Ben E. Helmer

Biography

Ben Helmer has been vicar of St. James' since June of 2009. He has been ordained to the priesthood for 38 years. He was raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, graduated from Michigan State University and received his M. Div. from General Theological Seminary in New York. His wife, Jane, is a mostly retired horticultural writer and editor. They have two sons. Richard is a priest in the Diocese of California and Steven is a carrier pilot in the U.S. Navy. Ben has served churches in Northern Michigan, Western Kansas and West Missouri. He was also the staff officer for rural and small community ministries for the Episcopal Church from 1999-2005 when he retired. He and Jane were then invited to work in Louisiana for a year where Ben was a chaplain to clergy, diocesan staff and caregivers and Jane worked as a volunteer following the ravages in Katrina. In June of 2007 Ben and Jane went to Guam for 18 months where Ben served as archdeacon for the Episcopal Church in Micronesia before returning to Missouri. The Helmers now live in Holiday Island about 7 miles north of Eureka Springs with their chocolate lab, Jessie.  

Filters

December 2, 2007

“Lo, He comes with clouds, descending,” are the words of a favorite Advent hymn. “Clouds descending” may have a majestic tone or sound like a terrible storm about to strike. Today, the first day of the Christian year, begins with...

July 29, 2007

Over the past few Sundays, the lessons have focused on what it means to be a disciple and a follower of Jesus. Today we look at the depth of that discipleship in relationships: between Abraham and God, between Paul and Jesus, and then...

April 7, 2007

(If you are fortunate enough to be in a faith community that does the Great Vigil as part of its Easter liturgies, you are blessed indeed. This liturgy takes a lot of preparation and is best done when a number of people are involved in...

February 25, 2007

The lessons for the first Sunday in Lent can be viewed as a roadmap for our Lenten journey. They embody the theme of journeying: travel, protection, and longing for a destination. If we look at each of them as Lenten guides, they will...

December 3, 2006

Advent, this season on which we embark today, these few short weeks of repentance, preparation, and expectation, begins with a picture of the end of the world. Jesus, already well aware of the likelihood of his own demise, is preaching...

March 19, 2006

The giving of the Ten Commandments is read every Lenten season. In some churches the Commandments are read as a preparation for the Confession of Sin during penitential seasons. Recently they have been in the news, as legal battles have...

December 24, 2005

The birth of the Messiah in a lowly stable is current news. Just a year ago Newsweek devoted a December issue to the topic. It was quite good! It talked about how modern scholarship attempts to unravel what happened or didn’t some 2,...

November 1, 2005

Today is a day to feast on thanksgivings of memory, to recall people who have gone before us, patriarchs, prophets, and pilgrims, who were disciples in their own times. Some we know by name, others remain known only to God. Even so, as...

July 4, 2005

Today in small towns and major cities across the United States there will be celebrations of liberty and freedom. “Old Glory” will wave, bands will play Sousa marches, and people will gather with ice cream, fried chicken, watermelon...

January 30, 2005

This passage from the Gospel of Matthew is known commonly as The Beatitudes. They are fondly heard by people of good will, and treasured as words of comfort to the afflicted and distressed. But like many popular passages in Scripture,...

January 2, 2005

(Note to the reader: This sermon is written for use the Sunday after the tsunami disasters in the Indian Ocean. While it makes reference to the lessons for the Second Sunday after Christmas Day, it is topical in nature). As we gather...

November 28, 2004

In the popular current series of “left behind” books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, there is a focus on the last days, the end of life as we know it. Topics like The Rapture where some are spirited away and others left behind,...

January 18, 2004

There are many challenges to churches today: Some are small and struggling, hoping to grow and not finding their numbers increasing. Others have problems finding qualified clergy or raising enough money in pledges to balance the budget....

February 2, 2003

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple is celebrated today. The characters in Luke's account are brought together in an event that moves them to a new place. Joseph and Mary are doing merely what is required of them, the ritual...

January 5, 2003

There are no coincidences. Each of us has had times when we have been struck by the oddness of events in our lives. An unexpected visit or a chance meeting connects us with people we haven't been in touch with for many years; we apply...

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Contact:
Christopher Sikkema