After days, weeks and months of planning, organizing, repairs and cleaning from the rafters to the floor, our big celebration is upon us!
These 50 years of sailing along in peace, love and unity did not always come easily to those who first laid down the foundation to create this church structure we now call St. Nicholas. With all such well-intended institutions–and St. Nicholas is one such place–there have been and undoubtedly we will again encounter “high seas” that will toss us about, to and fro. We will certainly spring a few leaks that will force us to make the necessary adjustments to make sure we “stay afloat” and continue on our passage, safely and surely while we, the passengers, rejoice and celebrate the gifts of the Spirit that has bathed us in faith, hope and promise.
St. Nicholas is an amazing place. We are not perfect; we don’t pretend to be nor do we advertise ourselves as such. What we do profess and practice is a hospitality and welcoming that makes this community of faith such a warm and inviting place. These expressions of mine are not mere “verbal pats on the collective back” of the community. Not at all. My words to you are sincere, genuine and they ring true. Again my friends, perfection is not attainable for us or anyone, not in this world that is. Yet, it is our solemn duty, it is our Christian obligation to do the best we can at all times and our efforts are to be for the Greater Glory of God. And that’s what this golden anniversary–these 50 years of ministry–is meant to celebrate.
There is no doubt that come this Saturday the church will be filled to the brim with friends both old and new, family members from near and far and officials of the Village who hold positions of authority. Fear not…there is always room for more as there is never to be heard “sorry, we’re filled,” in our house of worship. In God’s kingdom there are many mansions. At St. Nicholas, ours is not a mansion, nor a cathedral with soaring bell tower complete with Westminster chimes. Rather and blessedly so, we are just as we are: a community of faith-filled, loving and caring individuals, celebrating our rich and glorious Christian tradition and Anglican identity in song and prayer in a single-story church structure nestled in the suburbs of a large, Midwestern city. If you ask me, we have a great deal for which we are to be grateful. This Saturday afternoon, we will not only celebrate the previous 50 years and the creation of St. Nicholas Church, but we will also celebrate with optimistic and excited anticipation the next 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ahead of us!