June 7, 2020
Last week, Rich Garon wrote in this space about the "transcending, all-encompassing, big-picture time known to the Father." As I come alongside you as your rector (at last!), I see the Spirit weaving together the threads of our lives into the tapestry of the Father's timing. Here are just a few of the threads I see:
· Beginning my ministry among you immediately after Pentecost, when the Church was filled with the Spirit and empowered to communicate the reality of Jesus to all people.
· The storm of COVID creating a holy pause in which so many people are re-evaluating what is "essential" in their lives, and are yearning for connection, and are being pushed into new spaces of vulnerability.
· The devastating root of racism being exposed yet again in our nation, revealing hearts and systems in desperate need of Jesus and the coming Kingdom of God.
The people of Immanuel, formed and re-formed by faithfulness in transition, uniquely prepared for loving each other, Prince William County, our nation, and our world in this time. The vision of Immanuel -- "God with us for the sake of others" -- remains compelling. Among the reasons I'm drawn to it is how it expresses what I believe is a core understanding of who we are as a church. Paul puts it like this:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2.19-22)
I am so grateful that, in Jesus, my family and I now are being built together with you into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. We are ready to join you in inviting our neighbors into this dwelling place we call Immanuel Anglican Church.
I look forward to beginning to get to know you at the Sunday Morning Virtual Fellowship (see below for details). During that time, I would enjoy hearing what encourages you most about Immanuel!
Fr. Travis Hines