November Rector's Letter
Dear Parish Family,
In the November Rector’s letter, we’re talking about All Souls' Day, Election Day, Stewardship, Giving Thanks and much more.
All Souls’ Day
Today is All Souls’ Day. It is the day in the Christian year that we remember and pray for all of the faithful departed. There is a mass at 6:00pm this evening in the Church where we will gather to pray for the Parish’s departed loved ones. If you’d like for us to pray for any of your departed loved ones, please email us here and we’ll make a last minute addition to our prayer list.
Tomorrow is election day and our Bishop has asked us to fast and pray for our country tomorrow. Christians can and do disagree with one another when it comes to politics but I hope we can all agree that fasting and prayer is needed at this time in our national life.
Yesterday at our All Saints’ Day celebration, our Gospel reading was from our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, specifically the Beatitudes. It wasn’t lost on me that Jesus says, “blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9) There’s a lot of anxiety right now about this election. Many people on both sides are clearly passionate about candidates and policies, which is great and surely part of our national life. I simply hope that as Christians we can keep the main thing, the main thing. The main thing is the Kingdom of God, under the reign of the Prince of Peace. Joe or Donald may be our President in the years ahead, but our Lord Jesus Christ is the leader who we really look to…beyond any and all human leaders. He is the perfect one and if we are looking for a leader who will really make a difference in this country, we would do well to look to Him before looking anywhere else.
What should we be praying for? Please join me in praying that the Prince of Peace would rule over every human heart. And please join me in that great prayer, “thy will be done.” May God bless the United States of America in the days ahead and always.
5:30pm Mass moves to 5:00pm
First of all, congratulations again to the families whose children made their first Communion yesterday at our outdoor evening mass. The kids were awfully precious!
It was also awfully dark by the end of the service! With the time change, and it getting dark much earlier, flashlights were in full effect by the time we got to the closing hymn. 30 extra minutes of daylight will be a welcome change. My plan is to keep this outdoor evening service going for the foreseeable future, but at a new start time of 5:00pm.
Thank you to all of our families who returned their pledge cards for 2021 yesterday. If you weren’t in Church or need more time to think and pray, please take the time you need.
Stewardship is a way of life. It's about seeing that everything we have in life is a gift from God. He loves us and showers us with so many good things, and then asks us to use those things for His greater glory. If you haven’t yet had a chance to take a look at this year’s Stewardship packet, please click here.
Thanksgiving and Rejoicing
One of my favorite bible verses is,"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
St. Paul reminds us throughout his letters to give thanks in all circumstances, whether favorable or not. 2020 has been a very different kind of year. This has been a tough time for all of us and giving thanks to God may not be our first instinct. But read the verse above again. Rejoicing…praying…giving thanks, these are supposed to happen in both good times and in tough times. If we find those particularly difficult at the moment, then we need to create a new spiritual daily discipline. We need to find things to be thankful for, things in which we can rejoice.
Giving thanks to God every day, at the very beginning of a new day, is a wonderful way to give our day over to God. There’s an ancient and time-tested tradition of Christian people making a morning offering. Even before letting our feet hit the ground, we thank God for another day that He has given us, and offer the new day to Him. It's a way to give God the very first part of our day, which in turn helps us to put God first in our lives. Giving thanks to God will happen in houses everywhere on November 26 and I certainly hope it can happen far more often than that for every one of us as we seek to follow the Lord.
With much love and continued prayers
Fr. John Jordan