Dear People of Saint Peter’s,
As we approach the Easter Vigil, the most important and essential worship service in the Christian liturgical year, most of us are very ready to leave Lent behind and bask in the joyous Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lent can be a challenging time, when we confront our own limitations, which includes our own mortality. In the hectic pace of our daily lives, it is easy to forget we are only on this Earth but a little while. None of us know the exact time of our passing on to the nearer presence of God.
As your priest and pastor, I have a responsibility in the Book of Common Prayer to remind you of this from time to time, (see page 445). If do not have a will or have not revisited your will in some time, I urge you to do so. It is indeed a gift and blessing to your family as they are left to settle your affairs. In addition, you can also stop by or call the office for a funeral planning booklet that enables you to record the information necessary for your obituary and your desires for your funeral and burial. Too often, I am called upon to do services for dedicated members of this parish who have not made these provisions and I have seen first-hand the burden this is to their family. It is never easy to be confronted by our own mortality, but in the name of love I implore you to do this work on behalf of your family and friends.
Further, the BCP also reminds us of our responsibility to consider those who come after us; remembering, if we at all can, our community of faith and other charities. I am most mindful of this during worship, when I look out and see the beautiful building in which we worship. We have the Sanctuary, the Parish Hall, and indeed all of Saint Peter’s Square because of the dedication of our forbearers in faith. They remembered the future and thought about us. They have left us a living legacy of their lives and faith in building this place for us to continue to prosper and thrive as we serve our community. We are standing high on their shoulders of sacrifice and dedication. And it is not just the buildings they have left behind, but also investments that generate about one-sixth of our annual budget. Their commitment to our congregation is a gift that keeps on giving.
I pray you will consider emulating them and remember St. Peter’s in your will. There are so many ways you can do this and I would encourage you to be in touch with your attorney and financial advisor.
Please keep me in your prayers and know that you are daily in mine.