We are called by name in this garden. Are we ready to be saints? Not perfect people but people who try with all our hearts to live what Michael Curry constantly reminds us is the Way of Love.
We are blessed with numerous flourishing ministries in WMA. The ministry with veterans, Reconciliation House, the Church Without Walls, the Cathedral of the Beloved, so many food ministries, Laundry Love, Marie’s Mission, Lydia’s Closet, and on and on. And caring for God’s creation is more important than ever before as we face a climate crisis. I know everyone in this room is engaged in one or more of them. Thank you! Our theme of convention is Tending the Garden and you are doing that.
The truth is that the pandemic challenged us but did not defeat us. There are many stories of new life out there; including many a bishop does not see from a distance. And it’s also true that these seeds of new life are growing at different speeds. It’s not a race.
But across our diocese there are in fact these unmistakable signs that give us hope: God isn’t done with us yet.
For the purpose of this address I’m going to look at a few ministries where we have been surprised in the Garden. Where Jesus showed up in a new way. And they all happened in this past year.
St. John’s in Williamstown has long done outreach to their neighbor, Williams College. Nathaniel Anderson has noticed something new. Some students who have no religious background will drop by his office and say, “so tell me about this Jesus guy.” It gives him enormous hope. Nathaniel says this: