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 Nov 11th, please visit: http://conta.cc/2fKA1KP
- Thank You!
I want to thank the many people who worked on Wednesday to put together the service and reception for the Celebration of New Ministry service. I sweated arranging the service, but I had learned already that I could relax and not worry about the details of hospitality. Several of my clergy colleagues took me aside to tell me how much they appreciated the many touches of welcome. They mentioned the food for those who had traveled, the elegance and variety of the spread and the beauty of the flowers. One commented on the elegance of the table cards and posters: “You have an incredible graphic designer.” Indeed, and a church with wonderful and hardworking hosts, cooks and hostesses, choristers and altar guild! The food, beverages and warmth of the welcome were wonderful. I was very moved by the work that you did and that effort that so many of you made to be there in the middle of the week. Now, let’s pray and work together to be a vibrant part of the Body of Christ in our part of the Metroplex and to invite, welcome others into our community in Jesus’s name, as well as go out and serve Christ in all his disguises of need and hurt.
- The Election
Our country had a historic election this past week. Some of you are welcoming the election of Donald Trump; others are dismayed and afraid. Please pray for those with whom you disagree. Pray also for our President-elect and for our country which is clearly so divided. Christians are people who remember that Democratic, Republican, Socialist, Libertarian or Green, Royalist or Independent, that we are members one of another and have a second and deeper allegiance to Jesus as Lord. It is through Christ’s priorities values that we seek to understand and shape our lives and relationships. God is at the back of all our histories and all history. Our confidence is in God’s love.
The divided outcome of last week’s national Presidential and Congressional elections quickly punctuated by Canon Victoria’s “commitment service” with us all on Wednesday evening energized me to re-focus on courage and healing. While sometimes mutually exclusive commodities, these two qualities need not be so. Courage to follow Christ’s compass as we strike out on the paths beyond our respective comfort zones. Courage to respect and empathize with those who don’t respect and empathize with us. Healing from the inside out and from the outside inward — sometimes our external actions, forced as they may need to be at times, can become the germs of our inner and lasting transformations. A wise man one told me, “You can’t legislate feelings, but you can legislate behavior.” So I will focus now on disciplining and “legislating” my own behaviors first, in the image of God’s rather than in the twisted, hurting designs of my own frustrations and disappointments. Thank you, gracious Lord, for the freedom to choose our own behaviors and for Your grace and mercy in helping us shape those choices.
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