Category : * By Kendall

Commentary and analysis by blog convener the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Genesis 12:1-4: A detailed Examination of the Call of God to Abraham


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon for 9/11: Number 343

On [a] Monday [in September 2003], the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.

So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.

On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.

–First published on this blog September 11, 2003

Posted in * By Kendall, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Prayer for 9/11 by yours truly

Almighty God and Father who wills that people may flourish and have abundance of life, be with us especially on this day when we remember such destruction, darkness, devastation, death and terror; help us to honor the memory of those whose lives were utterly cut short, and to believe that you can make all things new, even the most horrible things. Redeem and heal, O Holy Spirit, grant us perspective, humility, light, trust and grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted in * By Kendall, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Spirituality/Prayer, Terrorism

We are easing Back into to Full Blogging after the Summer break

Give us some time…..

Posted in * By Kendall, Blogging & the Internet

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Genesis 3: The Anatomy of Temptation


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theodicy, Theology: Scripture

Yet More Vermont Vacation Pictures

Posted in Harmon Family, Photos/Photography

I bet you Guessed it, Yes We went to Lake George Also

Posted in Harmon Family, Photos/Photography

Still More from Vermont

Posted in Harmon Family, Photos/Photography

Vermont vacation Photos

Posted in Harmon Family, Photos/Photography

Blog Post Frequency will go down while Taking a Summer Break

I have been at this blog since the first part of 2003, and it is time to step back. As I am constantly insisting to my friends, none of us is indispensable, and this is a way of living that out by yours truly.Some longtime blog readers may remember how I have mentioned that I am the type of person who goes to bed every night just a little sad–only a little–about how much I don’t know (and still wish to find out). So moving away from the information addiction for me will not necessarily be easy–but it is important.

Posts will be catch as catch can until I let you know–KSH.

Posted in * Admin, * By Kendall, Blog Tips & Features, Blogging & the Internet

Yours Truly will be Preaching at Saint Matthew’s Fort Motte South Carolina today

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

(Mockingbird) Joshua Simpson reviews Fleming Rutledge’s newest book–The Gospel, On Repeat

Rutledge repeats a cycle of sober assessment and hope — a hope that is expressly found in Christ. Readers of The Crucifixion will observe that her magnum opus really was the result of a lifelong, cruciform ministry. She reiterates Paul’s exhortation that all are unrighteous and that we must be saved by a power outside of ourselves.

[Jesus] is willing to die even for such poor specimens as you and me, covering our unrighteousness with his righteousness, offering his life to save us from death, victorious over the old Adam, the Judge judged in our place. He has compensated for our too-short list of good deeds by his one great deed.

The sermons are varied and based upon an array of scripture readings, yet more often than not Rutledge sets our gaze on the crucified and resurrected Christ. As I read through Means of Grace, I realized why I am drawn to the writings of Fleming Rutledge: she can’t stop talking about the core event that changed the history of the cosmos. My soul needs to hear the story of Christ’s death, resurrection, and future coming over and over again. I’m not sure that another self-help sermon will change my life. I am not convinced that a preacher will provide five steps to resolve my anxiety, improve my self-esteem, etc. But the problems I face, and perhaps the problems you face, seem far less daunting when nestled within God’s bigger story.

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Christology, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology

Yours Truly’s Sunday Sermon on Psalm 46 at Holy Cross, Sullivans Island SC

Audio only:

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon takes a new position at Holy Cross, Sullivans, Island, South Carolina

I appreciate your prayers. The parish website is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

Because–Puppies make life Better!

Posted in Animals, Harmon Family, Photos/Photography

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Yours Truly

To God the Father beyond us, creator of the cosmos and the vast reaches of interstellar space as well as this lovely earth, our home,

To God the Son alongside us, who shed his blood for the redemption of the world and all mankind,

and to God the Holy Spirit within us, who graciously gives us daily the power to live the good life which has been prepared beforehand for us to walk in,

be all glory, majesty, honor and praise, Holy Trinity one God, this day and forevermore, Amen.

Posted in * By Kendall, Spirituality/Prayer

Took a Break to Take a Trip with Wonderful friends from Nigeria this week

Posted in Church of Nigeria, Harmon Family, Photos/Photography, Travel

Kendall Harmon’s Pentecost 2021 sermon–How Does Pentecost Change Everything (Acts 2:1-21)?

The sermon starts about 30 minutes in.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon for Easter–Cry Freedom

How shall we understand freedom? Perhaps because I am in a state, South Carolina, where candidates….[not long ago] were running around saying “you are free so vote for me!” this has been much in mind.

There is a lot of sloppy thinking about freedom these days. For too many it only means the ability to choose a candidate or a product. Or it is understood to be the removal of external constraints, as in I need the government out of my—then fill in the blank: my business, my body, and on and on.

Christian thinking about freedom is a totally different animal.

For one thing, in the Scriptures, freedom has an interesting relationship to time. Freedom is something which was present in creation, and which will be fully present again at the end of history when God brings it to its conclusion. But what about the present? The people Jesus spends time with—say, for example, the woman at the well (John 4), or Zaccheus (Luke 19) are not free but constrained, imprisoned, and encased. When Jesus rescues them, freedom begins, but even then it is lived out in the tension between the already of new life in Christ and the not yet of the fullness of the eschaton.

So apart from Christ people who think they are free need to hear the bad news that their perceived freedom is an illusion. One would like to hear more from preachers these days on this score, since they are addressing parishioners who are workaholics or poweraholics or sexaholics and/or addicts to heaven knows what else. Why is it that a group like AA seems to know more about real freedom than so many churches? Because they begin with the premise which says their members are enslaved—that is the first of the twelve steps.

