Friday E-News | May 10, 2024

by Simon Mainwaring on May 10, 2024

Dear saints,

This Sunday we take a look under the hood. An annual meeting of a parish church is a mix between a physical with your family doctor and group therapy. We need to take notice of some vital signs. People in. People out. Money in. Money out. There is a lot we can count, but even more we can count on. Indeed, if church life could be reduced to what you can quantify, I would have become a CPA. At the same time, what we can count helps us—as the therapists say, "get real" with one another. This is not 1952. We are not at the apex of religious life in America. There are institutional patterns and trends of multiple sorts and significances and we need to pay attention to them, including in our own backyard. But we don't need to be subject to them. 

I would like to invite you to follow what we have to share this Sunday—whether by being there in person or at a computer, or by catching up later online. I would like that because I think there are some things worth reflecting on as we emerge, alongside every church, into this post-pandemic era. I am seeing new emphases that weren't as prominent before. I am hearing a slightly altered set of intentions that people bring with them here. I am listening to this parish articulate what its second mountain might look like in the years to come; its place in a more post-religious age. All of it is enlivening. 

I suspect that church is not the only part of your life that is seeing changes emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps you are changing too. Most often, change happens in our lives incrementally. It is a years long kind of journey and it is necessary for some time to pass before we can get a fuller sense of what is taking form. I don't have any definitive account of what we are seeing in this wonderful parish church, but I do have a deep appreciation for it. It remains a vibrant community rooted in a storied history, yet somehow also managing to encounter the God who makes all things new. 

That's my kind of church and yours too, I hope. So, come along this Sunday, take a look under the hood and wonder with me about what the Spirit is saying to the church. 


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