Senior Warden ReportPaul Aparicio

 

Let the Lord “Take” You

In the next few months there will be many opportunities for each of us to celebrate the community we are blessed to have at Grace. The annual Brat Fry will be held at Miesfeld’s Meat Market which should bring in a larger crowd than our location last year. More customers will require more volunteers to work the grill, take money, distribute food, etc. September brings our Mass in the Grass event where we have the opportunity to be our bell-ringin’-smoke-spinnin’-corporate-praisin’-selves at Deland Park with Lake Michigan a stone’s throw away. To transport ourselves there includes setting up an altar, seating, food, etc. And probably the most important activity is being present in public as we worship our Lord. Your attendance here is crucial so that we can be witnesses to the world and show how we are called to break bread together each Sunday. In October, we will hold our annual Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. This two day event will require greeters both days, help in the kitchen and hall on Saturday, and other areas. Pilgrims from all over the country will travel to Grace to share in our community. Please don’t miss out on another chance to show those outside our walls the joy we are blessed with. And looking into November, I am currently putting together the logistics of Grace co-hosting an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner open to the public. Various companies like Culvers, Lakeland College, Nourish, and others are committing materials for the event. A place to hold it and helping hands are what we have been called to offer in the name of the Lord. I can’t think of a better way to show thanks on this national holiday than serving others and again being a witness to the loving grace of living in Christ. And throughout all these months our Stewardship campaign will launch. What that launching looks like is still to be determined so if you feel called to aid in this effort please let me know.

As you can see there’s a lot going on and our sacrificial clergy and core lay volunteers won’t be able to hold all of these events afloat. And we shouldn’t expect them to. Yet there are times when it feels like many who call Grace their home rarely are active at these types of events. Do you fall into this group or know someone who might? Why does this happen? Is it because schedules outside the church are too hectic to attend one more activity? Boy, I can relate to that dilemma. My little ones don’t allow Drea and I much time to stop spinning as we move from one daily appointment to another. Or is it because when requests are made for helping hands we feel that this type of work is outside our skills or calling. Again, I understand that feeling. When I agreed to run for your Vestry or be your Senior Warden I had no idea what I was getting into. I’m not sure I really know what I’m doing now to be honest. My education is in engineering not finances or business or organizing events. However, I can tell you that what I have learned so far is that when God calls us in ministry the success of our witness has nothing to do with the skills we have or where our experience lies.

Time and time again our own history and scripture shows us that it is by our Lord’s will not our own that will result in successful ministry. No true prophet or disciple set forth unless they first thrust themselves in relying on the Spirit of God. All authority and power comes from Him. One of our readings earlier this season takes us through the Book of Amos where in 7:14 he says “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees.” Amos is telling us that he was not born into or studied to be a prophet. Rather he was breed to be a herdsman and his livelihood was partially dependent on gathering fruit from sycamore trees. The next verse begins with “the Lord took me from following the flock”. “Took me” as if Amos was content with his current situation. His mind was concentrated on his flock and his business of picking figs. It wasn’t his will to go out and prophesy but rather the Lord was in charge in making it happen. Often we say we “follow” the Lord but perhaps a more accurate statement would be the Lord “takes” us. Almost like a parent grabbing hold of a child’s hand as they cross the street.

When I get out of the car at the grocery store I always grab Leona’s hand and say, “OK let’s go, there are cars to look out for”. I move briskly through the parking lot with Leona in tow as she tries to keep moving, trying not to trip over her feet, and not be distracted by things around her. If I got out of the car and said, “OK I’ll meet you inside” and take off while she tries to find her way I’m sure it wouldn’t end well. She would probably end up running in circles while cars swerve around her, “Ooh a bird just flew into that tree, let’s look at that”, brakes screeching….you get the picture. I would never do that to her and neither does the Lord. When He takes us into ministry He also equips us with all that we need to bear witness to the love we have for Him. He gives us the tools and skills in all that we do especially in the things that we often say to ourselves, “that’s not for me.” All we have to do is trust in His everlasting guidance. Just like Amos, the disciples were taken from their livelihood of fishing to proclaim the Kingdom of God. They weren’t born with the skills but rather again were equipped with them by our Lord. When opportunities arise these next few months look to these inspiring accounts of faith and trust that the Lord will deliver all that we require to bear witness and proclaim the good news of our Lord and Savior.

Your Brother in Christ,
Paul Aparicio

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Event Calendar

Live Stream - Solemn Mass
Sun Jun 25 @10:15AM - 11:30AM
Vestry Meeting
Sun Jun 25 @11:45AM -
Parish Breakfast
Tue Jun 27 @ 7:00AM - 08:00AM
Mass - St Peter and St Paul
Thu Jun 29 @ 9:00AM - 09:30PM
Bible Study
Thu Jun 29 @ 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Brat Fry @ Miesfeld's
Sat Jul 01 @12:00AM

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