We welcome back Father Patrick Sanders, now based in Gulfport, Mississippi, as our stewardship advisor for the second year, and guest preacher for Celebration Sunday, October 25.
Good People of Holy Communion,
A little over a year ago a friendship began between two priests: an odd couple to say the least. Two different ways of viewing administration. Two different ways of viewing liturgy. Two different ways of viewing church finance. Two different ways of being pastors in two fairly different parishes.
Both, however, found something that drew them together – their faith in Christ as Lord and a passion to do the work of Christ in the communities we had been called to serve. Father Sandy and I have forged an alliance in the Kingdom and for that I am eternally grateful.And it is gratefulness that I would like to celebrate with you this year as we embark on our second Celebration Sunday gathering together. I will certainly talk about gratefulness to God for all that He has given us, and how our giving responds to God's grace in a holy, sacrificial and sacramental way.
But first, I feel deeply a desire to express my gratitude to you, the children of God who have made Holy Communion their church home and spiritual center, for all of the profound hospitality you have shown me. The love extended to me, my family and even my own ministryhas overwhelmed me. I haven't for some time felt like a visitor at Holy Communion. Rather, I feel like a partner in Kingdom-building work that pays no attention to the church walls nor the dozen or so stoplights that have separated our particular places of ministry. We have found a rhythm of relationship that feels like home.
All churches, all bodies of believers, should move towards the Kingdom constantly, never resting on our successes or dwelling too long on our failures, but always in motion, improving upon our systems, reimagining mission, revisiting and redeeming relationships that have fallen into disrepair, and listening to the voice of God out in front of us, calling us forward.
We will get to that soon enough. Today, though, I want to thank you for who you already are! It is a good time to be at Holy Communion, and now is the time to be at Holy Communion. It’s a good time because you are good – good at doing church, and good at being the church. Now is the time because God is speaking now in your midst concerning those things God has created you to do, and then be, next.
I celebrate here the lives you are changing, including my own. We will in a few weeks begin to celebrate the lives you will change in the future.
Big Love and Love Big,