Fr. Major’s General Remarks for the Year Ending 2013

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last year around this time I announced that I was interviewed for my comments on what I believe must happen in order for any parish to enjoy stability and be effective in mission.  I responded with a simple remark related to the importance of a united effort, a lesson for all of us that I’m hopeful we will long remember: that we are far better at being Church when we’re working and praying together.

Of course, we all know that this is true when it comes to most every valuable undertaking.  One person working at holding a project together, whatever it may be, is bound to be far less effective than two, three or a group of fifty who are willing to rally and be united in determination an in effort to achieve a common goal.

I believe that this is what it is going to take to move Christianity’s mission forward during the new few years and next decade and this is what it is going to take to preserve and strengthen our little parishes and the Episcopal presence in our region: united determination, determination to be zealous, active and sacrificial in support of all that is right and good.

For me, the definition of determination as it relates to our Christian efforts can be found in the flowing quote attributed to John Wesley.  “Do all the good you can; by all the means you can; in all the ways you can; in all the places you can; at all the times you can; to all the people you can; as long as ever you can.

A friend handed me this quote one day and helped me to realize that this may very well be one of the best Rules of life ever articulated; Do all the good you can…as long as ever you can.”

A message for us all who value our parishes might be discovered as each of us take time to reflect on just what we are willing to do to help move our mission and ministries forward.

Prayer is important.  Essential.  But can we only pray?

The following poem by Rabbi Jack Riemer has often been a reminder to me that I cannot merely pray but must also act.  I share it with you along with  a wish and prayer that it will inspire you, “to be the change you want to see.”

 

Prayer and Action

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war; for the world is made in such a way that we must find our own path of peace within ourselves and with our neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to root out injustice; for we already have eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end starvation; for we already have the resources with which to feed the entire world, if we would only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end despair; for we already have the power to clear away slums and to give hope, if we would only use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end disease; for we already have great minds with which to search out cures and healing, if we would only use them constructively.

Therefore, we pray instead for strength, determination, and will power to DO, instead of merely to pray; to BECOME, instead of merely to wish.

 

For all of the determined people in our parish who are praying and doing so much good at all the times you can –thank you and God bless you abundantly.

God bless our parish and Christianity’s mission.

 

Faithfully,

Fr. Major