Sisters and Brothers of The EDSJ
The Way of Love, The Creation Care Pledge, Pilgrimage of Hope, Formational emphasis, and I trust there are others things which escape my thinking at the moment, someone reading these words may entertain the thought that there is much going on for and in The Episcopal Church at present, more locally, for The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. And that thought would be entirely accurate. Additionally, it is conceivable that with all that is on, someone might entertain the thought, how do I find time to simply do these things I want to do, including going to church?
When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, my recollection of attending church was simply that, attending. And to our credit, if credit comes into it at all, we were faithful attenders. We attended Sunday School, at least occasionally. We certainly attended what we referred to as “church” (worship). And I would even play in the church basketball league when the season presented itself. If there were other things going on in the life of the church, I certainly wasn’t aware of those activities at the time. Clearly for us as a family, being a part of the church had everything to do with attending church. Over the years, I have come to believe that church attendance, as important as that engagement and participation and formation is, it is only a part of the ways in which we are called to live out our faith, to live out our lives, to consider how we are becoming in a world where are Called to be…
So, yes EDSJ, there is certainly a lot on. And yes, our lives, for the most part, are typically extraordinarily busy; socially and ecclesially, individually and collectively. And it is amid all of this busyness, that God calls us into being. God calls us not to simply allocate a portion of our lives so that we can occasionally attend church. God calls us to give our complete selves, again, individually and collectively, to living out this particular life (something about pg. 299 in The BCP, I reckon). And that most certainly includes: The Way of Love, Creation Care Pledge, Pilgrimage of Hope, all the formational emphasis, and anything and everything else that reflects who Jesus is and who we are as a church, as a diocese, and as local faith communities.
EDSJ, I look forward to seeing you at church (attending is actually really important), equally, I look forward to joining with you as we live out our faith and continue to become the church in our local contexts, in our neighborhoods, on our streets, in our paddocks, throughout the central valley and in the high country, that place which is known as the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.