September 6, 2019
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Dear Friends and Parishioners:
After a month of summer Sundays, I am very happy to rejoin All Saints Church as we begin another fall together. I am thrilled with our staff, which now includes our Wisdom Year Seminarian, Heather Sisk. Heather will be with us through the academic year as she completes her seminary training and preparations for ordination. Heather has already helped us organize and execute our summer feeding program and is hard at work helping us plan for a fall that, we trust will be re-vitalizing our church with programs of spiritual direction and other sacred events. Heather will be preaching and leading classes and working with us on social media and other outreach programs. She has also been instrumental in helping us find a new tenant for our apartment upstairs, The Reverend Megan Sanders. Megan is the new Episcopal chaplain to New York City college students from our diocese. Megan will also help us with talks and liturgy from time to time here at All Saints.
It is hard to spend time on personal problems when we see the pictures of massive devastation from the Bahamas. Our lives are always overshadowed by greater events and we are called to meet the needs of others, whether they be physical, spiritual, emotional.
Yet we are not limited to an outward gaze. In fact, it is only by looking within that we are able to find the motivation to help others and that we come to know the biases and prejudices that hinder or keep us from acts of kindness and generosity.
As our parents taught us as children, we are to “LOOK BOTH WAYS!”
The Greeks said, “Know thyself.” Jesus expanded this, saying, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We are not wasting our time looking within. If our gaze stays only internal, we separate ourselves from the world and became superfluous in which we have been placed. If we gaze only outside, we become overwhelmed and eventually callous to the needs of others. It is only in the constant checking for ‘the still small voice within’ that we find our common humanity and compassion for the world around us.
In worship, we find the divine inner voice is given space to exist, which allows us to find strength, courage and wisdom as we seek to respond (responsibly) to human need around us. This need could be as small as listening to the questions of a small child, to volunteering to rebuild houses in hurricane ravaged islands or protesting against gun violence in our streets.
We are not so much asking for belief in the miracles of the past, so much as we are asking for your participation in the miracle of love towards self and others in the moment at hand.
Please join us as we worship (attribute worth) to the One who calls us to manifest love.