It always seems fitting to be in the season of Pentecost as our weather heats up!
From my Roman Catholic childhood, a prayer to the Holy Spirit often rattles around my mind and heart. “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth Your Spirit, and they will be created, and You will renew the face of the earth.”
In my year with this generous, gentle, loving community of St. Michael’s, I have seen the Holy Spirit work in many ways to transform our hearts and continue the renewal of the world. The power of the Holy Spirit is manifest in our liturgies: coming upon those who are baptized; intensifying in those who are confirmed; nourishing and empowering for mission through the Eucharist; comforting families and friends during funerals. The power of the Holy Spirit is manifest in our many efforts and programs to serve others beyond our own church community, from passing the soup pot to providing food, clothing, and basic healthcare at St. Matthew’s. And the power of the Holy Spirit is most certainly manifest in the ways we care for each other, such as bringing meals to members after surgery, hosting coffee hour, and lending a listening ear. The ways in which the Holy Spirit moves in us and through us are far too numerous to list!
One of the most outstanding charisms of St Michael’s is generosity. St. Michael’s is generous with material resources, time, and effort. St. Michael’s is also generous in making room for each other’s quirks, in extending forgiveness, in kindness, in willingness to “go with the flow” and to adapt to change, in a very special gentleness of spirit that seeks harmony. I am certain this special charism of generosity, which is a work of the Holy Spirit, is part of the reason the Lord brought me to you. I am being formed into a more generous person through you, and I am very grateful.
And speaking of gratitude…I am very grateful that I will be with you for another year of priestly formation. This past year I focused on the church as an organization and learned about leadership, management, budget, utilization of resources, and that sort of thing. In the coming year I will focus more on liturgical leadership, teaching, and pastoral care, so you may see me around a bit more!
June 7th will be my last Sunday with you for the summer. Then I’ll be back on August 23rd. I’m taking some time this summer to reconnect with my brothers and sisters at Trinity Cathedral and also to visit a variety of churches in our area to learn more about different liturgical styles. I’ll miss you while I’m away but will continue to keep this community’s needs in my prayers. Please pray for me too. I’m so excited to see what the Holy Spirit is up to when I return!