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Selected Sermons & Speeches

We are building an archive of Bishop Wright's sermon and speech texts. We will post them as they are made available. Please keep in mind that he often preaches extemporaneously and texts are not available.

Sermon for the 109th Annual Council | Nov. 13, 2015 | Infinite Energy Forum, Duluth

 

Of course, Jesus would speak to us of the whole mind and heart of God.  That is his purpose.  That is his story.  His flesh and blood are for this.

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Sermon for Ordination to the Priesthood | June 20, 2015 | Cathedral of St. Philip

 

Joy is better than happiness.  Happy tends to fade as soon as the happenings stop happening!  You have to pursue happiness.  But joy— joy chases after you.

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City of Atlanta Police Memorial Service | May 5, 2015 | Atlanta City Hall

 

I believe that every police officer has a servant’s heart. Dr. King said so many years ago that, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?’” The people in this room can answer that question with confidence. 

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Sermon for Christmas 2014 | Dec. 24, 2014 | Cathedral of St. Philip

 

What child is this who we celebrate tonight?  I think Jesus is an inconvenient child.  Look at the timing of his birth.  He comes before the wedding.  He comes before Joseph can get his head around what’s happening.  He comes pushing and kicking as Mary rides her donkey. He comes despite a hostile political climate and a war on poor people.  Jesus is an inconvenient child. 

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Sermon for the Service of Repentance & Reconciliation | Oct. 22, 2014 | Cathedral of St. Philip

 

We have to look back.  But to look back as the Beloved Community is to see through the lens of repentance at the times when we have not loved the Lord or our neighbors with our whole heart.   And through the eyes of reconciliation: “What was lost is now found, what was dead is now alive.  Your sins are forgiven.” [1]  Without the twin virtues of repentance and reconciliation there is only the brittle, scared silence we maintain as we walk around each other on eggshells.

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Sermon for the Pride Eucharist | Oct. 9, 2014 | All Saints' Episcopal Church, Atlanta

 

Marriage equity will not diminish marriage in our country or in our state.  What diminishes marriage in America and in Georgia is the 60-hour work week.  What diminishes marriage is the refusal to adopt a real living wage that will ease the strain on many working-poor families.  What diminishes marriages are antiquated immigration policies and laws and nonexistent training for clergy to more artfully support families in crises.

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Sermon for the Renewal of Ordination Vows | April 15, 2014 | City of Refuge, Atlanta

 

Real renewal is born of repentance.  Unless wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain.  But if it dies, it bears much fruit.  This is the indisputable, unassailable formula for church growth.  If Jesus’ spirit and mission is to grow among us, some dying is necessary: bishops, priests, deacons and laypeople – all of us!  

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Sermon for the Ordination of Priests and Deacons | Dec. 21, 2013 | The Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta

 

Brothers and sisters, the matter of our worthiness has been settled.  Cosmically, completely and forever settled.  Jesus put it this way: You are valuable. Not perfect.  Not good.  Not self-sufficient.  Not invulnerable.  But, valuable!  Pay close attention here because courage attracts critics.  And the status quo will elegantly defend itself as you try to break free from the alligator's jaws. 

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Reflection for Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela | Dec. 11, 2013 | Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College, Atlanta Ga.

What struck me most about meeting Mandela was how big he was.  I am six-foot-two and relatively slim.  Mandela was taller than me.  Broader than me.  He was big.  Literally and figuratively.  That's how I remember it.  His smile was big.  His warmth was big.  His generosity, compassion and his ideas were big. 

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Speech for Day 1 Prayer Breakfast | Sept. 12, 2013 | Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga.

 

The harvest truly is great, laborers are few: pray therefore that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into His harvest.  Luke 10:2     That is my prayer, over and over again, all over the world, Georgia and metro Atlanta.  That is the prayer that has attached itself to me.  I call it grace.  What captures my imagination about this bit of scripture, as well as the Great Commission for that matter, is both defy the prominent understanding of what a leader is in the world and the church.

 

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Sermon for the Ordination of Priests | June 22, 2013 | Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Ga.

From the gospel lesson Jesus says, "Those who lose their life for my sake will find it." 
The great preacher and teacher of preachers Fred Craddock said a sermon must be "clear, compelling and urgent." Jesus hits all three of those marks today: "I bring a sword, not peace.  I must be to you more than family.  Take up the cross and follow me." 

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Speech to the Lovett School Graduating Class | May 19, 2013 / Atlanta, Ga.

The times we live in demand straight talk, especially from God's people, especially from pulpits and especially to our young people. Jeremiah had straight talk on his mind when he sat down at his laptop and wrote out his fears.  He wrote that he was just a teenager.  And that he felt he was not up to this wonderful future that God was pointing him toward.  As he confesses his fears, he starts remembering his faith.  He starts remembering God. He hears God say,"Go to the places I send you. Don't be afraid. I am with you."

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Sermon for Commencement Service for the School of Theology | May 10, 2013 /  All Saints' Chapel, Sewanee, Tenn. 

Can't you hear Jesus' graduation speech of long ago, given in some dusty, natural amphitheater? There's a great harvest but so few who will labor, so pray. Pray that the harvest Lord will send harvest laborers. Then go! Go and be among wolves as sheep. And say. Say peace, and say most especially the kingdom is near.  From those couple of verses from Luke's 10th chapter, we are reminded that the purpose of the church is to pray, go and say.

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Sermon for the Liturgy for the Renewing of Vows for Clergy  March 26, 2013 / The  Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta

 

From the Gospel lesson, we hear the Greeks say to Jesus' disciples, "We wish to see Jesus." (John 12:21)  We wish to see Jesus. I've always been struck by those five words.  How about you? 

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Remarks and a prayer to open the day's session in the Georgia House of Representatives  Feb. 20, 2013 / The State Capitol 

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Sermon for Diocesan Confirmation Dec. 9, 2012 / The Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta

Pay attention to John the Baptist.  He is a fascinating man.    He's dressed up in vintage clothing. He       looks like yesterday.   He looks like       yesterday, but he's talking  about today.  He's planting a flag in right now. 

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Sermon for Christmas Dec. 24, 2012 / The Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta

God is more than God's promises. God is more than his imagination-stretching inspiration. God is love. 

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All-School Convocation Aug. 23, 2012 / Holy Innocents Episcopal School, Atlanta


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