Weekly Reflection, Friday, January 14
By: David May
I have a favorite memory from many years ago. At coffee hour, a parishioner of nearly 80 years old wondered if she could ask me a question. She was baptized in that parish church, confirmed there by the Bishop on the chancel steps, married there, seen her children married there, and watched as some of her grandchildren were baptized there too. She was an ‘every Sunday’ parishioner. If she missed a Sunday, she told me why.If she missed a Sunday because she was out of town, she brought me the bulletin from the church she’d attended when she was away. She brought her offering every week tucked in a pledge envelope. Every week. She cooked dinners for people with new babies or for those just home from the hospital. She baked a pound cake if someone lost their husband or wife. She was a member of the ECW for decades. She was an old-fashioned Episcopalian who practiced the virtues of Christian living ‘in word and deed’ according to the Prayer Book’s instruction. And she loved Jesus.
“I have to ask you something,” she said in a whisper. “I should know, but I don’t, not really. I feel embarrassed to even ask,” she said. And then she asked with perfect simplicity, “at Holy Communion, does the wine really become the blood of Jesus?”
We sat and talked about the blood of Jesus – about life, death, and the Gospel. We talked about God and prayer. We talked about sin, forgiveness, and the Nicene Creed. We talked about all of it.
When we talk about faith like that, we end up talking about our own lives; but in a special way: in a way that brings meaning to the living of our lives. It may be one of my favorite parts of being a parish priest.
I tell you this story because I am offering an invitation for you to sign up for the Inquirer’s Class. We have not had an Inquirer’s Class in almost three years if you can believe it. What is an Inquirer’s Class? It is a class for anyone who is new to the Episcopal Church or to any church or to St. Mary’s. It is for those who might like to be presented to the Bishop in May 2022 to be Confirmed or Received into the faith in the Episcopal Church, or to Reaffirm their own baptismal vows. It’s a class for anyone who might like the chance to ask questions that we think everyone else in the world knows the answer to, except me! Usually, those kinds of questions are ones we’d all like to ask but are afraid to.
If you would like to join this year’s Inquirer’s Class (for whatever reason or none at all!), please just call the church office. I’ll bring the coffee, you bring the questions!