The Rev. Martha Sterne, Interim Rector
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Welcome! Everybody! Welcome Newcomer. Welcome Old-timer. Well-Come. It is well that you – you in particular – have come.* Whoever you voted for, welcome. However surprised you are, frightened you are, relieved you are that your candidate won, however broken-hearted that your candidate didn’t – everybody, welcome.
What do we do after this election? No two ways about it, the most vicious campaign of my lifetime. How do we be together after such starkly different versions of reality were offered and affirmed by a fifty/fifty split throughout the land? How do we get past – I have to say – such inflammatory rhetoric spoken throughout the campaign by our president elect – words that have terrified many people including many who feel personally threatened and vulnerable in this congregation? How do we be faithful and find peace after such a country-splitting battle?
Here’s where we start, and dear ones, it really matters. We do the same thing these saints have been doing for 113 years – be the family of God. Now I don’t know about your family and friends but my family and friends did not all vote the same way, and we will have to figure out how to live and love past that. We ain’t talking about it yet! But we all need to find a way toward each other and right here and now, is a good place to start.
For instance, this Saints’ Family – we shall do what we do. We will continue – seven times a week – to gather whomsoever, experience God’s word, say our prayers, make confession, receive absolution, pass the peace, offer our offerings, and be fed at God’s table. Four times on Sunday, then early Tuesday morning and then Wednesday at noon – and by the way, I’m going to be brown-bagging lunch and reading poems this week after the Wednesday noon service and would love some company. Also, on Wednesdaynight – come, be fed supper, and be part of our world-famous seven-minute Eucharist, and then if you want, have conversation with clergy at 6:30 p.m. about whatever you want to talk about.
This is what we do – we welcome all to God’s table. Welcome. It is well for you, for this city, for the nation that you come and that you invite others. Imagine, what if in these days, you didn’t have a spiritual home? So invite others and come to the table. Let us be who we are – the family of God. Let us be who we are always becoming – beloved community.
And frankly I so hope we do find ourselves in more diverse conversations. Just talking with folks you agree with becomes an echo chamber, doesn’t it?
So welcome to church. Be fed. Then each of you go on out to lament and praise, to love and serve. And yes, in the grand tradition of All Saints’, some of you will go out to organize – some to protest, some to reconcile. And all of us need to go out into our days praying and pouring out our very hearts and God’s hopes for the common good and for the salvation of God’s beloved world. Well – Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest;
Nay, let us be thy guests; this feast of All Sorts, All Saints is thine.
* From the Old English ‘wilcuma’ meaning ‘a person whose coming is pleasing.’