“The Authority of the Laity” by Verna Dozier

UnknownFirst published in 1982, Verna Dozier’s “The Authority of the Laity” still provides a positive, powerful and challenging call for the ministry of the laity in the world.

Sunday, January 18 and Sunday, January 25, all are welcome to join in a conversation about this compelling work and how we can respond.

 

Here’s the link to the front page of Verna Dozier’s Authority of the Laity (reproduced with permission from Church Publishing):

laity 1

Here’s the link to

Chapter 1: The People of God Diverted

and

Chapter 2: Between the Biblical Lines

Laity Chapters 1 and 2

Here’s the link to

Chapter 3: The New Reformation

and

Chapter 4: The Ministry of the Laity

laity chapters 3 and 4

 

 

 

Prayers of the People — a Weekly Devotional for Advent

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This Advent, the people of the Advocate are contributing toward weekly devotionals of prayers they value in their personal and season lives. Each week’s devotional will be posted here as a “pdf” on each of the Sundays of Advent.

If you have a prayer, song, or reading you would like to contribute, please send it to Paul B. Marvin <pmarvin64@gmail.com>.

 

 

Prayers of the People — Advent 4 — 2014

Prayers of the People — Advent 3 — 2014

Prayers of the People — Advent 2 — 2014

Prayers of the People — Advent 1 — 2014

 

 

 

 

Conscientious Projector East Presents: Harvest of Shame; Harvest of Dignity. Wednesday, November 5

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The Advocate’s Conscientious Projector East* series continues with a pair of 50 minute documentaries, the Harvest of Shame and Harvest of Dignity.

These two films, produced fifty years apart, reveal how little has changed in the lives of migrant farmworkers in our country in that time, and challenge us to be mindful of,  and to respond to, their dignity and their needs.

To learn more about migrant farmworkers in North Carolina and the Episcopal Church’s mission and ministry in Newton Grove see: harvestforhospitalty.org

 

Unknown-1 Wednesday, November 5

7 PM

in the Advocate Chapel

 

Invite a friend!

All are welcome. 

 

All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, launched Conscientious Projector, a free monthly documentary film series, in 2004. The Advocate offers this East Coast edition in the spirit of that series.

 

All Saints. A Sermon by Nathan Kirkpatrick, Pastor-in-Residence

All Saints’ Sunday |November 2, 2014
Nathan Kirkpatrick, Pastor-In-Residence
 
One Sunday, soon after I had graduated from seminary,
while I was serving my first churches,
            I included in the sermon
                        quotations from both
the 5th century bishop Augustine
and the 20th century martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
At the end of the liturgy that morning,
one woman in the congregation met me at the back door,
            thanked me for the sermon, and then asked,
                        “Augustine, Bonhoeffer … whose kin are they?”
 
