Monday, March 7, 2011
Being Ourselves At Our Best
St David's Day 2011 with the Episcopal Visitation of Archbishop Duncan. This is an email I sent to the parish
Many years ago our bishop, Bob Duncan, challenged each of our parishes us to "be ourselves at our best". Yesterday was such an occasion. St. David's shined. Our worship was heartfelt and spirit-filled and reflected the diversity of who we are, traditional, contemporary, liturgical and free-form with bagpipes,organ, piano, keyboards and praise band. Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, Re-affirmation of Faith were all celebrated with joy. Alexandria Kleinschnitz and Chester Lang were honored for their service to our parish and, the Acolytes, Stephen Ministers, Altar Prayer Ministers, Lay Eucharistic Ministers, St John the Apostle Grief Ministers and 2011 Vestry were all commissioned. Archbishop Duncan also announced that the Standing Committee of the Diocese voted to remove the Transitional Parish designation from St. David's and restore us to full parish status. This opens the way for the vestry to elect a rector ( me or some one else!) rather than be served by a priest-in-charge appointed by the Bishop. Following the service we adjourned for lunch in the Parish Hall. Many hands made the work light as we gathered together to eat -- a big thank you to all who contributed to the excellent fare and especially to the Circle of Sisters for the final prep and serving.
Archbishop Duncan addressed us and shared in great detail where we are on the litigation front and about property issues. It was eye opening for many of our folks. One parishioner sent me the following email message following our meeting. What an encouragement! "My mother stood up and asked her Church ( Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church) to put St. David's in their prayers. She also told me that a small group has committed to be intercessor's for St David's during this trial. I did not ask her do this and was surprised when she told me her actions. My mother is baptized in the Holy Spirit and told me God has moved her like Daniel was asked to stand for Israel. I am not sure the verse but that is was she told me. An eye opening meeting today, I look forward to filling out survey but my feelings are simply that we should be actively pursuing another place to worship. I am also going to keep my eyes open for a residence for you and Gale. Just in case we need to do an emergency move. We can always rent a place quickly but I would prefer to own something and remove the expense of rent. Wherever God takes us I will follow. I don't fear anything when it comes to St. Davids. I am actually excited to see where God will lead us.
Our Task Force on the Future will be developing a survey to ascertain your thoughts on a way forward. We are also forming a negotiating team and have signalled our desire to begin conversations with the TEC diocese about the future of our property. Please keep the St. David's Clergy, Wardens and Vestry, Task Force on the Future and all our people in your prayers
Faithfully in Christ