This Sunday we are endeavoring to do a new, old thing. Worship has been integral to the life of this church for the last 120 years. On May 31, 1903, the first service at All Saints' was held in the original chapel. The evening service that day was cancelled because of a severe thunderstorm that severed the electric light wires. We are hoping for an easier run of things this Sunday evening as we launch our new evening service called 'The Welcome Table'. An old tradition of worship in this place expressing itself in a new way. Thanks be to God.
If there is a singular reason why we are doing this new, old thing, it is because we have heard and inwardly digested the words Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple said early last century, that the church exists for the benefit of those who are not its members. We seek to set a place at the welcome table of God's grace for those who are looking for a place for community, and hope, and friendship and joy in their lives. We invite saints and sinners, skeptics and seekers - everyone - and we are prepared to explore new ways of worshiping God in this place to find them.
It is my hope that can reach back into the memory of this church and reclaim the spirit of the first followers of Jesus in this parish 120 years ago. No doubt we will face our own equivalent of thunderstorms and electrical outages, but I am confident that we will receive many times over the gift of new life in this church. Be a part of that journey. Invite a friend, a colleague, an adult child, a next door neighbor. Help us be the change we wish to see in the world where everyone can say, 'here, I know I belong'. For with God's will, we will.