DEACON'S DIALOGUE, THE REV. PORTIA SWEET-
Looking back at the April 2013 Voice, I am reminded that we were saying “good-bye” to our rector, Barbara, and coping with the bittersweet and very real notion of death/resurrection which is the focus of Holy Week. We have come through a remarkable year. I have experienced transition in several parishes and I commend parishioners, vestry persons, and other leaders for remaining a loving community and caring for us all as we “orphaned” our way. Thanks go to the clergy who “fostered” this parish in various roles, providing liturgical and pastoral leadership and care.
Now we are beginning a Resurrection: welcoming a new rector, working with several new structures that our hard-working vestry have devised to re-vitalize this community of faith, and welcoming as well a number of new fellow-worshippers. My prayer is that each of you is and has known a meaningful Lent and will fully engage in the Passion of Holy Week. New life cannot happen without death to the old life. A wise woman of many years once told me that she did not believe anyone could truly know the meaning of Easter without living through Good Friday. Literally and metaphorically, I agree with her. Spring and Hope are in the air. We are at the starting line and ready for action.
To that end, we have just completed a training of a Common Mission Core Leadership Group. There is much more to come about Common Mission (CM), an initiative from Bishop Doyle, through the deacons, aimed at building meaningful and effective relationships in communities where our parishes are planted. St. Andrew’s was planted in the Heights a long time ago, and has produced a great deal of fruit. Through CM we have an opportunity to ask if “how we’ve always done it” is the most beneficial way to do it today. The Heights has gone through changes; the liturgy has changed; the parish roster has changed; technology has changed and so it is “meet and right and our bounded duty” to question how can we best be church outside our walls, loving our real neighbors as ourselves. I find the possibilities exciting and hope you will support the Core Team, add your thoughts and hearts and presence to this initiative, and keep it in your prayers.
Blessings for the remainder of your Lenten Journey, for a deeply experienced Holy Week, and for a rich and fulfilling new life in Eastertide,