To feed and be fed in the
Love and Works of Jesus Christ
To feed and be fed in the
Love and Works of Jesus Christ
Finding God’s Grace
This week I was cleaning off some bookshelves and doing general reorganization. As I went through just a glimpse of all the books that I have loved and read and reread over a lifetime, lovely memories came back. I flipped thought books I had loved as a child. I saw my father’s writing in a book he had given me, and I was filled with so many thoughts, ideas and memories. Then I made a couple of discoveries. First I found a library book that I had thought was lost. How satisfying to run that once lost book to the library so that someone else could read and enjoy! Then I found a couple of books that I had misplaced, books that were on my “must read” list. Books that I had gotten or been given and I just simply forgot about them. What a joy to sit down and start to read! New books open new worlds, new ideas and sometimes new doubts, and new ways forward.
So often we have to look for grace, look for love, look for hope. Just like the books that I had “lost” in the busyness of life, sometime we have to search for God. Where is the smidgen of sunshine that was there all along, but perhaps hidden behind some clouds? I often feel that if I don’t see it, if I can’t feel it, then it is not there. Grace is there. Hope is with us. Love abounds. The lesson that I must learn (and learn over again) is that God is always with me. I might be looking in the wrong direction, but God, love, hope are there for me, for you, for us all.
Abiding in the love of Christ,
As the Arch Deacon, I have been meeting with deacons from the dioceses of NWPA, NIAGARA, Canada, and WNY. We began zooming once a week in June and get together every Monday. I had hoped to help everyone feel connected during isolation, but we have moved beyond that and have formed a community that supports, challenges, and defines who and what we do as deacons. Each week we open with prayer and share what is happening in our parishes or dioceses. Then we move into reflecting about who we are and what we are based on biblical, traditional, cultural, and personal perspectives. I had questions or a piece of scripture prepared in the beginning and now that we know each other better, anyone with a thought is comfortable starting the discussion. It goes where it needs to.
Our roles are changing as the church is being redefined and transformed. As we continue our discussions, we have become very excited about the future of the church and the role it plays in the world. It is wonderful to talk theologically with like minded people and is grounding my calling.
It makes me aware of the fact that we all need that kind of community and support; a small group of people that have similar skills, and that can grow together over time.
So my challenge for you is to think about the people you can call your "people," your "tribe," and make an effort to connect and communicate with them as part of your spiritual routine or discipline. If cooking brings you together, that community of like minded people can begin to open up to growing spiritually together, through a time of biblical or theological reflection. Maybe you can find a book to read together, or talk about ways recipes in your families reflect the spiritual values your grandma had. It doesn't matter where you start, just try doing it as a spiritual discipline with the goal of supporting each other and looking to each other for insights. The same can work with music, sewing, carpentry, sports, age, social issues, eating breakfast out..... whatever brings a small group together is great. The purpose is to grow spiritually through sharing, listening, and learning together on a regular basis. If you need ideas to start, talk to me. I guarantee it will be as much a blessing for you as it has been for me, and it is like a breath of fresh air during this crazy time we are living in.
Yours in Christ,
the September-October activity revolved around Stewardship, next years budget
process and the Rectory.
Crossroads House has begun to occupy the Rectory. We will be operating under a temporary 90-day lease until a permanent one is in place. At first, they will be using it for storage and to house training space for volunteers. They will be paying St. James a flat utility fee until they can get the utilities sub-metered.
Stewardship 2021 is underway. It is not too late to get your pledge in. We have two new pledges for next year, which is exciting. We started a month early this year to have the campaign wrapped up before the budget process starts. We would like to start this at the end of this month to have it completed by the beginning of December. If you or your group is part of the budget, please get you figures to the Finance Team as soon as possible.
On a side note, we have a new treasurer in Rick Iannello. Rick has a great deal of experience in field of finance and will be a great asset to the Finance Team. He will serve alongside Keith and Peter who will phase out between now and February. If you see Pete or Keith please thank them for their long and faithful service to St. James.
Jim Neider and Judy Essig
team of people has been meeting since last fall to look at all of the
communications tools and methods that we use at St. James. We began with internal communications and
have now moved on to how we communicate with the community. Our Facebook page, Website, press releases,
community event calendars and media special interest pages are all ways that we
can send out the wonderful message of what St. James is to the community.
Dawn Mark is our new chair of the ministry of Public Relations and Marketing. As such, all communications put out to the public should be directed to Dawn and she will see that the events, services, and happenings at St. James will reach the eyes and ears of the community.
Thank you Dawn!