Perhaps, like me, you have never gone to a church website and seen a picture like the one shown on ours. Things change. Change wakes us up. It shakes us out of our complacency.
The changes of this past year have shown us how profoundly fragile societal institutions and norms can be. While I hope seeing Bernie and his mittons on our website amuses you, it's also a light version of the heavy changes we have experienced in 2020. The hardships of our world must not be ignored by people of faith. The changes we are witnessing must be evaluated and attended to with faith.
Jesus was walking the earth during a similarly awful time. Jewish practice and tradition was being shaken and challenged by new sects, and by an oppressive regime that cared nothing for the sanctity of life , let alone faith. Jesus faced this reality squarely. He named the evil, challenged the complicity, and modeled what it meant to be a part of the eternal community of God.
In the weeks ahead, my sermons will explore what it looks like to live and speak like Jesus did: truthfully & courageously. We'll think about how to be a courageous community. What would it mean for us to face the realities of the climate crisis, systemic racism, white/class priviledge, and consumer capitalism? How do we need to change?
I'm not just talking about learning more about these problems, I'm inviting us to do something as the church to address them. These are heavy, hard issues. Jesus invites us to walk the way of the cross; to be willing to broken and broken open for the life of the world. Change begins with us. Wrapped in grace, and standing together, we are church in this momentous time in history.
Hopefully, you already know that St. Paul's is officially partnering with St. John's, Tower Grove to share resources and expand our ministries. That's church talk for:
Obviously, we are not going get to do many of these things until COVID is under control. But in the meantime, here are immediate changes you can anticipate beginning February 1:
Please keep this transition in your prayers. I assure you that my commitment to you, your needs, and concerns remains the same. I could not be more happy and honored to be your priest. I am also delighted to widen my ministry and ours together by partnering with and serving at St. John's. -- Pastor Rebecca
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.