HOLY + FORMED
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It is our privilege to welcome new Christians through Baptism and also to continue to learn and togrow more and more into the likeness of Christ. From the Service of Holy Baptism, Book of Common Prayer pg. 302, we worship this way:
Celebrant: Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ?
Parents and Godparents: I will, with God’s help.
AND After all have been presented, the Celebrant addresses the congregation, saying
Celebrant: Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?
People: We will.
So the question is, “Can you ever stop being a child of God?” Since the answer is always NO, it means we are always capable of growing further into the fuller stature of Christ and helping others do the same. With the advice and support of the Diocese of New Jersey, we embarked last year on a journey toward being “Church” in an era when “Church” exists differently than in the recent past, yet the task of growing into the full stature of Christ is ever more important. Especially in a digital age, the project of formation as Children of God (at any age) is the vital purpose of a faith community.
Formation into the image of Christ takes place at every stage of life. The “Church” exists to support that formation and that formation is for the purpose of being Christ in a world needing Christ’s love, grace, mercy and hope. At this point in my life, I have not time for anything that is not about love, grace, mercy and hope. That’s all I want. And that’s all I want in a Church. If we are doing anything that isn’t that, let’s just stop.
Happily (and somewhat proudly) my priesthood exists within a community of other priests (that’s you -- ordained at your baptism) who are remarkable for their devotion, commitment, and sacrifice in conspiring to bring about more love, grace, mercy and hope in this world, so that the Kingdom of God might come on earth as it is in heaven. How else do you explain a marathon of Epiphany House Blessings, and the other veritable marathons of mission taking place all the time by so many fellow travelers with Christ?
What did we do at the Annual Meeting?
Last Fall we embarked on a journey we called Holy+Formed. It is a way of being church that connects us and integrates all we do across the church year in large themes. It is a way of ordering our common life. Basically, you caught the contagion of Christ’s love and so many of you are doing something about it. Holy+Formed gives us structure and a way forward together, as we do something about Christ’s love.
This Sunday, during service, we broke into working groups organized around themes that will be our focus for the year. Each of us chose the group to visit based on our interests and each group was guided by a vestry member. We listened and contributed our ideas for several minutes of project development time. This was a creative moment for the birthing of dreams and ideas.
The main themes for the next 18 months of parish life together across 2017-2018 are:
We apply the same elements, values and principles to each of the above themes.
Even if you didn't attend, your input and participation are welcome! Contact Father Phil or any vestry member to find out how you can be a part of what is happening.