Greetings in Jesus’ name! I would like to pray a blessing on each of you that the year 2016 is going to be a good year, full of the Lord Jesus’ Presence, Peace, Protection, Provision and favor.
I want to encourage you by Sharing Proverbs 3:5-7; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge God and He will make your paths straight. Be not wise in th own eyes, Fear the Lord and shun evil…”
This is a promise that Chitra and I have claimed for ourselves. We are learning to put our hope in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross for each one of us. He has done the work and offers us an invitation to follow Him and to live in relationship with Him. The secret of living a purposeful and meaningful life is to stay focused on Jesus. Read the Bible daily, reflect and meditate on God’s word and respond to Godly insights with obedience and discover the renewing Grace of God.
It is so good to see so many of you on Sunday and during the week in Church. I am hugely encouraged by what God is doing in many of your lives. He is doing wonderful things in my life and I am excited by new possibilities and opportunities. I have just been invited onto the board of the American Bible Society which is based in Philadelphia. Over the past two and a half years I have been single minded in my focus here at St. John’s. I needed to be in order for me to organize the Church so that we can be an open Church available to all people within our neighborhood. I have not been distracted but instead been very laser like in the use of my energy and time.
Now I would like to spread my wings and seek partnerships with like minded churches, organizations in order to share in the larger Mission of God. The Rivendell institute and Love 146 are two orgnizations which the Mahan’s and The Ehrman’s have invested so much of their lives in. They are both long standing members of our church I would like each of them to share something of their vision and hopes with the rest of us. This year I will travel a little bit in February 7 I will be going to support Bishop David Parsons who is the Anglican Bishop of the Artic in Canada. I will be spending four days with the clergy and staff of the diocese to encourage them in their common life, witness and ministry.
I am delighted that Professor John Hare was able to go to Pakistan to deliver a Philosophy Lecture in Lahore. The troubles at Wheaton College over Professor Hawkins’ Facebook post that the ” God of the Muslims, and the Christians is the same.” This has become so divisive and has a polarizing effect in society. There is more heat than light as a result of this, and I would like a mature and nuanced reflection on this question. I will speak on these and other hot potatoes over the next few months.
Please do pray for us as a Church that we will be united and work together to build a strong and vibrant Christian community that will be welcoming and hospitable to all peoples. Be assured of my prayers, friendship and love. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
Take care and God bless you.
Your Pastor and Friend,
Rector St. John’s Episcopal Church