                                    It was her rural North Carolina way of asking
                                                whose family Augustine and Bonhoeffer belonged to.
                                    It was her way to figure out whether they were worth listening to at all.
                                                I think she expected me to say
“Oh you remember lil’ Auggie – he’s a Johnson from over in Boonville” – or
                                                            “Oh, Dietrich – he’s Nellie’s boy.
                                                                        Pure Casstevens.
You know, his sister went to the prom
with your cousin.”
                                                Instead, I told her exactly what I told you –
                                                            Augustine was a fifth century bishop in North Africa,
                                                            And Bonhoeffer was martyred during World War II.
                                                She told me that she didn’t know their people.
“Augustine, Bonhoeffer … whose kin are they?”
Whose family do they belong to?
Today I have a better answer for her.
Poor woman. She had to wait more than a decade
            for me to have a better answer for her
than a fifth century bishop and a twentieth-century German pastor.
But today I have a better answer for her.
Because today answers her question beautifully.
            Whose kin? Whose family?
                        All Saints’ Sunday tells us.
They’re yours, and they’re mine.
                                    They belong to us. And we belong to them.
Together, we a part of a single family —
 a family that spans chronology and geography,
                                                a family made up of Revelation’s
                                                 vision of that great multitude
                                    from every nation, tribe, people and language.
            See, today, on All Saints’ Sunday,
                        we acknowledge that part of what happens in the waters of baptism
is that we are made part of a great extended family.
As St John put it, “Beloved, we are God’s children now.”
                        In baptism, we are given our place in a family tree that includes
                                    seekers and servants, poets and prophets,
                                                mystics and medics, lawyers and lovers,
contemplatives and charismatics.
                                    And in the waters of baptism, under the Name of God,
we take our place in that family
                                                that seeks to live in love and to love in peace.
                                    In baptism, we are incorporated into that family that has sought to live
                                                with God’s priorities as its own, with God’s dream as its own,
                                                            that family that depends on grace, relies on mercy,
                                                                        and is guided by the Spirit.
In baptism, we become part of a family
That reaches farther back than human memory,
            Part of a family that embodies a promise
that extends into the future beyond even time itself.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now.”
Augustine, Bonhoeffer.
Whose kin are they? Well, they’re yours, and they’re mine. And we are theirs.
Today, we gather to celebrate the connectedness of our Christian family.
            Today, we come together to remember how we are bound together.
That is foundational to our identity as the Body of Christ,
     to our being the family of God in the world.
Now, like every family,
Ours has known loss and grief.
            We’ve said some goodbyes too early –
                        And we have stood beside gravesides and wondered where the years went.
We’ve loved and lost, not entirely convinced that we believe the poet
that that’s better than never having loved at all.
And so if today is, in part, a day to celebrate the connectedness
of the family born in baptism,
            then it is also a day to remember
                        All those who have taught us and shown us
what it means to belong to this family.
Today, we remember them,
     and remember that the bonds which hold this family together reach beyond the grave.
Some of their pictures decorate this place –
            Each one is a memory. Each one represents a story that is worth telling and worth sharing.
                        Each one is a person we celebrate today.
                                    Each one is of blessed memory.
                                                Each one is a saint of God.
Now, some of you may chafe at my use of the word saint to describe them.
            You may object: “She was just grandma.” “He was just my brother.”
               “She just taught me middle school English.”
So often when we use the word saint
We use it to mean the self-sacrificing or the perfect.
            We use it to refer to those of heroic virtue or astonishing faith.
Why wouldn’t we?
            Most of the time that we see saints in our society
                        They peer out at us from the painter’s canvas
                                    Or the sculptor’s marble.
                         In art, they are their perfect selves.
            And they look as comfortable under their haloes
as I feel in a baseball cap.
So, when we think about grandma or our brother or our child or our teacher or our friend,
            The word saint may sit awkwardly on their lives.
                        We knew them in their complexity, in their humanity.
We knew that her love had rough edges,
that he could be snarky or sarcastic.
Of course, the complexity of their lives helps us to nuance what we mean by saint.
We do not mean the perfect.
            We do not mean only the heroic.
                        We do not mean just the self-sacrificing or the extraordinary.
When we speak of the saints we mean the people who
who have taught us something of the way of Jesus,
who have shown us in their lives what justice and joy;
what redemption and reconciliation look like.
We mean all those people who have reminded us
            at our best and at our worst –
                        “Beloved, we are God’s children now.”
They are a complicated, human lot.
            Remember the story of Teresa of Avila?
                        One day as she was riding along, her horse threw her to the ground.
                                    There, as she looked up, she saw Jesus.
                                                And he said to her, “This is how I treat my friends.”
                                                She retorted, “Lord, perhaps this is why you have so few.”
All but the most talented of artists flatten her into a pious postcard,
when in truth, she’s a feisty saint who said that, if God picks on you, you pick back.
That’s the image I want of a saint –
Something human, something honest.
The saints of this place decorate these walls …
            And they are human and honest and playful and wondrous.
                        They taught us something of the way of Jesus.
                                    They reminded us that “Beloved, we are God’s children now.”
Barbara Brown Taylor once wrote that she understand her vocation as a priest
To be one of “recognizing the holiness of things and holding them up to God.”
It’s a nice definition for a priest, but it’s a better definition of a saint.
A saint is a person who recognizes “beloved, we are God’s children now”
and holds us up to God as part of the family.
Now, there is a caveat in all of this, a word of caution –
And some of you will quarrel with me at this point, and I welcome that conversation.
There are some whom we have lost
that we might be tempted canonize – that we might be tempted to paint into saints –
            not because of who they were but because of our guilt or fear or shame.
I will never forget the courage of a woman in my first parish
Who came up to me after my first funeral there and said,
            “Nathan, do you have to say the nice things?”
                        “What do you mean,” I asked.
“I go to these funerals,” she said, “and everything is always about how wonderful the dead person was. So what I’m wondering is, if my dad dies while you’re my pastor, do you have to say nice things about him because none of them would be true?”
On All Saints’ Sunday,
In the midst of our celebration of all of those members of the family
who have taught us the way of Jesus,
            It is perfectly legitimate to remember
a few whose memories we should let go of –
            the ones whom we have lost
who didn’t teach us about grace or love or peace
who didn’t show us the shape of mercy or forgiveness or gentleness.
                        There are a few whose voices we should no longer heed,
                        Whose example we should not seek to follow,
                                    Whose witness in our life is counterproductive to our own growth and healing.
Like every family,
there are those in this one whose memory is a source of pain not peace.
     It is okay today to trust them to God and to let them go.
“Augustine, Bonhoeffer … whose kin are they?”
            They’re yours, and they’re mine.
               And I am grateful that we are family together.
                    Amen.

