the diolight WEDNESDAY, 24 July 2013
Vol. 1, Iss. 10
Leaning Into Our Longings When there is a big change in life, it is normal to ask “what now?” or “who will take care of me?” or “what should I do?” Our feelings in this moment are no different. On the news of Bishop Paul’s resignation some of us grieve, while others of us are eager for something new. All of us seek the stability of God’s reign and long for the fulfillment of God’s promises. So when we hear Jesus’ disciples ask to be taught how to pray, (Luke 11:1-13)� we tilt our heads and lean in. Their question is ours.
Jesus starts with the basics and so points to some truths about us and God: God is holy (we are ordinary); feed us (we are hungry); forgive us as we forgive (we are broken and need healing); save us from trial (we are uncertain). And he teaches us to be persistent. I am grateful for the Rev. Suzanne Guthrie’s weekly self-guided retreats on the lectionary.� This week she notes how “Asking, longing, begging the kingdom to manifest fully within us and around us is… the most natural state of be-
1. goo.gl/Ds7EwF 2. edgeofenclosure.org 3. edgeofenclosure.org/proper12c.html
Canon Andrew Gerns* ing and Jesus' prayer satisfies the need of expression.”� As our Diocesan community begins this time of change, it is absolutely essential that we ground ourselves in prayer. It is every bit as important that we persist, just as Jesus taught his friends, especially in the face of uncertainty. Jesus teaches his friends to lean into our longings because that is where we find hope.
* Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Easton and President of the Standing Committee, Diocese of Bethlehem
The Saint Matthew’s Society The St. Matthew’s Society recently held its tenth annual reception honoring those who have made a planned gift or left provisions for their church or the Diocese in their wills. It was a lovely affair with over 65 members in attendance. Bishop Jack was the key note speaker thanking people for their generosity and commenting that many parishes today would not be alive without the generosity of those who came before us. The mission of the St. Matthew’s Society is three-fold: to help parishioners develop living wills, to help plan our funerals and burials, and
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to instruct people how to make a will, including a provision for their church in new wills or codicils in existing wills. Less than thirty percent of Episcopalians with wills have made provisions for the church in their wills. When asked why, they say they were never asked. These same generous people have left gifts for schools, hospitals, medical research but not to Christ’s church. The goal of the St. Matthew’s Society is to create a greater awareness of the need and ease of leaving a gift to the church and to help people fulfill that need.
Charlie Barebo* Parishes all over the diocese have benefited from gifts, large and small. We rest in the shade of trees planted by others. I often ponder how I can help insure my children’s grandchildren are baptized in an Episcopalian church. One of my responsibilities is to pass on my faith by leaving a gift to the church in my will. What trees will we plant for those who follow?
* Missioner for Development, Diocese of Bethlehem
This is the bi-weekly bulletin publication from the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.