This week I’d like to give you a few updates on our life together:
· Hoadly Road Mission Outpost: Forward movement on constructing our church building remains a priority and a reality. We have identified three banks ready to consider offering us a loan, and soon we will have finished submitting to them the requested data. We have also continued working with our architect, John Recny, to evaluate the bids we are receiving from contractors. Look for a more detailed report next week from the Move Team.
· Deacon Sallie Recommended for Ordination to the Priesthood: Many of you know that Deacon Sallie has been in an extended discernment process. I am grateful to report that at Monday night’s meeting, the Vestry voted to recommend her for ordination to the priesthood. The Vestry will send to the Diocese a signed letter to this effect, along with a letter of support from me. Congratulate Deacon Sallie on this affirmation, and pray for her as she continues the discernment process at the Diocesan level.
· Sunday Worship at Gray’s and via Livestream: We continue finding ways to improve our engagement in worship in these two venues. Many people have appreciated the new arrangement—it is more inviting and aesthetically pleasing, with the bonus of the molding on the wall forming the shape of a cross! And several have commented on the excellent arrangement achieved each week by our Altar Guild. The set-up team and ushers continue to streamline the process for having everything ready…and they would welcome more volunteers. Improving the sound quality is a high priority. Allen, Danny, Phil and Jordan are creating more efficient ways for setting up the sound system, a process that currently requires almost 90 minutes of focused work. Each week they look for ways to improve the experience of our livestream congregation, and I’m grateful for their faithfulness and care. Even so, we have decided to engage a professional consultant, and we are currently interviewing candidates.
As I write this, we are six days away from the election, and several weeks into voting. I encourage you to pray for each other, for your neighbors, and for our nation. If you lack words, flip to pages 654-655 in our 2019 Book of Common Prayer to find prayers for the nation (or find them at https://tinyurl.com/prayers-for-nation).
I’ll close with these words from Bishop Andrew Williams of the Anglican Diocese in New England:
“After the Presidential election, whether we feel triumphant, devastated, depressed, or conflicted, …Jesus is supremely clear about our role as His disciple and as a diocese. He calls us to be salt and light. Specifically, He told us, “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13a, 14a). Salt and light are metaphors that indicate the influence for good that we have in the world as Jesus’ disciples. The word “influence” is derived from the Latin root meaning “to flow.” And as salt and light, we are to continuously flow in the love and power of God. Our world is badly in need of repair. There are some big wounds that need tending. The world desperately needs more healers and less hate.”
I’m grateful that Immanuel is a community committed to healing and love. We are called together for such a time as this.
Your Pastor in Christ,