Introducing the Episcopal Church — September 14 – October 5

Are you feeling drawn to the liturgy and fellowship of the Advocate but don’t really know what the Episcopal Church is or “what Episcopalians believe”?

Then come as you can to a four-week introduction to the Episcopal Church, Sundays at 12:30 PM at the Advocate.

Sunday, September 14    Where and what did we come from? (History)

Sunday, September 21     Why do we have communion every Sunday and no Christmas carols until December 24? (Worship as Spiritual formation)

Sunday, September 28   Who gets to make the decisions? (Polity)

Sunday, October 5     The Advocate is an Episcopal Mission. What does that mean? Does it matter?

If you are interested, contact vicar@theAdvocateChurch.org.

 

“An Old Tune, Always New” — a Sam Laurent Sermon

The Following Sermon was preached by Sam Laurent, PhD., Theologian in Residence at the Advocate, The Seventh Sunday of Easter, June 1, 2014

Let me lay some poetry on you. A poem by Michael O’Siadhail, called “Hail! Madam Jazz” has been stuck in my mind as I’ve thought about the Ascension this week. It’s about the ways that immersing oneself in jazz can reveal and defy one’s expectations and open up new spaces in our thinking. The last two lines are these:

Old tunes die in metamorphosis.

Rise, fall, reawakening. I praise.

The disciples had become convinced of Jesus’ divinity, having been with him for his teachings, seen his miracles, and now bogglingly spent time with him after the specter of the crucifixion. They saw God in their midst, a 3-dimensional embodied manifestation of God, and they laid their deepest hopes at his feet. They asked him if this moment was the time at which he would restore Israel to glory, fulfilling their messianic expectations. It was, you have to admit, a fair question, for he has already risen from the dead, so seemingly everything was in play. Very clearly they can sense that something big is happening.

Jesus redirected their inquiry. “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Jesus was signaling to his disciples that this story was not going to follow established scripts. Its ending is in fact a beginning. On the day of his ascension, Jesus was not enacting some political scheme, but in fact undercut all political schemes. He disappeared. He left them again.

Old tunes die in metamorphosis.

The person of Jesus was an experience of God for the disciples. Through their stories, and through the Holy Spirit’s ongoing participation in our lives, we now experience Jesus as a focal point of our own experience of God. But his final lesson, and perhaps the greatest illustration of God’s presence comes in this Ascension story. The disciples were, after all, just people, and we are the same as they. And people deal in particulars. If I experience God in this building, I might well start to think that there is more God in this building than in other places. If I experience God in a bit of bread and a sip of wine that have been consecrated, I may think that they are ways in which God is packaged and delivered to me. Maybe I’ll start thinking that those physical things themselves are God. But Jesus’ last lesson totally inverts all of that. Knowing that the disciples expect a worldly triumph, he disappears and leaves them staring toward heaven.

