It’s been a while since I’ve been able to send out my little weekly letter! I’m happy to be doing so again, at long last! I’m especially happy to be sending this week’s letter, coming as it does in the wake of our celebration of the Feast of Holy Pentecost. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it was to worship with you! After everyone had left Bethany House and I was finishing up putting things away – as the sweet aroma of the Holy Oil still lingered in the Chapel – there was a palpable sense of the Lord’s nearness!
I want to give a special shout out to Nathan Brown for the beautiful job he did serving – for his first time – as Lector! After I had approached his Mom and Dad about the idea of asking him to serve in this way and he and I talked about it, my hunch was immediately confirmed that it was a nudging from the Lord to have him do this. He told me, in our conversation, that he would be honored to serve as Lector! He certainly offered his best to the Lord on Sunday morning!
As you know, I’ve been thinking about the future – my own, Emily and I together, and MAMA Church’s. I’m a planner, but I’m not The Planner! I spent some time yesterday – in the afterglow of Pentecost – thinking about MAMA Church’s future in particular. Whether I’m with you as vicar for only the next five years or the next ten or fifteen years, I have one goal to meet: To get MAMA Church ready for its next vicar. That means doing everything I can to help equip you for growing in your relationship with Jesus and in sharing him with the people around you.
Your love for him is evident to anyone who meets you – I see it in your lives and in who you are! When I’m around you – even just thinking about you or praying for you – I feel it! Jesus living in you is absolutely contagious! That why I think it’s not only possible but necessary that we look at setting and meeting the following goals for MAMA Church in the next few years…
1. Actively and intentionally seeking to share Jesus with those around us, with the goal of tripling the size of MAMA Church in the next five years – not for the sake of aggrandizement of our parish community, but for the good of the souls who need Jesus.
2. Actively and intentionally working to nurture and grow ourselves and each other (and those who join us) in the ancient Catholic faith, with a special emphasis nurturing that faith in the children and teens entrusted to our care. As adults, we will only carry the torch of that faith for so long. We need to actively prepare the next generation to take our place – and that means developing an understanding that we are in ministry WITH them, not just TO them!
3. Actively and intentionally seeking ways to either add on to Bethany House or, if need be, build a new Bethany House. The goal here should be aimed squarely at one purpose: Offering hospitality for the needs of the world around us! For example, as we minister to unexpectedly expecting moms and dads, we need to have facilities into which we can invite them and provide for their needs. We need storage space (for the items we intend to supply them), we need space for day care (building on the vision that Liz Pederson has expressed – a vision that would help them immensely), and we need space for ministry to children and teens.
Well, I hope I haven’t scared you!! But, knowing you as I think I do, I feel certain that I’ve expressed some of what you’ve already been thinking – as you’ve often expressed to me.
If you would like a copy of this week’s “Our Life Together” send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to share it with you! As I shared on Sunday, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to give you copies of the booklet form of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer. Stay tuned!
As always, stay in the Word daily and…
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and always! Amen!