I Lent

February 18, 2018
This week was the Annual Meeting of the Parish.  Instead of a sermon the Rector gave his Annual Meeting Address.  He began with many "Thank you's", which are not shared here.  This is the body of the address:

As most of you know, in October I fell and fractured the upper part of my humorous.  I spent six weeks in a sling and recently have been going to physical therapy to regain my mobility.  One day, the Physical Therapist caught me doing something the “wrong way”.    “You shoulder injuries”, he said, “You are the greatest compensators!”

As I was thinking about what I wanted to say today, I began to think about how when I was unable to use my left arm, I learned to compensate to get things done.  I figured out a way to do my grocery shopping and cook a meal.  I learned how to take a shower or fold my laundry.  I was able to accomplish what I needed to accomplish, even though I was not able to use one of my arms in the way that I should.

What does this have to do with St. Paul’s?  I think that we can all agree that St. Paul’s has been changing over the past few years.  People who were counted on in the Parish to do things have either found themselves in a diminished capacity or have died.  Our numbers have gotten smaller and we have all gotten older.

One of the things that I think we are going to have to focus on this year is the fact that many things in the Parish just cannot be done the way they used to.  We are going to have to become creative and figure out new ways to do things – to compensate.

What this means is that we will have to fight the mentality that “we have always done it this way” and try to find new and creative ways to keep the Parish running smoothly.

Today we are going to be receiving the report of the Great Commission Committee.  This Committee was established after last year’s Annual Meeting, because we decided that we were going to explore ways in which we can attract new members of a Mature Age.

I do not want to take away from the presentation about the work of this Committee, so you will have to come to the Meeting and participate in the discussion.  I hope that it will be a positive experience for everyone.

When the Diocese was searching for our current Bishop, one of the things that was stressed was that the status quo was not working.  One some level, I think that we need to acknowledge that this is true for us as well.

My hope is that we can be creative and figure out new ways to serve the Lord here at St. Paul’s.  It is going to take openness to some change.  But, I would guess that most of us here have had to do this in our own lives as we learn to compensate for things that we can no longer do.

I hope that when we compile next year’s Annual Reports that we will find that we have been creative and have grown.  By the grace of God, I believe that this is possible; we just need to be sure not to get in the way of the Holy Spirit working among us and through us.  AMEN.