This is where that difficult saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life” starts to make sense, even if its apparent exclusivity scrambles our postmodern circuits. Jesus’ work is not to deliver God to us, but to deliver us to God. 3 chapters after “I am the way,” the yet-to-be-crucified Jesus prays to God on our behalf, saying “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Think of Jesus as an icon, meant to draw your eye and focus your attention, but ultimately receding from view, so that the depth of divine presence might be glimpsed through it. The physical form of Jesus allows us to connect to God in a powerful way, but when it’s really working, that physical form fades from sight. It is everything and no thing. In his ascension, Jesus performs the spiritual experience of moving past our perceptions and projections of experience and into the ineffable mystery of God. Jesus is the way because he makes a way, precisely by refusing to be an idol.

By leaving the disciples, by ascending into heaven, he drew their gaze not to the empty space where he had stood, but eventually to the Holy Spirit that fills it and calls forth something new.

Old tunes die in metamorphosis.

Rise, fall, reawakening.

The Incarnate Jesus, you see, is a self-negating symbol of God’s kingdom, a symbol that, in disappearing, makes sure it is not mistaken for the thing it points toward. He stays here just long enough for you to see how he points toward something deeper, broader, and eternal, and then disappears before you can make an idol of him and ignore the depth, breadth, and eternity he leads you to. Jesus says to God “All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” As Jesus departs this sphere, God’s presence does not recede, but the deep connections amongst all of the creation come into light and are seen as the avenues of God’s creative presence. Next week we will hear the Pentecost story, when the Gospel, so centralized in the physical presence of Jesus, is refracted by the Spirit into myriad languages and contexts, as the profound unity of God’s kingdom becomes the way in which the Good News moves. Jesus disappeared, and the disciples found God right in their midst.

Now we’re ready for the full two lines of “Hail! Madam Jazz” again:

Old tunes die in metamorphosis.

Rise, fall, reawakening. I praise.

The disciples do not linger in that mystical moment of the ascension, but they instead start figuring out how to tell the world what they have seen. The Pentecost happens and sends the Word out like so many sparks from a firework. But they are no longer staring slack-jawed at heaven. They see the world differently now, knowing that Jesus really was pretty much who they had hoped he was, but that he was calling them to a deeper awareness. They have seen the way in which God’s unity wires the whole broad system of creation together, and they go forth to diverse places and preach to diverse peoples, saying things like this from the letter to the Ephesians “there is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” One God who is above all and through all and in all. There’s the echo of mystical experience, that peek behind the fabric of our reality into the oceanic depths of God’s presence and love. It stays with them, and emboldens them. It empowers them to speak, to go forth, and to create the church. It moves still.

Old tunes die in metamorphosis.

Rise, fall, reawakening. I praise.

In jazz, the tune is a framework, a melody, some harmonies, and a chord progression that serve as a starting point and set the initial mood. But jazz really happens when the musicians apply their own voices and their own creativities to the tune and to the tradition they have immersed themselves in for years before you hear them. It’s a risk-taking sort of creativity, one that requires the artist to abandon the already-accomplished and the familiar, but the payoff can be enormous.

By virtue of the Ascension, Jesus enacts something like that improvisational process, offering the framework of a tune, but then withdrawing from view so that the disciples can sense the Spirit for themselves. Jesus is the tradition and the tune for his disciples. He has taught them about God’s kingdom, and his life, death, resurrection, and ascension comprise the tune on which we have been riffing for two thousand years. The tune itself resists completion and always invites new variations, deeper study, and greater collaboration. For music, like the story of God’s love, is never complete.

A classic jazz tune, say Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” does not exist frozen in time, but is interpreted anew each time it is performed. Coltrane wrote it in 1960, and it endures in the jazz canon still, though never sounding—or meant to sound—exactly like it did when Coltrane played it, and he never played it the same way twice. When we risk creativity, when we dare to talk about God with our own voice, we give up the chance of perfectly replicating what Jesus did, but we also open up a space in which the experience of God can happen anew.