And there is so much more to freedom then even this. In the Bible, real freedom moves in not one or two but three directions.

Freedom from is one piece of the puzzle—freedom from sin, from the demands of the law, from the tyranny of the urgent, from whatever constricts us from being the people God intended us to be.

Equally important, however, is freedom for, freedom for Christ, for service, for God’s justice, for ministry. Paul wonderfully describes himself as a bondservant of Christ Jesus, and the Prayer Book has it right when it says God’s service is “perfect freedom.”

Freedom with should not be missed, however. For Paul in Galatians Christian freedom is not the Christian by herself changed by the gospel. This has too much in common with the individual shopper in Walmart deciding exactly what kind of popcorn or yogurt she wants. No, real freedom is to be liberated to live for Christ with the new pilgrim people of God who reflect back a little of heaven’s light on earth. A real church is one where people enjoy koinonia, fellowship, the richness of God’s life shared into them which they then share out in Christ’s name by the power of the Holy Spirit to the world.

Paul says it wonderfully in Galatians: “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Do not settle for anything less than this real freedom, freedom from bondage, freedom with our fellow pilgrims, and freedom for the God who made the heavens and the earth.


–The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon is the convenor of this blog

Posted in * By Kendall, Easter, Eschatology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–The Whole Gospel to the Whole person Throughout the Whole World (Acts 16:11-40)

The sermon starts about 30:10 in.

Listen carefully for an illustration from Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895-1960), pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1927 to 1960.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Video Message to Christ-St. Paul’s Church Announcing his Imminent Departure

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Kendall Harmon leaving Christ-Saint Paul’s Yonges Island SC

Dear brothers and sisters in our parish family:

It is time for the Harmons to depart from Christ-St. Paul’s, a place I have called home since 2002.
‘Life is not so much a problem to be solved as a mystery to be lived’ is one of the theses upon which I hang my hat. It means embracing the good news that we are not in charge, that God is working his purposes out BUT in the midst of our lives EXACTLY HOW he is doing so is never entirely clear to us. That only comes later. Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face.

Why now? The simple reason is now is the time that the Bishop has asked us to, for the good of the future leadership and the health of the parish. When the senior warden and I first discussed this in December, she laid out April as a likely possibility. I wanted to stay to be a helpful bridge figure during part of the interim, and I pray I have managed through God’s grace to do some of that for the people of God here. It has ended up being May—God’s timing for whatever reason, and Pentecost seems a fitting day to be our last Sunday.
Endings are good times to reconsider beginnings, and when we do it is beyond absurd that I am even here at all. My best friend from College said he could see me serving anywhere in the country except the deep South. Bishop Salmon was adamantly opposed to my coming initially, and it took weeks of persuasion so as to open him to this possibility.
And what a time it has been. Two priests, from different parts of the country, with different gifts and personalities, overlapping during some 18 years together. We had a deep love for one another, a deep commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of Holy Scripture, and a deep trust in one another. Such a season in parish ministry is HIGHLY UNCOMMON in itself, and yet through it all we managed to take creative risks, with series on things as diverse as the Ten Commandments and the characters of Christmas and on and on.
I wouldn’t change an iota for all the world, as diverse and varied as it has been. You all have loved me and my family and prayed for us and there is no way fully to put into words what that has meant. We thank God for you—from the bottom of our hearts.

So now we go forth into a different, mysterious future. As the Psalmist says ‘our times are in thy hand.’

In commenting on this verse, one of my preaching heroes, Charles Spurgeon writes: ‘The great truth is this-all that concerns the believer is in the hands of the Almighty God. “My times”, these change and shift; but they change only in accordance with unchanging love, and they shift only according to the purpose of One with whom is no variableness nor shadow of a turning. “My times”, that is to say, my ups and my downs, my health and my sickness, my poverty and my wealth-all those are in the hand of the Lord, who arranges and appoints according to his holy will the length of my days, and the darkness of my nights. Storms and calms vary the seasons at the divine appointment. Whether times are reviving or depressing remains with him who is Lord both of time and of eternity; and we are glad it is so.’

I am glad that it is so–that in the thread of our lives and yours, in the tapestry God is weaving in history, we have overlapped for this special, blessed season. May the Lord be with you and please know we are so thankful for you, we love you and shall always remember you in our prayers.

Until we meet again in heaven, if not before, warmly in Christ,

The Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Kendall Harmon

‘Then Aslan turned to them and said:
“You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be….”
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.’ (The Last Battle)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What does it Mean to be Discipled by the Resurrected Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18)?

The sermon starts about 26:20 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Few Family Wedding Pictures

The oldest daughter gets married!

Posted by Kendall Harmon on Saturday, April 17, 2021

Posted in Harmon Family, Marriage & Family, Photos/Photography

Away for the Weekend for a Major Family Wedding

We shall return Tuesday–thanks for your prayers; KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Easter, Harmon Family, Marriage & Family

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–Why is Easter Important?

The sermon starts about 25:30 in.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Easter, Eschatology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology

Kendall Harmon’s Palm Sunday 2021 sermon–Where should we Focus as we begin Holy Week (Mark 11:1-11)?

The sermon starts about 34:20 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–Let us be Sure We Know what the Gospel is (Ephesians 2:1-10)

The sermon starts about 13:50 in.

Listen carefully for a story from Los Alamos, New Mexico in the 1940’s.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Teaching on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for Prince George Winyah in South Carolina

The teaching starts about 3:55 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, --Book of Common Prayer, Adult Education, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What does it Mean to Abide in the Lord (Psalm 25:1-10)?

The sermon starts about 31:15 in.

Listen carefully for a story from the life of evangelist Daniel Paul Rader (1879-1938) and another one about the church in 18th century Wales.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture