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Rector's Reflections

Thoughts & Homilies from our Rector
Rev. Eric L. Miller

 

Sermons

 
 

May 2021 Connections

I am a huge fan of Richard Rohr’s writing. Rohr is a Franciscan friar with the “Center for Action and Contemplation” in Albuquerque, New Mexico, spiritual author, and Roman Catholic Priest. You can subscribe to Rohr’s Daily Meditations by going to www.cac.org


In Rohr’s April 29th Daily Meditation titled, “Everything Is Passing Away,” he writes the following: 


“God puts us in a world of passing things where everything changes and nothing remains the same. The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. It’s a hard lesson to learn. It helps us appreciate that everything is a gift. We didn’t create it. We don’t deserve it. It will not last, but while we breathe it in, we can enjoy it and know that it is another moment of God, another moment of life. People who take this moment seriously take every moment seriously, and those are the people who are ready for heaven. If religion isn’t leading us into an eternal now, an eternal moment, an always-true moment, an always-love moment, then we have not lived the moment at all.”


Adapted from Richard Rohr, “The End of Worlds,” homily, November 15, 2015; and

“A Time of Unveiling,” Four Steps to the Second Coming, Day 1, presentation to Franciscan friars, November 25, 2020, video. Unpublished talk; used with permission.


If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us that change is a given. Long gone are the days when faith communities can look to one another saying, “But, we’ve always done it this way.” The communities making it through the pandemic are the ones willing to try new and different ways of being community. I certainly never expected to preach to a video camera, or to not be able to sing during worship, or meet with Vestry on Zoom. Yet, these are the realities we face today, and they aren’t all necessarily bad. I miss getting to sing, for sure, but the worship we lead has had far more reach through our video ministry than when we solely offered in-person worship. Plus, now Vestry is using a hybrid model for our monthly gatherings; we meet in the Assembly Room, and we have Zoom still available for those who wish to meet in that fashion. 


We don’t know what the future brings for any of us, but we do know that God’s love abides with us. It abides with us as we pray individually and corporately, whether in-person or online. We know that God is present with us and through us as our outreach team considers new avenues for safely offering outreach ministries. God abides as Sara Tobe does her best to provide music in as safe a manner as possible for the choir and the rest of the church. God is with the women of the altar guild as they faithfully set up for liturgies of Word and Sacrament on Sunday mornings. God is definitely present with our Vestry as we dig into one of our priorities, to help further A&HT being a place where all are welcome because all belong through using the “Invite-Welcome-Connect” ministry; that team meets regularly to learn about invitation, welcome, and connection and will soon be inviting you into one of those three ministries. God is present with Jim Getgey as he guides Vestry through Diversity and Inclusion workshops and as he teaches our Senior High Sunday school students about public speaking. 


Change is happening with the good people of A&HT, and I believe these are good changes. Our Christian formation has never been more robust. Our Vestry is quite engaged during our monthly meetings, as well as at other times. Ernaisja Curry has worked wonders for our communications. I recognize that not all change is appreciated. Many miss receiving Holy Eucharist in both kinds at the altar rail. We miss catching up over a cup of coffee and snack in the Parish Hall after the 10:00 am service. I would love to be able to forgo mask-wearing, but we simply don’t know how much longer we’ll be donning our face masks during indoor worship.


I invite you to look around the pews on Sunday morning. Look and see who’s online with us during worship. Do you notice anyone who is missing who used to attend? Please give one another a call to check in and see how we’re doing. Send a note, or even an email, to be present and let your sister or brother in Christ know they are missed. And, reach out to people who aren’t “members” of the church. Remember, that all are welcome because all belong, including those who’ve never stepped foot inside our church building or any church building. Maybe you know someone having a particularly hard time right now, someone without a faith community to model and share Christ’s unconditional love. 


I am delighted to walk this path of following Jesus with you, even amidst all of the changes and chances of this life. Know you are loved beyond measure!

In God’s Grace,

The Rev. Eric L. Miller+

Rector