St. Augustine’s Church is an amazing place. My family and I arrived just over four years ago. One clear reason we chose to explore a call to serve at St. A’s was simple: this parish makes a difference in people’s lives.
This past July we hosted a group from the Church of the Ascension in Alabama on their return from serving the people of the Standing Rock Reservation. Members of St. A’s welcomed members of Ascension to a delicious potluck dinner in the courtyard. Later, the people of Ascension welcomed us to join in their tradition of sung prayer before bed. We lit candles in the church and sang the ancient chants of compline. Our food and hospitality and singing and prayer were enriched by all of us joining in with one another. It was an illustration that it takes Everybody, by Faith.
In his writings, the apostle Paul refers often to the Church as the Body of Christ – and he’s not speaking in the abstract. It takes everybody. It takes each one of us as members to reflect a more complete image of the Church to the world that God loves. I’m grateful that have wonderful opportunities to grow in spirit and in service at St. A’s.
Living as a member of the Body of Christ that is the Church asks something of us. Our faith invites us to join in worship and study, and service and fellowship, in ways that can be a challenge as well as a blessing. The invitation to give and receive grace in real and practical ways stands against most of the messages you’ll see and hear in ordinary life.
This is a season at St. Augustine's of considering ways that we can continue to make a difference in people’s lives: in your life and mine, in the lives of people in the parish, in the lives of people struggling with homelessness, in the lives of people who are hungry in body or spirit. It takes each one of us to do the holy work of living as the Church that God calls us to be. It takes Everybody, by Faith.
A couple of years ago during the invitation to communion, I tried to be as clear as I could, saying that “everybody, everybody, everybody is welcome at this table.” I said that in recognition of St. A’s deep desire to feed people – body and soul--so they can go forth and be a life-changing presence in the world. I give thanks for the many ways that this is happening, and I recognize that our monetary gifts help make it all possible.
I invite you to make a financial contribution to empower St. Augustine’s Church – your church – to keep doing amazing things in the world. Every gift makes a difference, whether it’s five dollars a week or three hundred a month. Whatever your gift, I hope you will join me in giving as you are able. I pray that as you see St. A’s make a difference in the world, you will see it making a difference in your own lives, as well.
It takes each one of us: Everybody, by Faith.