Blessed are we...
I think like most people, I've been incredibly anxious this past year as the election reared its ugly head. One day away from the ballot box with that anxiety at its peak, God comes around us and reveals to us once more "who we are and whose we are."
Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday. We welcomed a new family into our midst, baptizing 3 year old Charlie and her mom, Amanda, and receiving Amanda's mother, Sandy, into the congregation. They have brought much life into our church family and with great joy we feasted!
All Saints Sunday was a fitting commemoration on which to celebrate their baptisms. Baptism is that sign of God's promise to never let go of us, to hold us together, always, in the company of the Holy Trinity. We remembered our "church mother, " Bessie Tracey, who entered into glory earlier this year. She is a woman who left a legacy of stories and commitment to her family, who remain a deeply devoted part of this community, still.
We also called to mind George McAleer, Charlie's father who tragically lost his life when she was just 9 months old. On the several occasions that Charlie and I have talked about God, she would gleefully interrupt and shout, "My daddy's an angel!" She may not remember her dad, but she has faith that he lives with God, and continues to love her and her mother. And in this baptism, which she very well may remember, Charlie can rest assured in the promise of supportive community and that one day her family will be together in the company of the saints amidst the glory of God.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL!
Following the baptism reception, local artist-activists Matt Muirhead and McKenzie Ditter, came by the Church on the Avenue to screen print T-shirts on behalf of the Standing Rock protest to save sacred land from the Dakota Access Pipeline. The last minute event raised over $1,000 for the movement! There was music and fellowship out in the courtyard while guests waited for their t-shirts to dry. Many chance meetings raised conversation, awareness, and resources for fellow citizens halfway across the country.
Who knows what Tuesday will bring for us as a nation? I do know that despite the news reports there is a lot of good in this world and it is all around us. We should be very concerned about the tone and rhetoric of this election cycle because it has revealed serious problems in our culture. But we cannot allow the problems, the hate speech, and divisiveness to overpower the good that holds us together. Acknowledge these moments when God brings us together to celebrate and to protest for the sake of our shared humanity.
It was an All Saints Sunday, indeed! And blessed are we to have been a part of it.