A message from our Rector, Pastor Diane...
Thursday, May 24, The Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, along with a group of elder Christian leaders, and about 1,000 attendees gathered in Washington, D.C., for a church service and then a procession to the White House where they held a silent candlelight vigil to deliver the Reclaiming Jesus Declaration which was included in the bulletins of Episcopal churches in this diocese on Easter Sunday (You can read a copy of that document here: http://www.reclaimingjesus.org. It is a declaration calling upon us to be steadfast in following in the way of Jesus. Bishop Curry said, “This weekend (referring to his sermon at the royal wedding in London) I spoke about the way of love. As elders, we view bringing the Reclaiming Jesus declaration to the public square as a tangible example of how to live out that way of love. We are Christian leaders bearing moral witness to the teachings of our faith in the public square. As citizens we want our government to reflect our values. As a Bishop I believe we should follow the teachings of Jesus - who taught us to love God and love our neighbor.”
Bishop Curry explained what that “Love our neighbor” means.
Love the neighbor you like and the neighbor you don't like.
Love the neighbor you agree with and the neighbor you don't agree with.
Love your Democrat neighbor, your Republican neighbor,
your black neighbor, your white neighbor,
your Anglo neighbor, your Latino neighbor and your LGBTQ neighbor.
Love your neighbor! That's why we're here!”
That four letter word “Love” sounds so nice and uncontroversial, but, in fact, in practice, the world resists that four letter word. It’s a powerful four letter word, and the powers of the world are threatened by it, especially when it encompasses the whole world and when it challenges another four letter word, “Mine.” Certainly, the powers of the day were threatened by the expansiveness of God’s love when they encountered it in Jesus. But, Jesus spoke truth—God so loved the world. God loves despite the resistance, and God loves with persistence. The whole world. Not to judge but to save. We who are followers of this God, we who are followers in the ways of Jesus, are loved, and we are called to live into the expansiveness of that love, letting that love live through us to all the world and through all that we do in this world. To help grow in that and to guide us on that journey, we worship and serve in community together. Come, join us at St. Peter’s as we learn to love ourselves, one another, and our world.