On the Road with the Risen One
This May falls within the Great Fifty Days of Easter, the days between Jesus’ Resurrection and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. This is a time of celebration, new birth, revitalization, and the “quickening” of all reality with the close presence of Christ. One of my favorite Scripture stories from these days is the Road to Emmaus. In this story two unnamed disciples are accompanied by Jesus on their journey to the village of Emmaus. In their conversation Jesus interprets Scripture to help them expand their understanding of his death. They do not recognize him but find their “hearts burning within them” as he speaks to them. Finally, the two arrive, and convince Jesus (still unknown to them) to stay with them and share a meal. At table, he breaks bread and their eyes are opened to his presence.
This iconic Easter story offers a great pattern and picture for the next steps of our journey together: a process of strategic visioning. This exciting endeavor—involving us all—will help us develop priorities, define areas of focus, and formulate concrete steps and timelines to achieve the vision for St. Catherine’s future that we will discern together in community. Like the disciples walking to Emmaus, we will open our ears and hearts to the inspiration of Christ’s presence walking this process with us. Like them, we will discover new interpretations of our story that will enliven and vitalize us. We will arrive at our “destination” together. Strategic Visioning will allow us to determine how God is calling us to grow and serve, and on which ministries and initiatives to focus our resources, person power, and heart space. This process is not going to be the sole provenance of Rector or Vestry or committee Chairs; ALL of our voices will be counted, and we will discover the priorities and dreams God holds for us TOGETHER, walking the road in conversation, reflection, and action.
This is an exciting time for St. Catherine’s: a time of creative discerning, engaging our deep inner identity and our wider community, and arriving at a clear vision of the amazing future God dreams for us… AND discerning a concrete path of getting there. And while I will treat the details of this process in a later communication, I’ll mention here that—like the meal at Emmaus where Christ is recognized in the breaking of the bread—the greatest outcome of this process will take us beyond the setting of priorities and the achieving of goals (though we WILL do all of that!) to a clearer recognition of Christ in our midst, a deepening of our shared love and life together, all centered in a spirit of celebration.
On Pentecost Sunday (June 5), the day we celebrate the power of the Holy Spirit speaking in new and creative ways, we will come together and work in small groups to formulate our hopes, dreams, priorities, and vision for St. Catherine’s in the years to come. This great gathering will generate the seeds from which our strategic vision will grow. Each phase of this plan will be marked by celebration, prayer, and a deepening of trust in God and in one another. Like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, if we open ourselves to participating fully in this process, we will indeed find “our hearts burning within us” with love and hope for the future
Yours in Christ,
Fr. James +
Sunday 8:00 AM
Sunday 9:00 AM
HOLY EUCHARIST WITH MUSIC
Sunday 10:00 AM
Sunday 10:00 AM