January 19, 2020,
WHO ARE WE?
As a people, we are Immanuel Anglican Church. We are God’s church. Our very name, Immanuel, speaks of God being with us. As Bishop Dave spoke recently of our parish: You are a fine Christ-centered congregation -- as I like to say, a non-contentious group, loving Jesus, and sharing Him with others.
We enter 2020 with hearts open to the Lord, looking to discern His will about seeking a new rector and His will about building a new home for His church. There is great comfort in putting our total trust in Him.
Toward the end of this month, the vestry and the move team will meet together; the sole purpose being to pray, share the message of devotional readings, and reflect on what God is telling us about our planned new building. Please be in prayer that we will do our best to hear the Lord clearly.
The months of prayer, deliberation, and many hours of meaningful discussion among search team members is leading us ever closer to calling a new rector. Please join in prayer for the search team, the vestry, and the candidate as we continue in prayerful discernment about where God is leading us.
As we focus on these two issues so fundamental to our transition process, it is instructive to remember individual instances of how the heart of Immanuel leads us to be a light in this world. In coming weeks, we’ll discuss some of these instances. I’d like to start off with remembering someone who while homeless, became a faithful member of Immanuel, and gave our church an unexpected opportunity to feel the deep love of the Lord.
Many of us remember Russell Campbell. Homeless and living in the woods when we first met him, Russell became a faithful member of Immanuel. As his health began to deteriorate, we helped tend to his needs and were able to get him into a studio apartment. His last days were spent in a nursing home and the hospital.
We recently received a box full of woolen hats hand-knit by Russell’s 80 -year-old sister. The note inside, from her daughter, said how appreciative they were of Immanuel Anglican Church and that: “Our hearts were full knowing he had an extended family to help him in his struggles and that he never left God.” The hats will be distributed this week to those living in the woods.