Galilee: Going Beyond the Doors of St. Peter’s

rencherNovember 15–16, Bishop Suffragan Anne Hodges-Copple will be with the St. Peter’s parish family for our annual visitation by a bishop. In addition to presiding and preaching at the 8:00 am and 10:45 am liturgies on Sunday, “Bishop Anne” will lead a conversation about our diocesan “Galilee” ministry and whatever else might arise during the 9:30 am Parish Hall Forum.

Bishop Diocesan Michael Curry, in his 2012 pastoral address, challenged Convention delegates to wake up to the changing role of the Church in a cultural landscape of uncertainty and instability and increasing polarity. He then urged the diocese to “go to Galilee”—to step outside our doors and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the one who ministered to those on the margins of society, to those outside the established institutions, to those whom he sometimes calls “the other.”

Today, when people ask What is Galilee?, several responses are given: 1) An ancient province in what is now Northern Israel,  a place very much like our world today: unpredictable, religiously and culturally polarized, unstable, diverse, rapidly changing; 2) The porch of a church; 3) A place where Jesus met people in their community; and 4) A place where we, the Episcopal Church of the Diocese of North Carolina, will do the same.

Based on past and present commitments to outreach and social justice ministries, our parish family is well positioned to “go to Galilee.” The liturgical events of November 16 (baptisms, confirmations, receptions, reaffirmations, ordination to the priesthood) are bound to inspire and renew us for the work that God has given us to do. May we exercise courage to go beyond our doors and be ready for such opportunities, always thanking God for life at St. Peter’s.

The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector