This coming Sunday we’ll celebrate the 257th anniversary of this parish – one of the older ones in this Diocese. How much time has gone by?
Think about this: Since the founding of this parish, there have been 44 USA Presidents, 13 Popes (yeah Clement XIII through the current Bishop of Rome), 91 established political parties, 47 economic downturns (recessions, depressions, “panics” – and those national financial woes were counted from 1791 not 1759 – our founding). The “Anglican Communion” has been born of the Church of England and now extends into 39 provinces throughout the world. We Americans have used 4 different and revised Books of Common Prayer and a number of approved hymnals. There have been 27 Presiding Bishops of the Episcopal Church from William White of Philadelphia to the recently elected Michael Curry of North Carolina.
We have been through 13 wars (not sure if Korea is still listed as a “police action”). What was Grenada? Did we or did we not invade Nicaragua, and what do you call Jefferson’s ordering attacks on the pirates from and into North Africa who threatened us in the early 1800’s – you know: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli…”
We no longer travel by foot or horse (heck, some of our kids don’t know what those appendages attached to their bodies are used for). Families no longer live together in close proximity either geographically or inter-generationally. We have created weapons that can obliterate the face of the earth, and we have interfered with nature in ways where once long distant microbes can hitchhike a ride on an international flight and within a week wreak havoc thousands of miles away. The legacy of the sin of slavery still tears at us. And yet we have also journeyed into the heavens and touched the face of God.
So much has happened in the more than two and one half centuries since ordinary Christians like you and me committed themselves to come together in prayer and make this parish – this land: with and without buildings – their spiritual home. So much wonder and good has happened. So much terror and sadness as well. Science, especially medicine, has exploded.
Unfortunately, wisdom does not always follow. Unlike our spiritual ancestors, we live in a world where God really isn’t all that “necessary” or “important.” Can’t tell you how many people say to me on a somewhat regular basis, “I’m just so busy one Sundays,” “Don’t have time,” “It’s crazy!” I have a plaque in my office that reads: “I wonder if sometimes we give God a headache!”
So here’s my thought for the week: Take a moment (better, come and worship with us at the special service this week) to simply thank the Lord for all that has been given to us as a community of faith throughout these years. And think about – better, pray about – what God, who remains unimportant to others, may truly ask of you at this time in the history of this parish. Happy anniversary to us!!!!!!!