Sherman Hesselgrave

Last Words

Final homily by Sherman Hesselgrave, Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020

Readings: Deuteronomy 34:1-4     Psalm 8      2 Corinthians 13:11-13     Matthew 28:16-20

At the other end of my ministry, when I was a curate at a parish in Portland, Oregon, I preached a sermon entitled, “Famous Last Words.” I don’t remember what the scriptural text was that day, but it might well have been Jesus telling his flock that he was leaving, but not to worry, because the Holy Spirit would be sent to accompany them on their journey ahead and lead them into all truth. What I do remember is a parishioner telling me afterwards that she would always remember her 18-year-old son’s last words to her as he headed out for a Friday evening with his friends: “See you later, Mom!” That night, he was killed in a motorcycle accident. 

Read More »Last Words

From the Incumbent

On Holy Tuesday, April 7th, I observed that my last Sunday at Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday, was exactly two months away. And then I realized that my last service will probably be streamed online, and that I would likely be retiring without being able to hug anyone goodbye or have lunch or dinner with anyone to say thank you and adieu. We all grieve  in our own way, and the spectrum of losses in a time of pandemic is wide.

It is difficult to see outside the picture frame at the moment. I am old enough to remember when AIDS and HIV infection were called GRID (Gay Related Immunodeficiency Disease), and since the early 1980s we have learned a lot about HIV. In time, drug therapies were developed. I remember Dr. Anthony Fauci’s name from those days, as he was on the front lines back then as well. Nowadays,  living with HIV is a lot like living with diabetes.

Read More »From the Incumbent