So for the disciples, that encounter with the Incarnate Jesus, the guy who walked among them, was the entryway into the deeper experience. For us it may be the sacraments or the wilderness. For me, music gets me into that space more than anything else, and it’s important to remember that the existence of something deeper behind the superficial event doesn’t rob it of it’s value. The physical world matters. Bodies matter. Your experience matters. If a bit of bread and wine open up divine vistas for you, then truly there is deep value in them. If a quiet spot by a pond lets you see the divine fabric that weaves all of the world together, then that place is certainly sacred. If the Spirit flows through it, it is sacred, and the big point here is that the Spirit flows through all of it. But all of these experiences come when the appearances and perceptions of the world crack open and yield a bit so that we can see behind our own associations and assumptions. And, gifted with the memory of those experiences, we return to life as normal, but as disciples, we are changed.

Now, a point of theological clarification. The Holy Spirit has been here all along. She didn’t just appear after Jesus’ ascension to take over the divine household’s earth shift. The Spirit is eternal, was there at the beginning, is here now, and was at all points in between. But this story of the Ascension isn’t about God’s eternal nature, per se. It’s about our awareness of it. Experientially, we need something concrete to draw our attention, to say “look! This right here is God!” And if we are to go deeper, we need to see beyond the material trappings of that concrete thing, to see what is behind it. Jesus showed the way in his Ascension, but the Spirit was there all along. The Spirit hovers over our lives now, as She did over the primordial waters in Genesis and over the crowd on the day of Pentecost. The Spirit calls the creation into being.

The Spirit calls us into speech. Bold speech. The kind of speech that knows that, whether it rises or falls, it is in the presence of God. And that is where we as Christians start to perform our own jazz here on the present edge of Christian tradition, with the deep wisdom of Christ as our canon. We are not simply replicating the past, even when we repeat old words and rituals, but are each time offering a space in which something new and sacred might emerge in concert with the Spirit. Each time we seek to attune ourselves to the Spirit and to understand the Gospel, each time we gather to pray, each time we extend kindness to a stranger because we know we are one, that old tune lives again. In our lives as faithful Christians, we are called to tend to a million little resurrections, all born of the awareness that God remains with us.

So then, this Ascension teaches us that the particular places and things in which we experience God are but icons which themselves point to the eternal depth of God’s kingdom. And it teaches us that Jesus’ time on earth was in a sense a time of training us to help each other find God. The men in robes approached the disciples after Jesus ascended and said “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

“Weren’t you paying attention to all the things he told you?” they seem to be saying, “he’s going to come back. Go tell everyone. You know the tune by now. It’s your turn to play.”

Old tunes die in metamorphosis.

Rise, fall, reawakening. I praise.

 

Amen.

Dear Isaac — on the day of your baptism

A sermon preached for  the Baptism of Isaac, whose family is moving across the country tomorrow. (Year A: Epiphany VII. February 23, 2014) 

The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck, Vicar

Dear Isaac,

Today you are being baptized!

Your parents have brought you here,

willingly and happily,

desiring that you be given this sacrament in all its many dimensions.

 

We will pour water on your head.

Water that has been blessed

and that, by our prayers,

has become water that washes you like no bath you’ve ever had.

 

We will also pour oil on your head.

Oil that has been blessed by the bishop,

and that,

by our prayers,

will be the sign that you belong to God in Jesus forever.

 

And we will pray that God will give you

an inquiring and discerning heart.

Which means we pray that you will never stop asking questions,

ever.

We pray that you will listen for answers and consider them.

And we hope you will ask God to guide you in that consideration.

 

In the baptismal rite we will also pray that God will give you

the courage to will and to persevere.

Which means we pray that you will have the courage to do what you know is good and right and true.

Hopefully after you have asked for God’s guidance.

 

And we will pray that God will give you

a sense of joy and wonder in all God’s works.

This includes that natural world, for sure.

Fortunately,

where you are going and with the parents you have been given,

we rest assured that you will have ample opportunities to be given a sense of joy and wonder in the natural world.

 

But God’s works include,

significantly,

all us human beings too.

And sometimes it can be a whole lot harder to maintain a sense of joy and wonder about us.

We hope you will remember to ask God for that kind of maintenance!

 

Isaac,

your parents have brought you here,

willingly and happily,

desiring that you be given this sacrament of baptism in all its many dimensions.

One of those dimensions is that by your baptism

you become a member of Christ’s Body,

the Church.

In fact, after you have been baptized we will “receive you into the household of God”.

