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