The Rev. Peter A. Lane
Greetings to you all, dear Saints of St. Alfred’s. There’s a lot going on around your parish, and I want to take this opportunity to highlight three opportunities for you to engage more fully in both your parish and the wider community.
The first item is an important one – our Annual Meeting. This Sunday, January 29th at 11:30 a.m., we’ll gather in the church to celebrate the work of this past year, look forward to all that’s in store in the coming year, elect three new members to our Vestry, and discuss our 2023 budget. As I’ve written in past notes, this really is an important event in the life of the parish, and important that all of us gather together as a community of faith to acknowledge the wonderful ways God has called each of us to this place and this work at this time. Your voice, your presence, your participation in our shared life of ministry matters immensely to me, to your fellow parishioners, and most importantly, to God. It is my joyful expectation that I’ll see all of you on Sunday, in person if you are able, or you can tune in via our broadcast, and let us know you’re present and accounted for by sending us an email to email@example.com. with your comments, questions, and support.
A bit later on Sunday, the 29th another important annual event will take place – the Interfaith Walk for Peace. This wonderful event was started by the Rev. Becky Robbins-Peniman when she was rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Dunedin and is now in its seventh year. We’ll gather in Pioneer Park at 1:30 to register and the walk should be over by about 3 p.m. I’d love to have anyone who yearns for peace and understanding in our world join me as together we proclaim that we’re a people who not only pray for peace, but are willing to work for a more peaceful world. There are opportunities during the walk to talk with other local residents about their own faith journeys as Muslims, Jews, Baha’i, and just about every flavor of Christianity, to widen our understanding of other faiths and deepen our appreciation of how much we share in common, including our prayers for peace.
The last matter to discuss involves an event that has already taken place but has ongoing impact on our shared life. This past Wednesday we hosted a newcomer luncheon in the parish office. We had a dozen folks who are new to St. Alfred’s join me along with our office staff and volunteers, as well as the ministry team leaders for some wonderful food and conversation. Everyone had a chance to share a bit of their story (it always amazes me how many connections we find with other when we start telling our story!), and to hear about various ministries happening and how to get involved.
The ongoing part of this event is that making sure folks who are new to St. Alfred’s feel welcome and loved must involve more than just a nice welcome luncheon. The truth is that there are all sorts of folks, like the good people who joined us on Wednesday, who are looking for a place where they can grow in their faith, develop new friendships, and join in making the world a more loving and peaceful place. So, my invitation to those of you who’ve been at St. Alfred’s for a while is to come to church this weekend, and all of the weekends after, and see if you can find someone who you’ve not met or had a chance to talk with, and introduce yourself, perhaps share a bit of your story and listen to a bit of theirs, so that together you can continue the holy work of making our world a more loving, peaceful, and interesting place. We can all be a part of that, and be better for it.
See you in church.