Behold I make all things new! Revelation 21:5My Sisters and Brothers, In these final days I am in transition from St. Joseph in Florida to St. Augustine in Tennessee. I am deeply reminded that God is always desiring and doing something new in us. Often there is fear in doing something new because we cannot foresee the outcome. We don’t know if we will like the newness that is being brought about. We can be assured that God is working things out for our good. To leave a parish like St. Joseph and to be received into a new community of faith at St Augustine there seems to be a sense of awe and wonder. The mission at St Joseph seeing a transformation into the “the church that cares”. What a blessing the journey has been. The first reading from the Prophet Zachariah reminds us of the great joy that God is with us. He comes to us and this fills us with Joy.
Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
These words from the prophet serve as a reminder that we are not on this journey alone. Christ is with us. We live the joy of the Gospel and this joy moves us to “Write the Vision” and respond to “The Prophetic Call to Thrive” Yes it is with great rejoicing that we as church are invited to step into our future rejoicing as we create a new prophetic vision to thrive. Yes thrive even with all that is happening around us.
We do not simple see and accept things as they are rather we are Kingdom builders. In writing a new vision and responding to the prophetic call to thrive we create a new reality rooted in our faith in the one who abides with us and is ever present to us lesding us on.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the 11th chapter Jesus invites us to rely on Him and to trust him. Over the past six years we have embraced the vision to Courageously live the Gospel. We have done so by going out to the peripheries and embracing those that we encounter. We share the love of Jesus Christ. We have been a part of the transformation of our community to let all that we’ve encountered know that they are loved and that their lives matter
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
It is in this spirit of invitation by Christ to come to Him. All who find life laborious and burdened it is from here that we go forth. “Adelante! Going Forward Together, On Mission…That All May Be One.
This is our mission today united with our bishop. We move together outward, Forward together on mission to invite those on the peripheries so that all might be one! We proclaim that our church is a place where all are welcome, where all are received. It doesn’t matter your background, culture or way of life. No one is left outside, no one is rejected. No matter your struggle, no matter your history or pain. However you identify yourself we find room in this place we call home where everyone has a place at the table and all are valued.
Let us All Say Amen!