A Weekly Reflection, Sunday, June 18, 2017
By: Weezie Blanchard
Earlier this week, the St. Mary’s staff gathered at Richmond Hill for a retreat. We spent much of the morning listening to each other’s stories, including how each of us had felt called to St. Mary’s. We attended Noonday Prayer and enjoyed lunch with the residents and other guests at Richmond Hill. After lunch, we met to talk about plans for the coming year. We were delighted that Senior Warden Al Rider was with us for much of the day.
Several themes emerged during our time together. Our long history as a mission church, the beauty of our buildings and grounds, including the churchyard, and the generous and gracious people of St. Mary’s are all things that we hope to highlight and celebrate in the coming year. We’re excited about the role that music will continue to play as we build on the distinguished legacy of Dwight Graham. We’re thrilled with the growing enthusiasm for and involvement in outreach opportunities, and we’re inspired by the deepening interest in spiritual practices and education about topics ranging from who we are as Episcopalians to engaging people of other faiths.
Of course, there are no bright lines between any of those topics. I am especially aware of that as Buck and I head to Africa these next two weeks. I look forward to sharing the story of St. Mary’s with fellow Anglicans in Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, revisiting old friends in familiar places, experiencing new people in new places, participating in exuberant worship and music, discerning opportunities for outreach and mission, and generally being open to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
In today’s gospel, Jesus sends his disciples into the world for the first time since he has assumed his own public ministry. Imagine the stories they told when they returned! I am honored to join with all of you as heirs of that initial sending. I’m excited to be going on this trip as a representative of the people of St. Mary’s and look forward to telling you all about it when we return. And I’m equally excited to hear how you have been sent into the world as Jesus’s disciples.