St. C's cross
From the Rector's Desk
The Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin
Rector, St. Columba's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
Dear Ones,

Recently overheard in the Common ...
“I love St. Columba’s, but I don’t really know much about the Episcopal Church or what distinguishes it from other Christian denominations.”

“I don’t know either, but I love St. C’s too.” After a pause: “Maybe it’s the donuts?!”

I don’t imagine these two are alone. One of these days we’ll survey the congregation to find out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one-third of us grew up Episcopalian, one-third Roman Catholic, and one-third other Protestant denomination. Even among those who are dyed in the wool, in the current American Christian landscape, we too often define ourselves in the negative – by stating what we are not (“We’re not like those Christians”) rather than in the affirmative – by proclaiming who we are, what we believe, and how we put those beliefs into practice.
 
“Why Episcopal?” is the topic I’ll address in a three-part preaching series on upcoming Sundays: October 13, 20 & 27. There is much that we share in common with all Christians, and much that is unique. As a church, we are shaped not so much by doctrine or confession, as we are by our history, our liturgy, our understanding of authority, our theology of the incarnation, our use of the English language, our call to service and justice. Through it all, as the psalmist says, “come, let us worship God in the beauty of holiness.” Any particular topics or questions you hope I’ll address? Please let me know.
 
To complement the series, and because several of you have said you’d especially appreciate it, I will host (on Oct 20) a gathering of fellow sojourners once at home in an Evangelical, Baptist, non-denominational or other Protestant church and now seeking Christian community here. I will host a similar gathering for those once at home in the Roman Catholic church on Oct 27. In each session, we will reflect together: What have I lost? What am I finding? What am I seeking? These will be offered as an alternative to the Sunday Forum, Oct. 20 & 27, and will meet 10:15-11 am in the Great Hall.
 
For those who have recently come to St. Columba’s and have questions or are looking to connect, join me and Minister for Member Engagement Jennifer Turner for a three-week “Inquirer’s Course” designed to provide:
  • a place for you to connect, share your story, your hopes and fears;
  • a basic introduction to Christianity, the Episcopal Church, and St. Columba’s;
  • an opportunity to explore your gifts, find a ministry, and help you feel at home here.
Join us Wednesday evenings - starting tomorrow - (supper included!) on Oct. 2, 9 & 16, 6:30-8:30 pm in Rm 215 – please RSVP to Jennifer .
 
I’ve no doubt that Jesus loved donuts, too. But he offered us the bread of life. Let us eat and be filled that we may live God’s love.
Peace!
The Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin