Being the Church

rencherThe Day of Pentecost (June 8) launched us into “summertime” mode with a mind-blowing reminder: the gift of the Spirit, imparted to the people of God long ago, was that which gave birth to God’s Church. Instead of tendencies for most to define “the Church” as an architectural structure, the day reminds us that the Church is essentially a collection of beloved people of God. As mysterious as it may be, you and I are the Church. Moreover, the theme of the day invited members of the body of Christ to look within for the indwelling of the Spirit, even as we tend to look far beyond ourselves for the Spirit.

The festival of Pentecost at St. Peter’s began with a quieter, contemplative 8:00 a.m. liturgy followed by inspiring reflections in the parish hall about the past nine months of formation (education), fellowship, and service.  The 10:45 a.m. liturgy included the smell of incense, speaking in non-English languages (read Acts 2), baptisms of three children, extraordinary organ pomp, choral music by our Choir School’s MasterSingers and Boys and Girls Tour ensembles, and a procession of children to light candles symbolizing the seven gifts of the Spirit (read Isaiah 11).  The day also honored high school seniors, provided breakfast and a wonderful coffee hour, and 31 people attended the 20s & 30s Fellowship barbecue.  The 6:15 p.m. liturgy offered moments for silence, the Holy Eucharist, and exquisite music for piano as a perfect way to end the day and prepare for the week ahead. 
I have no doubt that the Spirit of the Lord is blowing throughout our beloved St. Peter’s. The same Spirit will be in motion in June, July, and August as we offer certain ongoing as well as a variety of new events for all ages.  In thanksgiving for the gift of the Spirit, let us commit ourselves to an incredible summer together.  We never can stop being the Church. 
— The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector