Celebrating the many gifts God gives us

Aimee low resThis weekend we will celebrate the many gifts God gives us! The festivities begin this Saturday, October 3, at 10 a.m. when we liturgically mark the work we being as priest and people, our lives merged in service to Christ and his kingdom. At our Celebration of New Ministry, I will be officially inducted as your rector by The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool, our bishop suffragan. I am honored to serve as your rector, journeying with you through life’s joys and sorrows. And I am overjoyed to share in Christ’s ministry with you as fellow baptized members of the Body of Christ.

Baptism is the inauguration of the ministry of every Christian. We are each called to ministry by virtue of our baptism— our full initiation into Christ’s Body the Church. My call to be a priest in the church, and your rector, is simply a specification of my baptismal ministry to “carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world” (“An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism,” Book of Common Prayer, 855). Indeed, our Catechism tells us that all baptized members of the Body of Christ are called, “according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church” (Ibid). In other words, Baptism = Ministry. As your priest, I am called from among the baptized to order our common life around Word and Sacrament, that we all might grow more wholly into the full stature of Christ. Together as people and priest— the Church— our mission is to “restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (Ibid).

Mind blowing, isn’t it…? If your mind isn’t blown, let me repeat: our mission together is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.

What a holy and sacred privilege we share. God knows, we cannot do this alone. And so God gives us the gift of one another. It is this shared, sacred call we will celebrate on Saturday, as we enter into a covenanted relationship of mutual ministry. You will be asked to claim your ministry among the baptized at All Saints. I will promise to love and nurture you, and empower you for ministries that glorify God. Together we will renew the covenant we made at baptism and seek the power of God’s Spirit to help us carry out the service God sets before us. I can’t wait to celebrate with you this sacred mystery we call church!

On Sunday, we will continue the celebration at our gentle, and pet-free, 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist service, and then at our St. Francis Day Pet Blessing with Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. Genesis tells that God made all of creation and called it good. To celebrate the blessings of God’s creation, and our role as stewards of God’s creation, we invite our pets to join us in the sanctuary this Sunday at 10 a.m. Bring your favorite furry, feathered or finned friend, and join in the chorus of all creation.

St. Francis Day is also a special day of Intergenerational Worship at All Saints. We will again celebrate the ministries of all the baptized, as children help lead worship in Word, song, and sacrament. They will also be invited to gather at the altar for a special Gospel story. It will be a joyful day of celebrating all of God’s good creation.

I do hope that you will be present to add to the spirit of the celebration on Saturday and Sunday, and to give thanks to God for the beloved community we are blessed to share together.

God’s peace be with you,