As spiritual beings, we are invited to explore a multiplicity of disciplines intended to bring us closer to God and one another. This invitation is so important that at the 74th General Convention of The Episcopal Church (Minneapolis 2003), a resolution was adopted to “encourage all members of the church to develop a personal spiritual discipline.” A portion of it reads: “Resolved, That in recognition of the church’s tradition of calling us to work, pray, and give for the spread of God’s kingdom, all members of The Episcopal Church be encouraged to develop a personal spiritual discipline that includes, at a minimum, the holy habits of tithing, daily personal prayer and study, Sabbath time, and weekly corporate worship; and be it further resolved, that the Bishops and Deputies be given an opportunity to sign the following declaration: As Christian stewards and leaders of The Episcopal Church, we affirm that we are tithing, or have adopted a plan to work toward tithing as a minimum standard for our giving; and that, if we are not already doing so, we are committed to give priority to corporate worship, personal daily prayer and study, and Sabbath time in our own lives; and we invite all members of The Episcopal Church to join us in these holy habits.”
As summer comes to an end and we prepare for a robust fall worship, formation, and program schedule in life at St. Peter’s, how might we individually respond to this resolution? How might we embody these holy habits? What sacrifices might be necessary to experience the rewards suggested by the resolution? I offer these specific questions to our parish family. What was an invitation to Episcopal Christians in 2003 strikes me as a worthy invitation for 2016, as we seek personal spiritual disciplines to inform our journey into Christ.
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector