This is Canon Victoria’s letter in our weekly Parish News email. To sign up for our newsletter, please visit: Constant Contact. To see the full weekly Parish News email from Sept 2nd, please visit: http://conta.cc/2c1tb1C
This week I went on safari to find the best-hidden post office in Texas, in Las Colinas. I went to mail letters and buy some stamps. Exiting, I smiled at a man coming up the steps. He looked me up and down. “Are you some kind of nun?” I said, no, that I am an Episcopal priest and the new pastor of Redeemer. We talked for ten minutes. He lives in the neighborhood. I learned his work and family. He does not go to anywhere, but was raised Christian. I invited him to church and he said he think about it–something between a polite “no” and a “maybe”. I grinned as I drove off, prizing the series of coincidences that put me on those postal steps at that exact time. I do not know if he will come. I know I was supposed to invite him.
In the last ten years, more than 25% of the United States, polled about their religious affiliation, answer, “None.” (Pew Research Center http://pewrsr.ch/1MnQEDU) I was a “None” in the 60s when there probably more nuns than nones. My parents never attended church unless someone died. My father was aggressively anti-religious and my mother was a lapsed Unitarian. As an atheist friend of mine once lamented, “You had all the advantages! What went wrong?”
God found me, through my mother teaching me her childhood prayers. I was a early reader. I read J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis and, (why it was in our house, I still do not know) my sister’s Hurlbert’s Story of the Bible. I read my way to Christ, and then realized that God had plans for me before I was born. (Psalm139)
I have heard from many of you, “We need to grow.” Right enough! Let’s invite friends and strangers and more than once. Let’s look at any ‘insider’ habits that we may need to prune. Let us try the see the world and our parish with the eyes of those who don’t know that their inner hunger is for God. There are a lot of Nones out there, as well as people who say that they are “‘spiritual’ but not religious”; more of this anon.