Last week I wrote about a new parish initiative, a ministry to our local police officers. I'm delighted to say that's underway. We think we have identified a space; now it's a matter of figuring out how to arrange and set it up. We also have a potential donor for the keypad entry lock for our doors. Stay tuned as details unfold about that.
This week I want to tell you about something else new at St. Michael's - Third Sundays. Okay, third Sundays, in and of themselves, are not new; we have one every month. What we do with them will be, though. On first Sundays we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for the coming month (that will happen for May this Sunday, by the way); on second Sundays we gather and bless the food for the I AM Food Pantry (that particular ministry features prominently in this Sunday's sermon). Third Sundays, however, have sort of gone on without anything really special about them. We're going to change that.
Starting this month, Third Sundays will be our day to celebrate or mark something special going on in the life of congregation. It might be a ministry or a program - our children's formation program or the handbell choir; it might be a particular birthday or anniversary - someone's 50th wedding anniversary, perhaps; or it could be a special event in the general life of our congregation. It might also be a time to share a concern one or more of us is facing, though, one that needs us all to hold the people concerned in prayer for a time. It might be that someone is grieving a loss or will be taking leave of us because they're moving away. These are all things that happen in every home, in every family, in every congregation, but not every congregation seems to take to heart the joys and sorrows of its members the way St. Michael's does. We are a community of faith deeply connected to one another; Sunday mornings aren't just a time for us to pray or worship individually in the same room. There is a real sense that when something is happening to one of us, all of us are concerned with walking together through that event, no matter if it is cause for rejoicing or for mourning.
The caption of the photo above, "one of the best parts of belonging to St. Michael's," points to our common life together. If you are here, you belong to us because we all belong to Christ, and in him we are knitted together as one body, to live with, love, and serve one another. I hope that you'll help with this new approach to Third Sundays - not just taking part (I already know you'll do that without being asked) but by helping to identify those moments and happenings in our lives that need or deserve our attention. Please help us identify those parts of belonging to St. Michael's that need a space on a Third Sunday.