The Rev. Heather O’Brien from the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth was recognized as the St. Aelred’s Day sermon contest winner by IntegrityUSA. She preached her sermon “The Heartbeat of God” at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Fort Worth on January 12, 2013.
The IntegrityUSA jury selected O’Brien’s sermon due to its powerful personal narrative (which ties closely to Integrity’s ongoing work of first-person engagement) and its ability to relate to both the Gospel and St. Aelred’s teachings about “particular friends.” IntegrityUSA has adopted St. Aelred of Rievaulx as the patron of their organization.
IntegrityUSA reports, “In the sermon, O’Brien — who was ordained in October of 2012 — shares a childhood story of encountering homophobia among family members as a spiritual awakening which led her on a quest for “the God I knew had to exist… who loved as much as I was told God would love.” She cites Aelred’s writings about the trusting, physically intimate expression of friendship between Jesus and the apostle John as a celebration of how we, yes even people of the same gender, can find the love of God in one another.”
Read “The Heartbeat of God” sermon by the Rev. O’Brien.