 

We feel this part of your baptism palpably.

Because we baptize you here at the Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill,

knowing that in the days ahead you will be far from us,

and in the years ahead you will be given to the care and environment of another community of the Church.

Yet we have promised that we will do all in our power to support you.

So we will pray for you.

We will pray for you in the weeks ahead.

We will pray for your parents that they will find a church home for you over there in Colorado.

We will pray for your godparents that they will care for you and be present to you as best they can.

We will pray that you grow up knowing that it was important to your parents that you be baptized here

even though you are about to move there.

This means you have been given a special experience of being baptized into the whole church, not just one particular community.

I hope you can know that as you grow to adulthood

and begin to experience the love and the grace,

even the joy;

the vagaries and imperfections,

even the hypocrisy;

of the whole Church and of particular church communities.

 

This Jesus, whom we follow,

has set a very high standard for us.

It is plain in the lessons we read on this day of your Baptism.

We heard from Leviticus, the ancient book of laws in which Jesus himself was fully immersed.

(the only reading of this ancient book of laws, by the way,

that we Episcopalians are given on a Sunday.)

 

Check it out: Leviticus 19:1-2,9-18

If describes what life is like for those who know God as their God.

If you know God as your God, then you shall see all human beings as beloved of God,

and you will ever be mindful of others.

and will give of what you have been given.

It says two times that you shall not steal.

So that must be an important result of knowing God.

 

We also heard from the Gospel of Matthew,

5th chapter, verses 38-48,

in which Jesus takes the Levitical laws and notches them up a bit,

notches them up to what seems to be either impossible or intolerable.

But again,

he is describing what will happen if you know and love God:

You will have that courage to will and to persevere.

You will stand for what you know is right.

And you will see all human beings as beloved of God.

 

(If you ever want a further explanation of some of these difficult teachings about turning the other cheek or walking the extra mile, though,

when you are old enough,

take in the movie Ghandi, or read some of his writings.

Learn about civil disobedience in our own country’s Civil Rights movement.

It seems the human conscience was created to withstand only so much oppression and injustice.

When that oppression and injustice is brought to light,

that is when things begin to change,

eventually.

We hope you will work to bring oppression and injustice to light.)

 

Isaac,

your parents have brought you here,

willingly and happily,

desiring that you be given this sacrament of baptism in all its many dimensions.

And importantly,

one of those dimensions is that in baptism

not only do you become a member of the Church, the Body of Christ,

but in baptism you also become one with Jesus himself.

 

It is a mystery of faith,

It is cosmic and illogical and hard to explain.

But it is also wonderful and life-changing

and it gives us hope.

 

It gives us hope for the long run,

allowing us to live with a sense that all will long be well.

And it also gives us hope for the short run,

for the day to day and the season to season.

 

Because otherwise,

this life would be mighty hard to live.

And these laws in Leviticus

and these teachings of Jesus

Would be nigh on impossible to follow.

 

Did you catch the last line of the Gospel reading?

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

This perfection is not something we can put on ourselves.

It is not something we can will ourselves to have

or discipline ourselves to accomplish.

Rather it is something borne of our oneness with God.

It’s true.

 

The closer we are to God,

the more we truly knit our wills to God’s will

our spirits to God’s spirit,

the more all the “shalls” of the Leviticus reading

and all the  directives of Jesus in the reading from the Gospel of Matthew,

gradually become a way of being.

They become a matter of “we can do no other.”

It. just. happens.

And it is good.

Holy even!

 

We don’t stay there of course.

Irritatingly enough.

We slip slide all over the place.

All of us do.

Which is why we need to accept each other,

forgive each other,

love each other.

You may slip today, and require the forgiveness of the one who will slide tomorrow.

 

That is why,

as we return to the Eucharistic prayer out of New Zealand later in this liturgy,

we will pray that we who receive Christ’s Body

may indeed be the Body of Christ.

 

Isaac,

your parents have brought you here,

willingly and happily,

desiring that you be given this sacrament of baptism in all its many dimensions.

And we are mighty glad you will be with us and we with you all along the way.

Maybe not in the same congregation or the same state,

but united in the Spirit,

united in Baptism,

united in love.

 

Let all God’s people say,

Amen.