The Reverend Sandy Webb has been called as the sixth rector of Church of the Holy Communion, announced today on Pentecost, the birthday of the Christian church. During his first sermon as rector, he looked forward, not just in the life of Holy Communion but also in the life of the city of Memphis:
"This is Pentecost Sunday. It is the birthday of the universal Church, and the inauguration of a new chapter of our shared story. In my first sermon to you almost two years ago, I said that a yet more glorious day was about to break before us. Indeed, it has. We have honored our past, but we have also fixed our eyes on the future. Energy has filled this place, and a spirit of possibility has taken hold of us. Our resources are greater, our pews are fuller, and our parking is tighter. As one sage put it, ’It’s a great time to be at Holy Communion!’
"Yet, the sunlight shows us that we are standing in a field of bones. We live in a divided city, surrounded by possibility, yet absent of light. We are a people divided by race and affluence, by neighborhood and occupation, by our access to healthcare and education. A Memphian’s fate – the quality of her life and the safety of her person – is all too often decided by factors beyond her control. These are injustices that we can address, not by speaking to abstractions, but by taking the risk to be in meaningful relationship with people we do not know, with people whose experience of life we do not understand. A divided community can only be healed when its members choose to reach across their divides. Love is not passive."
To read the full sermon, click here for a downloadable pdf.
To hear his sermon, beginning with a welcome from Senior Warden Ann Duncan, click here.