Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20th Evidence of New Life

Note from Rev. Kirsten:  

The past two Sundays in our Gospel texts we have been hearing about the disciples' encounters with the risen Christ.    Both Rev. Lizette and I jumped into the texts with homilies about how we look for, see and know with all our senses that the risen Christ is in our midst.  Last night I got thinking about all the ways that our community is participating in Christ’s work in the world.  I realized that we know our new life in Christ both as an experience we have and as an action that we do.  Here are just a couple of examples that come to mind today.  First, the work of the Nativity pastoral care team is going so well.  Our team is reaching out within our community and connecting with people we haven’t seen in awhile.  We’ve been offering the support of prayers and assistance and it is strengthening our community in so many ways.  (If you are interested in joining the team, would like a call or a visit from the team, or would like to know more about the work, contact me or Jeanette Hill).  

Second, today I was giving thanks for new members—people who have started coming over the past year and who are now regulars.  I count at least five new families who are part of our worship and our fellowship—on Sundays, and in other services.  Our shared worship, our communal prayer is an opportunity to strengthen us the Body of Christ.  When I feel the energy of our community singing together, clapping loud as we sing,  “Christ is risen from the dead!” I know that He is risen indeed.  

And third, tomorrow, we are meeting with leaders from the other Northern Marin Episcopal Churches to talk about our Nativity visioning process and to begin to think together about how we are uniquely called to be the Body of Christ in our neighborhoods—supporting one another as we make visible God’s love in the world.    It is exciting work that we are beginning.

While we mourn the two dear parishioners, Anne and Margaret, who have died over the past three weeks, their deaths remind us of the promise of new life after death.  And their deaths remind us that by our baptisms we received the grace of new life--new life that is evident right in our midst. 

We pray with thanksgiving for that new life that we experience and a renewed commitment to  the work that we are called to do:

All praise and thanks to you, most merciful Father, for adopting us as your own children, for incorporating us into your holy Church, and for making us worthy to share in the inheritance of the saints in light; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Almighty God, we thank you that by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ you have overcome sin and brought us to yourself, and that by the sealing of your Holy Spirit you have bound us to your service.  Renew in us, your servants, the covenant you made with us at our Baptism.  Send us forth in the power of that Spirit to perform the service you set before us; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

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