This is a clear call to action for those of us here at St Nicholas, especially with the Gospel message we heard today from the Daily Lectionary, and our renewed emphasis on reaching out, inviting, and welcoming.
Advent is a perfect time to put this in to motion: we can invite someone to visit St Nicholas, welcome a new person, and reach out to the larger community as we journey towards Christmas.
You will soon hear about opportunities to work with other faith communities to send “care” packages to members of our military, you can sign up to be a greeter and welcome newcomers, and yes, let’s talk about re-booting the Adult Education Discussion groups that many enjoyed. The Forward in Faith Day by Day booklets are usually available on the shelf as you enter the worship space.
As Jim Steen remarked this morning in his homily, “we have a very cool bishop!” Not only does he preach using an iPad (as it happens, this blog post was composed on one) but he preaches the eternal Gospel message to a modern age.
Let’s listen what he has to say, and put it into practice. What do you think?
At the 2011 Diocesan Convention, Bishop Lee charged the people of the Diocese to grow the church, form the faithful, and change the world in three specific ways during 2012.
“I want every member of this diocese to have at least one meaningful conversation in the next year with someone about their life and God. This is all evangelism boils down to. We’re good at conversations and evangelism happens one conversation at a time,” Lee said.
The bishop also asked the more than 600 people gathered to study the Bible. “Use Forward Day by Day, the Daily Office lectionary, an online resource such as the Speaking to the Soul blog at Episcopal Café. Join a bible study group –a great bible teacher in our church Verna Dozier used to say ‘No one should read the bible! They need to study it!'”
Lee’s third charge was for people of the diocese to participate in outreach–“the kind that involves you personally, something that involves relationship, something about which you need to learn something.”