DEACON'S DIALOGUE, THE REV. PORTIA SWEET-
I am very fond of St. Paul's opening sentences in many of his epistles to the early churches. An example is found in Philippians (1:2-5). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in everyone of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. These words describe how I feel about being among you, the saints of St. Andrew's. I consider it a great privilege to be able to serve God at the altar and bring to you the blessed sacrament; to share in the many ways you celebrate life together; to share and be trusted with your disappointments, sorrows, and life challenges; and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus in your midst.
I ask you now, to take time to reflect in this season of giving thanks and sharing gifts and to give thanks for each other, prayerfully, in God's Name, and truly from your hearts. It is in community that our Anglican/Episcopal tradition brings us to worship. Our liturgy is the Book of COMMON Prayer. It is with and through each other that God reveals himself, that Jesus lives and acts among us and that the Holy Spirit guides and leads us in our individual and corporate journeys.
How could we not give thanks, share and support this awesome community and its members. As we say in the Eucharistic prayer, "We are very members incorporate in the mystical body of...Christ." Pray often and boldly for each other.
Ask each other how prayer is needed and desired and pray specifically, with faith. Prayer is the greatest power we will ever have. You may be amazed at the outcome of such a communal effort as this.Thessalonians 1:2-3 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.