Dear People of Saint Peter’s,
Mother Theresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” What she was speaking to is the reality of the interconnectedness of human community. The poet and Anglican priest, John Donne once wrote a poem that echoes the same entitled, “No man is an Island.” These two great people of faith speak to the Christian understanding that we are truly bound to each other, in the Body of Christ. What anyone does, affects the rest of the community. No one can make it alone. We do belong to each other.
Here at Saint Peter’s, we know that to be the case. We have a variety of ministries and programs addressing all ages, trying to serve both our membership and the larger community. The work we do with formation for our children is just as important as the praises our choir sings or the sermons our clergy preach. The money we raise through the Art Show to help our local community is as crucial as the Global work we have done in places like Mexico, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, or the work of our Diocese. I could go on and on, but I think you can see what I am saying. Humanity often falls into the trap of preferences and values—preferring and prioritizing one thing over the other. As followers of Jesus Christ, we strive to keep our “ears” open to the stirring of the Holy Spirit, responding and supporting what God calls us to do. Indeed, it is part of the prayer when we all join hands and say at every worship service: not my will, but “Thy will be done; in heaven as on the earth”.
To be sure no one of us participates in EVERY ministry at Saint Peter’s nor we do not all derive the same blessing from every activity. But we do understand that they are connected and we do our best to support our efforts in worship, formation and service. We keep our door open in hospitality, welcoming other to join us in our common life together. As Saint Paul instructed all Christians in the twelfth chapter of his letter to the Romans, “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness … Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” As Lesbia Scott taught us in that great hymn, I Sing the song of the saints of God, the saints are folks like you and me.
We are approaching the annual meeting of our congregation when we will elect new leadership for the Vestry and our representation to the Diocese and the Vestry will present a budget for 2018. We are fortunate to have such a hard working group of leaders like our Vestry and its officers. Our treasurer, Stuart Brahs, has done a yeoman’s job, working closely with our parish administrator, Adele Fluharty, to keep us within budget for this year with only modest increases anticipated for the next. This is possible because of ALL of the saints of this church working together. This is possible because we recognize and support ALL of our ministries.
This is possible because of YOU!
In October, you will receive a letter from our Senior Warden, Bob Wardwell, along with a pledge card for 2018. Our theme this year is ONE LOVE which speaks to our common life and mission together. I hope you will prayerfully consider what Saint Peter’s means to you and do the best you can to help us to continue to seek and serve Christ and each other. At the risk of name dropping one final time, I share with you the final chorus from the song “One” by the band U2
One love, one blood.
One life, you got to do what you should
One life with each other sisters, brothers
One life, but we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other
Please keep me in your prayers and know that you are daily in mine.