In the Gospel of John 13:34, Jesus tells us “I give you a new commandment…that you love on another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciple, if you have love for one another.”
Looking back on this year in the life of our parish, I am struck by the many ways we are living into our Vision Statement and to belonging to the “Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.” I see this in the way we express the love of Christ to one another and to our community at large. I see it in the everydayness of our lives together—and in the responses we make when our city and country are experiencing the darkness of injustice and upheaval. As we hold hands against this darkness, we strive to be the crack that lets the light of Christ shine through.
At our Annual Meeting on Sunday, we received reports from the many programs offered at St. Peter’s. These programs and Ministry Areas would not be possible were it not for the wonderful work of our Clergy, Staff, and the many volunteers who give of their time and talent to lead us on our spiritual journeys. I am forever grateful for their gifts of dedication and leadership. St. Peter’s is a special parish, and one of the manifestations of its uniqueness is the way the Clergy, Staff and Lay Volunteers work together to present these programs and carry out these various important ministries.
We also elected four new people to serve on the Vestry from 2017-2020. Elsie Erneston, John Frederick, Maria Long, and Cooper Morrison will begin their new term in January. I am confident that they will provide the strong lay leadership that you have some to expect. And we bid farewell to David Lavoie, Des Keller, Nelda Leon as they will be rotating off the Vestry. We are grateful for their service and the leadership they have provided for the past 3 ½ years. And of course, I will be rotating off as well.
It has been an honor to serve on your Vestry for the past 3 ½ years and as Senior Warden this year. My deep appreciation goes to all of you for the support shown me during this past year. I believe that you can be justly proud of this group of parish leaders. I encourage you to reach out to them and let your needs and concerns be known to them. And I ask that if you have not pledged that you do so this morning…and if you have pledged, that you might be moved to increase your pledge. Our pledges insure the continuation of the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.
John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”