On Sunday I lead our congregation in an exercise of reconciliation, repentance and forgiveness. We brought slips of paper on which we had written the burdens, disappointments, failures, embarrassments, things we wish we hadn’t done, and things we wish we had done forward, and threw them into a waste bin. Then I spoke the words of absolution from our rite for the Reconciliation of a Penitent (BCP 447). After the service I had the satisfaction of burning all those slips of paper to ash and watching the wind blow the ashes away.
This communal act of repentance frees us to be God’s beloved people, doing God’s work in the world. On Sunday we all wrote on a second slip of paper to answer the question, “What will you do now?” Now that you have experience God’s love and forgiveness, what will you do? Who can you now forgive? Who can you now reconnect with? What challenge can you now take on? What will you do now that you have experienced being the beloved adopted child of God?
I saw many answers to that question this week here at St. Dunstan’s Church. Each morning families have dropped off their children for our Vacation Bible Camp, filling the campus and building with the sounds of happy children. On Tuesday two staffers from the Christian radio station, Spirit 105.3, came and participated in the camp. Later that same day, ten volunteers, led by Josef, cooked our first meal for Tent City 3. 104 people were fed!
On Wednesday I walked the path of our new prayer labyrinth and enjoyed the beautiful stone bench that Ben and his troupe installed. What a beautiful addition to our campus! As I was enjoying the sun dappled bench, Bridget and her crew were starting work on the new landscaping around our Columbarium donated by Tom Keefer.
Later, on that same day I received an email informing me that the women of the St. Agnes Guild will be making a $500 contribution to the Camp Huston Campership fund to allow another child to go to camp this summer!
These are all such encouraging signs of what we are freed to do and be by God’s forgiveness and love. We are indeed creating a welcoming environment, both inside and out, where individuals can come together to walk in Christ’s love and forgiveness through worship, prayer, and service to the community.
Your brother in Christ,