Saturday, October 31, 2009
A grateful heart
I cannot begin to tell you how many messages of prayer and support have come our way in the first few weeks.
If you are new to this story, here is a quick rundown:
The community worshiping at Our Saviour, Albuquerque, felt they could no longer be part of the Episcopal Church. They are now meeting elsewhere and I pray God's blessing upon them that they may follow Christ and serve faithfully as they feel led.
The Diocese of the Rio Grande suddenly found itself in possession of an empty church and church hall in the South Valley of Albuquerque, just 3.8 miles from where I live. The idea of NOT having the Episcopal Church ministering in this part of town strikes me as scandalous. As the Diocese looked for someone who might keep the doors open, I stepped in.
God is always full of surprises.
We began with two buildings, chairs in the nave, an altar, an altar book, a Gospel book, chalice, patens, and not much more. I had two days to get hosts, wine, lessons, altar linens, service booklets and a whole lot more in place. Each week we are more equipped than the week before. Other churches and individuals have chipped in to donate tables, waste baskets, frontals, a fair linen, Prayer Books, etc. Unexpected donations have come in. Supportive friends from other congregations have shown up. We are working on signage and publicity. So far the neighborhood does not know we are there and open for business but that will soon change.
Within the next few weeks we hope to have an English class for Spanish speakers. Before too long I hope to offer weekly Eucharist in Spanish. For the moment it is challenge enough to have Eucharist each Sunday, but we are doing it.
Back to where this post began. Every day some new gift, some new message, some new expression of love (or several, or many) comes in. People across the diocese, across the country, and around the world are praying for us and we are praying.
We are casting seed on many kinds of soil here, and doing so in faith.
I am incredibly grateful for each person who joins in this effort, by any means whatsoever. Thank you. And thanks be to God.