coal-black eyes staring at me was.   I wish you could have seen it.

There were two fledgling owls when I first came upon this pool, but when I tried to get a bit closer one flew away.  This was the best I could do.  As soon as I took another step closer, this one too flew up into a tree.


Since we most commonly see barred owls, I assumed that's what this was.  I didn't stop to think about how big even this baby bird was.  But then I heard some commotion high up in a tree to my left and saw one of its parents.


Sadly, this is another crop of a pic that wasn't that good to begin with.  But do you see the large tufts on the top of that owl's head?  It's a great horned owl--the first one I have ever seen in the wild.

And because I know you are wondering--yes, I did catch come fish.


Voices Carry (April 17, 2016)

Sermons - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 00:27

Youth Sunday (April 10, 2016)

Sermons - Sun, 04/17/2016 - 17:04

Helping Keep Our Kids Well

Father Rob's Blog - Fri, 02/26/2016 - 12:08

2cnd wellness day

Dear Friends,

To me, wellness speaks to all aspects of one's well-being. Eating smart, exercising, and maintaining a healthy spiritual life contribute to one's well-being and confidence. I believe this begins when we are children.

Last February, we wanted to try something new at St. Matt’s. The idea was to show kids how to embrace a healthy lifestyle. We wanted to reach out to the community and show that St. Matthew's cares about their overall wellness. And, we wanted it to be fun. So, Children's Wellness Day was born!

Last year was a huge success. Over 200 children came to participate in exercise classes, play games, and run through the 30-foot obstacle course. Parents were able to sit back and watch their kids have fun while they learned about health and wellness. Many of the attendees had never been in our church before, but they left that day with a smile on their faces.

It was such a great day … we're doing it again!

This Saturday, we are going to have lots of fun activities for kids like yoga, Zumba, a 30-foot obstacle course, jump rope, and an inflatable basketball court. Additionally, LAJ Foods will be here with their delicious plant-based soups, Drama Kids of Loudoun County and Kids First Swim School will be here to talk with parents too.

Join us as we get out of the house and get active!

Please bring a non-perishable food item to help support our local Backpack Buddies program.

Thank you for your support and we'll see you Saturday.

~Tracey Kelly

The Problem with God

Father Rob's Blog - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 02:31

Whether you are a believer in God or not, have you ever at some point in your life prayed for something? Have you had the experience in a moment—any moment, no matter how fleeting, or whether you continued to believe in such a moment or not—that God granted your prayer? For many of us, this creates one of the biggest God-problems of all. Here’s what I mean.

Recently my wife had a tooth problem. I care about my wife, and personally I believe God cares about her too. So I prayed the problem would resolve itself without major complications. Now let’s just suppose that all of a sudden all of Linda’s pain went away and her tooth was a good as new with no further dental attention or procedures needed. Great, right?

But… what kind of God answers that prayer, which in the grand scheme of thing is relatively minor, and lets a starving child die? How would such a Being fit any of our definitions of good? I benefit. I gain. I receive. But what of the person whose plight is so much worse than mine who does not?  It is problems like this that lead JB Phillips to write,

Many men and women today are living, often with inner dissatisfaction, without any faith in God at all. This is not because they are particularly wicked or selfish or, as the old-fashioned would say, “godless,” but because they have not found with their adult minds a God big enough to “account for” life, big enough to “fit in with” the new scientific age, big enough to command their highest admiration and respect, and consequently their willing co-operation.

Is there a way out of problems like these?  Can the issues behind them really be resolved with any kind of integrity and intellectual honesty? 

That's what we are asking in our current sermon series at St. Matt's.  And this week we ask one of the toughest questions of all.    Where is God in the Holocaust, the killing fields, the genocides, the terrorism  and religious violence of our age? 

Oh, and by the way:  my wife needed a root canal...

God Who?

Father Rob's Blog - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 12:42


As you might expect of a priest, I spent several years formally studying the doctrine of God from a wide variety of philosophical, anthropological, sociological, psychological, and religious perspectives. I was pretty young at the time, and I think one of the follies of youth can be a certain hubris. At the end of my studies, I believed I had God pretty well figured out.

But there was... a problem.

The God I thought I had figured out didn’t really hold up.

Some of my beliefs began to feel false. Doubts grew. That’s not an easy place to be if you are a priest.

At the time I only saw two choices: believe what I had been told was true, or become an unbeliever. Neither felt right, and so I did what I think most of us do in these situations: I ignored my discomfort and the issues behind it.

That’s not a workable long-term strategy, of course. With time I realized I was going to have to think more deeply about God. Initially, this felt like a betrayal. I was ashamed of myself for not having the strength and courage to uphold what I thought I had promised to uphold. My younger self would not trust my older self, and would think I have gone far astray. That has been something of a hard pill to swallow.

But the simple truth is: I was wrong. Sometimes terribly wrong, and terribly wrong about very important things.  I expect I still am.    But here's the thing.  At this stage in life, as much as I appreciate my youthful passion, I do not think I would  fully trust anyone my age who has not come to a similar place on at least some subject or treasured belief.

There is one thing has not changed. In fact, this belief has only grown. It is the belief that there is no question more important than the question of God, and in particular of who God is. Everything I have ever studied, seen, heard, and experienced affirms this.

And so I invite you to join me at St. Matt's on a journey.  For the next five weekends in Lent, we'll  explore together  a more accurate (and life-giving) knowledge of the God who Is. This isn't an exercise in dogmatism, but discovery.  I do hope you'll come along!