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Follow Me!

Dear friends,

At the end of last week’s day-long Vestry Retreat, we shared “A Service of Commitment” adapted from the Iona Abbey Worship Book. I have been to Iona and been moved by the powerful spiritual energy one experiences on that ancient, sacred island, but this book was new to me. The website explains “The Iona Abbey Worship Book reflects the Iona Community’s commitment to the belief that worship is all that we are and all that we do, both inside and outside the church, with no division into the sacred and the secular….it aims to help us to be fully present to God.” (emphasis mine)

The closing prayers offered at the end of the retreat were appropriate for that moment and for all of us as we live into the next season of our life together. Our world continues to reveal ever more complex questions about truth and meaning and where knowledge comes from; young and old struggle with mental health and ways to stay balanced and whole in the face of violence and uncertainty; the Church as a trusted institution faces decline in attendance and participation, while most people continue to seek spiritual lives. It is a challenging time to be a person of faith, and we need ways to understand and experience God’s presence in our lives in all places. What I like about the prayers to follow is that they invite us to see our worship and our work in the world beyond the walls of a building. We are invited to follow Jesus wherever we are; to seek God in all that we do, in our work, in our neighbors, in the smallest delight and deepest pain. Our Easter proclamation that Christ is Risen! is for all of us all the time….in all moments of our lives, and with hope for our life beyond the earthly experience.

The work of your vestry, and our work and worship as a faith community is more than meetings, more than even our Sunday morning gatherings. It is all that we are and all that that we do, inside and outside the church walls, each of us called to follow the One who rose from the dead and gives us hope and life everlasting!

Please join in this invitation from Jesus:

To Pharisees minding their business,

And fishermen mending their nets:

Jesus says Follow me!

To money-handlers, lawyers,

Intellectuals, and power brokers:

Jesus says: Follow me!

To the carers and cleaners,

The married, the single,

The young and the old,

Country-folk and city-dwellers:

Jesus says: Follow me!

Then and now,

Together and apart,

Willing or doubting,

Ready or not,

Jesus says: Follow me!

And make your prayer of commitment along with your vestry:

In gratitude for this moment, this place, those around us, Christ among us, we give ourselves to you our God.

Take us out to live as changed people because we have met the risen Christ and cannot be the same.

Ask much of us, expect much from us, enable much by us,

encourage many through us.

So that we may live to your glory as inhabitants of the earth and citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Easter blessings,


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