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Pastor's Message

June 2015

LIVING WHAT WE ARE

One of the gifts given to our faith community by the Holy Spirit, concurrent to our recently implemented "Giving Sundays" initiative, has been the grace to be rooted and grounded in Christ to an unprecidented degree. Consequently, we have dedicated anew our congregational life to live into the reign of God as jesus taught. We search for meaning occasionally within a framework of dogma, ritual, and practice. Yet, we are becoming aware increasingly that in today's world in order for us to embody our Lord's meaning, we must learn as a congregation to reverence in awe the presence of God both within and outside the boundaries of Bryn Mawr Park's faith enclosure. According to Elaine M. Prevallet, a Sister of Loretto, "... the presence of God...that love will be whittling away at our narrow identities, our self-centeredness, our attachments. It will be inviting us to continual self-surrender, opening our hearts wider and wider. Nurtured by practices of attentiveness, generosity, prayer, meditation, and reading, that trust/love will keep stretching toward the grandeur of what we know we do not know."

Furthermore, to reverence in awe the universal presence of God has been the catalyst for Bryn Mawr Park to turn outward in extroverted creativity and self-confidence. This brash and extravagant mission-minded, outward focus is essential if we are to be fully alive as a church, welcoming the future in faith, hope, and love. It is also contrary to the tendency of some churches in similar situations to that of Bryn Mawr Park to turn in on themselves in self-absorbed introversion, hoping as spiritual director Joe McHugh writes, "...to keep warm and alive what stingy traces of hope and life can still be found." McHugh goes on to state, "Just as last winter stubbornly resisted spring's invitation to turn outward toward fresh life, the great temptation of the spiritual quest is to stay stuck in the movement inward, caught in graceless introspection and lonely self-preoccupation. It's a place on condemnation and paralysis, a place without the possibility of completion, much less redemption. Indulge this temptation for too long and we never returning to the human community, opting to remain in desolation, a world without sunlight, rather than taking a chance on consolation, life with others in bright sunlight."

A prayer of Thomas Merton.

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me, I cannot know for certain where it wil end... [But] I know that...you will lead me by the right road, though I ay know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

Living what we are, be open to the mystery that beckons, free enough to trust and daring to live in the presence of God. After all, solitude is so much more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with.

Pastor Win

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