Friday, September 16 2022
I usually take Mondays to be monastic - or a bit like a monk. I sit, I read, I pray, and be contrary to my self for a day. It centers me and brings me to stillness. I had had a busy Monday morning with our first day at the nursery school and started Morning Prayer a little later than usual when Fr. Duncan knocked on my office door to check in on me. We sat at the conference table in my office catching up for a few minutes and then we transitioned to talking about liturgical theology - meaning our personal beliefs and piety surrounding the liturgy (or public worship). It was a bit of a jump from our conversation but within the topic. We came to talk about the Eucharist, being an act of remembering Jesus: “do this in remembrance of me.” Fr. Duncan emphasized different portions of the word remember back-to-back: remember… re-member.
I sat for a brief moment in silence; an epiphany. Re-member. It was not something I had contemplated recently. When we take communion, we are literally coming together to become part of the body of Christ as we receive God into our bodies through communion with one another. We are quite actually re-membering ourselves to God. This had bridged a thought pattern I have mused about in the past but I really dwelt there this Monday.
This coming Sunday is our parish picnic at Centerport Beach. I don’t know if you are new to the parish like me, or have gone to the picnic for years like Fr. Duncan, but this picnic isn’t just a picnic; it’s an act of re-membering. Jesus gathered with friends for a simple meal two thousand years ago when he said, “this is my body; this is my blood… do this in remembrance of me.” We are coming together as a community, bonded through our common trait of believing God wants us to be in community with one another.
Many of you have asked me, why priesthood? Why become a priest? It was a challenging question to answer throughout seminary, when I knew God had called me but I did not have the appropriate language to answer those who asked. Last Lent, I had some time off and I contemplated this question: Why does Jesus call me to the priesthood? It has to do with this re-membering. I am called to priestly ministry, by way of distributing the sacraments, through being in community with others.
How are you a member in this community? For the next several weeks, we are approaching stewardship season. We will talk about time, talent, and treasure. Do you have a ministry that you give yourself to? Breakfast crew, St. Hilda’s Guild, Youth Group, Sunday School, Altar Guild, Thrift Shop, Nursery School, Choir, Vestry, are some of the important ministries we have here at St. John’s. Do you give your time or talent to any of these ministries? Do you feel called to be a part of them? To be a member? What about treasure; do you give a portion of what God has given you, to this community that you are a member of?
In order to be a living, thriving community, we all have a job to do. Whether its pouring orange juice and coffee on Sundays, knitting blankets for the Fall Festival, being a part of our youth ministry, or teaching our youngest siblings-in-Christ about Jesus, or preparing the sanctuary for service, or assisting someone buy a gift through our Thrift Shop, or watching little ones from our Nursery School on the playground, or sing your heart out from the choir stalls in the front of the church, or help lead this community, or financially give to sustain these ministries to ensure their survival for the betterment of our community, you are giving. Have you discerned how you can do any of these things better? I ask you to meditate on the various ministries we have here at St. John’s and ask yourself: how can I do this better, in remembrance of Him? How can I be a part of this parish family differently this year?
I ask you to re-member yourself to this community, whatever that means to you. You are called by God to be here. How will you allow that call to change your life? Do this in remembrance of me.
I hope to see you at the picnic.
Your sibling in Christ,