The service leaflet can be found here, and the video recording can be found here.
Seth Jones and Chris Steinauer Renewal of Vows
October 15, 2021
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
The Rev’d Charles Everson
Seth and Chris, we are here tonight because you two said yes to each other. It is your yes that brought just a few of us during a difficult time during the pandemic into this little chapel to witness your marriage, and it is your yes that brings us all here tonight as we celebrate with all the pomp and circumstance we can muster.
I’m pretty sure that you could tell a lot of stories about all that has happened since the day you met – stories that include friends and family, new and old; choices you’ve made together like buying a house and raising a pig; even the suffering and pain of health scares and hospital stays.
Through it all, you’ve continued to say yes to one another.
The various wedding delays you’ve experienced because of the pandemic do not diminish or take away the yes from the day of your wedding day, nor from the yes of tonight. The delay only deepens and strengthens your yes. Tonight is even more sweet and beautiful because of it.
Another way to think about your continued yes to each other is that it is like a flower that blooms from another yes that you both have made, the yes to follow Christ in baptism. Seth, your journey of faith within Christianity has been more complex and included more twists and turns. Chris, I remember with joy I baptized you in that baptismal font on All Saints Day in late 2018. Saying yes to Christ means being buried with him by baptism into death, and saying yes to each other sometimes means intentionally enduring suffering and hardship for each other’s sake. Yes, I will forgive you when you’ve hurt me. Yes, I will take care of you when we grow old and you need help eating and drinking. Yes, I will remain faithful to you as long as we both shall live, even when we get to the point when it might be fun to trade you in for a younger model.
St. Paul says that we are buried with Christ by baptism into death so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. By saying yes to each other each and every day until you are parted by death, by suffering together through the hardships of life, you experience the joy of the resurrection as well. The same yes that led you, Seth, to take care of Chris as he recovered after being hit by a car is the same yes that leads the two of you to echo the words we heard in Solomon’s love song, “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
I can’t promise you that the suffering and the joy will be of equal proportion to one another. That’s part of the wonderful adventure that is marriage, but it only works when you say yes. Yes, without condition, yes without holding back, yes no matter the cost.
I am indebted to The Rev’d Michael Marsh for his rhetorical use of the word “yes” in this sermon: https://interruptingthesilence.com/2019/12/08/the-double-yes-of-marriage-a-wedding-sermon-on-song-of-solomon-210-13-86-7/.
 Romans 6:4.
 Song of Solomon 2:10
The sermons preached at High Mass at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Kansas City, are posted here!