From the Rector
Celebrant Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People I will, with God’s help.
Do you remember these lines from our baptismal vows? I am calling you in for the fellowship and breaking of bread part. It is time to renew our vision as a congregation.
When I first came to Grace almost seven years ago, I saw a few things as defining my role here. The major one was deepening the discipleship of the community.
Communal vision is hard to hold when there is not a deep discipleship in the whole community. It becomes the sole job of the leader to hold the vision for the community, which is frustrating for those who know what a collaborative community of faith can be.
I am happy to say that we are ready to move forward in discerning a communal vision for Grace Church. It is time to pick up those great conversations we began five years ago, but we are in a very different place now. This is a whole new conversation, and we are too big to fit in our parish hall all at once.
We will gather instead in smaller groups to briefly review our last few years, reflect on our current health as a community of disciples, and begin to discern a vision for Grace Church, our communal offerings and ministries. I have several ideas to share with you that have been brought forward by members over the last couple of years and some directions that we as a community have to pray about and discern together.
These moments of discernment should be holy moments of joy and celebration. We are in a place of blessing, a period of consolation in spiritual theology. We have grown together, and we have many reasons to rejoice. But we are also in a holy time when the Spirit is calling us. Let us come together in fellowship and prayer.
As your pastor, I ask you to pray daily for the next thirty days as these conversations get under way, that God’s will may be revealed to us and that we will be receptive and faithful. Read Romans chapters 5, 8, and 12-15. This is Paul’s instructions about the church living as the body of Christ. Study Matthew 5-7. This is the Sermon on the Mount and is Jesus’s longest teaching session about who we are to be as his disciples.
I am excited to be in this moment with you when we are taking deeper steps into the waters of our baptism.
The invitations will be mailed out in the next couple of weeks. You will be part of a group of 20 to 30 people invited to a specific gathering and asked to bring tapas, Spanish small bites to share. In Spanish cuisine, tapas is all about gathering, talking, and mingling, perfect for gatherings about fellowship. Be creative and ready to share.
The gatherings will be a mix of presentation and conversation. They are a time to listen and to talk. They come at a busy time of the year, but what time of year isn’t busy around here? I will attend all of the gatherings, of course, and your vestry will host, moderate and record the conversations. We will provide childcare if you need it. Call the office, and we will arrange it.
If you want to play a larger role than showing up with tapas and being ready to share, please contact the office about helping out.
Oh, and thanks. It has taken a lot of trust and work to get to this point as a community. I deeply appreciate the work it has taken to get here and look forward to discerning together where Grace Church is going next.