Letter from Rev. Alison

Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Lord.   Hosanna in the highest.

Beloved, grace and peace to you in anticipation of the Feast of the Resurrection 2019

There is an ancient custom of letter writing in the Christian tradition. The Epistles are, after all, letters. Letters written to faraway places supporting and encouraging new communities of faith as they practiced living together on the Way.  Long ago and ever since Bishops wrote letters to priests and to parishes about their work as faithful communities on the way. Offering encouragement in between visits or sharing good news for the building up of the body. Often called pastoral letters, these letters, still written today, extend counsel, support and inspiration on church or societal issues. In anticipation of Easter, in the hope of the resurrection, this letter is written with those very traditions in mind.

Beloved, first I encourage you to join with the church around the world in walking the way of the Passion. Engaging, as you can, with all our parish has to offer this Holy Week and Easter. The liturgies are rich and inform so much of our lives together. Whether that is the foot washing or sitting vigil or lighting the new fire. Each play a part connecting our hearts one to another as we anticipate and participate in the Resurrection.

Next, I ask you to consider our work as a reconciling place. It is our only work. Yes, we do lots of other ministry, but reconciliation is our primary purpose, … ‘the mission of the church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.’ [BCP 855]

In a word, reconciliation. There it is, the very Easter message of resurrection, wherever we find ourselves. Clergy, vestry, staff, lay leaders are, I believe, committed to living out this mission. It begins with our own prayer and practice, and our attention to how God is working in us and through us, right now. This is unfolding, always and forever as we come to know and understand God’s plan for reconciliation. Reconciliation and healing happen whenever we extend God’s extravagant hospitality in welcome, teaching, talking, sharing, listening.

It will not be easy, nor will it be particularly difficult, yet it does require something of each of us. It requires exactly what Jesus asked of the disciples, stay with me, be in it with me. This staying together is the greatest challenge we face in learning to be a reconciling community, a beloved community for everyone. And, we never do this work alone. Never. We do it with Christ, the resurrected Christ of our salvation and the Christ of our neighbors and friends.

This parish is a place of gifts and struggles, wonders and challenges, and these are the ways of the kingdom of God. We are reminded in the Resurrection and in each resurrection, that into the broken places of life Christ comes – this is where kindness and peace, mercy, justice, and compassion are known.

May we know a place of healing here, for it is God’s greatest desire for the Church and her members.

Remember beloved, whatever our story, where ever we find our joys and struggles; in a few weeks when the church bells ring with hymns of resurrection, and the alleluias are again on our lips, Christ Church Parish will be here to welcome, to listen and learn, and to continue the mission of the church – the ongoing work of reconciliation.

Thanks be to God.

Alison Schultz+
Priest in Charge

Hosanna in the highest.   Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Lord.   Hosanna in the highest.

Celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord 2019 Saturday, April 20 immediately following the Easter Vigil.
Please sign up to help at the celebration at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050d4baaad23a0f58-easter