Every Wednesday! A message on our YouTube channel from our Rector or Priest Associate!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxgGx-hGWWY&t=4s

May 25, 2020

In the face of so much upheaval and change, even in this season of new life, Easter, and the coming season of Pentecost (which to me impart hope and the promise of eternal life and love), there is one thing in particular that persists in nagging at my soul.

In the face of so much upheaval and change, even in this season of new life, Easter, and the coming season of Pentecost (which to me impart hope and the promise of eternal life and love), there is one thing in particular that persists in nagging at my soul.

It’s the apparent murder of the young, 26-year old Ahmaud Arbery, in Georgia, the case I’m sure so many of you know about:  a person of color out jogging, when two white guys show up in a truck with guns, track him down for God knows what reason, and they end up shooting him dead.

And when I hear these things, I now always think:  I just can’t take it anymore.

Now I know I’m not in control of that particular scenario, or even the whole existing fabric of racism that runs through our national identity, but I know this:  I must do my part.  As Martin Luther King Jr wrote (in his 1963 masterpiece Letter from Birmingham Jail), injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  I’ve even taken the point of view of Ibram Kendi, who asserted in a recent (fine) book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” that we all are in either of two categories:  either a racist, or an antiracist.  There is no gray area, nothing in between. 

Where do I see myself?

In God’s realm, the age to come, here on earth, where God dwells with us and in us, in the life of the world to come, racism no longer exists, in any form.  It does not take up any space in our human thoughts, expressions, ideas, and actions.  It is not even a forgotten memory of a distant past.  Instead, people are loved always, just because we value them for who they are.  Every one of us is equally loved by God, and we will have learned to love everyone just like we love ourselves.  Freedom is not just another word.  It is Shalom, a place of security and freedom from fear.  God’s peace.  And not a pipe dream.

We all know that true Freedom requires true Responsibility.  Racism is learned somewhere.  God don’t make no junk.

A few weeks ago, I was reading an article by a college professor in Memphis named Earl Johnson.  He was talking about the stoning of Stephen, legendary first martyr of our Christian faith. 

He painted the image of Paul there, before his conversion, watching the whole thing, holding the coats of the people stoning Stephen, who was standing up for love, for truth, for justice, for faith in a God who loves us into being and continues to do so even while we don’t know it.  Forever.

And that is all Paul did.  He held the coats.

What am I doing?

What are we all doing?                 

Grace and peace,

Chip+

April, 2020

Dear St Andrew’s Church family and friends,

The lilies, daffodils, and forsythia are blooming, the birds are singing, and the light green buds on the trees and plants all around are peeking out from the hard, seemingly lifeless, surfaces of the gray-brown sticks, and the once-frozen earth.  There is life!  And here is life again!

It is my deepest hope and prayer this Easter 2020 that you continue to reach out and find ways to connect, and re-connect, with others, as we all remain determined to get through this pandemic that has forced us to distance ourselves from each other.  Although there appears to be many things we might learn from this current challenge, my prayer above all others is that we all realize, and remember, just how much we all mean to each other, and how important it is to make our time on earth count.  If we try to keep that in mind as we resume some semblance of “normal life”, we might find we’d rather resume life in a different way, one that invites us to focus on our relationships with each other.  Journey home by another way.  And perhaps remember we really don’t have “all the time in the world.”

As Christians, our own notion of God is all about relationships with others, and indeed, with God.  God appeared as one of us in the Christ child at Christmas, God shared our life with us while Jesus was among us in human form, and now God, at Easter, assures us that God will not leave us when we die.  For those of us who choose to enter into the life of faith, into the body of the cosmic Christ, we shall have new life, a timeless life, the sort of life that does not perish. Having done some thinking and work to “die to our old selves,” moving into a life “in Christ” will promise us a lifetime of new things, renewals, conversions, and resurrections.  We will be with God.

One critical way to do this, of course, is to renew your life, and commitment, to our common life in Christ as St Andrew’s Church.  Please, just come.  Come and be with us.  Come and enjoy the presence of the living God, who loves us and pulls us ever more deeply into the great mystery of the Great Love.

I can promise you one thing:  WE will be renewed by the Spirit of God within you.  And I pray that YOU, too, will be nourished by our sharing the God within us, with you.

I wish you and yours all good things in this season of new life and renewal—The Great Fifty Days of Easter—and pray that we may see you soon at our little jewel of a church, St Andrew’s.

And may God continue to bless us—every one.

Faithfully yours,

Father Chip+