Senior Warden ReportPaul Aparicio

 

Our Pointed Ministry

How we focus and where we focus has been a theme in my life this last month. In my own discernment it’s been particularly central to how I look for definition in what God is calling me to be. Part of that search recently has been looking at the roles of priests and deacons in the church. What I have found is that there are certain characteristics that can be beneficial in each role and the design of these roles allows for great opportunity for a priest or deacon to be successful in ministry. What was confusing was that these characteristics and opportunities were often all over the place with priests and deacons. Which makes sense since each of them are individuals with specific gifts from God. But the variance is confusing for someone who is in discernment for a specific calling. The realization that unified the variance I found was that having Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior should always be the tip of any focus one should have as an ordained person. Archdeacon Michele has put it in terms of a “pointed ministry”. Which may seem obvious but it took some time for me to circle back to that concept every time I felt like my journey was taking me off the rails into something else. And this pointed focus is something that applies not only to discernment but in all interactions within the church.

It is central to our living in Christ. And yet as humans we continue to place our own will as a road block to that understanding. This also goes along when we talk about same-sex blessings or church financials or an innovative digital ministry. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on Christ being in the center of the discussion. I often ask myself “Where does Christ play into all of this?” And often I don’t have an answer. All I can do is put faith in the fact that when we take a prayerful look through the eyes of Christ there is understanding and love that shines bright. And often it is understanding and love that is needed for us to get through our disagreements or struggles. That prayerful approach has brought me success in these recent times of discernment and I offer it to you as we continue forward with what lies ahead for us in October and the rest of the year.

Our stewardship campaign is ongoing this month and warrants each of us to examine how we view our lives in Christ. How do our financial commitments represent our commitment to our Lord? It’s not an easy task to perform with so many forces outside the church that have strong influence on where our money goes. But with prayerful consideration it is possible for all of us to be 100% behind Grace. The key to examining each of our personal lives is to look at how much we challenge ourselves when we say we are 100% behind Grace. That challenge looks completely different to each of us but that doesn’t deny the fact that a challenge does exist. When God calls us to be faithful witnesses of His love He challenges us in many ways not only to Him but to those around us in answering that challenge. Our stewardship campaign is part of that answer as we come together each week, as we hold events in our hall, and as we provide services of Christ’s love and hope to our community. I pray that each of us will answer this call during this campaign.

God also calls us to love and understand each other especially in times of disagreement. Not only is it important that we show love and understanding to each other in these moments but that this act is seen by the world. This is how we can proclaim by example the Good News of God in Christ. And I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that this is easier said than done. Again this challenge exists as part of our calling and cannot be ignored. The upcoming parish forum on October 8th will focus on that challenge. As I prepare for moderating that forum, I am comforted in the words of our own Bishop Charles Grafton that were said in anticipation of the General Convention in 1904,

“The differences existing relate to matters of policy, statements of doctrine, forms of worship. It is a token of our Church’s strength that she does not seek to crush individual thought and action. True spiritual strength is found in union with diversity, not in an enforced lifeless uniformity.”

That statement echoes what our parish forum will accomplish. We will have union with diversity because we always have had union with diversity. The diversity is what changes over time and how we reach union often has a different face than what generations of the past have found. But like generations before us who struggled it is by the command of God that we seek understanding and love for each other. I pray that you join us on October 8th regardless of where your convictions lie. I pray that our forum will represent our love for each other and our love for our Lord.

I pray that each of us seek understanding and love in Christ and we all come together in our great “pointed ministry”.

In Christ,
Paul Aparicio – Senior Warden

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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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