Grace and peace. Last Sunday, we heard the beatitudes, the opening words of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, as our gospel passage. These profound words of blessing were directed at an audience of marginalized outcasts who were seeking meaning in their lives. They found it in Jesus’ message of hope and love. Jesus spent his entire ministry serving those who were on the outside. How are we living into the message of hope, today? That was the theme of my sermon. Please listen or read it if you were not at St. Patrick’s on Sunday. I also point your attention to the letter written by Bishop Mariann about her interpretation of our Christian values in response to the change of U.S. policy for refugees.
This Saturday, your Vestry will be in retreat making plans for the upcoming year. The theme of our retreat will be growth. How do we grow in our spiritual lives and how do we grow this parish so that we can be sustainable into the future? I do ask that you keep your Vestry in your prayers.
Beginning on March 2, St. Patrick’s will be participating in a Diocese of Washington pilot program called Alpha. Alpha, originally developed in England, is an introduction to questions of faith and meaning. It is similar to DOCC, a program that many from St. Patrick’s participated in about eight years ago under the leadership of the Rev. Andrea Martin.
Alpha is organized around a meal and a short program followed by discussions in small groups. The goal of the pilot project is to mentor people from parishes across the diocese, so that they can implement on a local level in the future. I hope that St. Patrick’s will have a team of mentors who will be able to share this at St. Patrick’s in the fall of 2017. After I announced this on Sunday, six people signed up to attend. Here are details:
DATE: Thursday nights (March 2-April 27) – No meeting on April 13
LOCATION: Washington National Cathedral
WHO: Anyone is eligible. There are no prerequisites.
Let me know if you want to be signed up or sign yourself up online.