My dear family in Christ,
This Sunday will be the 25th Sunday after Pentecost and we are looking forward to welcoming the Chaplain from Westminster Point Pleasant, Dino Silvestrii. He will be speaking with us about the special ministry and spiritual needs of retirees and those living in assisted living communities. It is my hope that hearing from Dino and benefitting from his experience in chaplaincy will help us be better equipped to reflect effectively on our own ministry to retirees.
Our theological reflection in community segues nicely with our discussion last week on belief in mission. We learned that people give joyfully to organizations when they believe in the mission of the organization. Our mission is to see lives transformed by God’s grace, and we are only just beginning to discover the ministry God can accomplish through our community.
A second reason people give joyfully to an organization is because they believe in its leadership. The more I think about this basis for giving, the more I am drawn to a negative example. Perhaps you remember seeing this event on your relatively new color television set. Then president Richard M. Nixon was addressing the nation in response to the allegations being leveled in the aftermath of the Watergate break-in. He said, “People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.” To which he responded, “Well I’m not a crook.” This response proved not to be very effective, so in seeking to instill confidence in the leadership of our Church I will refrain from telling you I’m not a crook!
What I will tell you is that we have a vestry that works very hard and is committed to the health and longevity of our community. Personally, my leadership goal as Rector is to keep our ministry and office staff focused on the goals of ministry. We are here: 1) to glorify God; 2) to edify one another in our faith; and 3) to love the world in the hope of bringing everyone into relationship with God and with us. I direct our staff to always ask themselves if what they are doing is contributing to these three goals. If it is not, then it is not a priority.
This advice is good for all of us because ministry and mission are not the responsibility of some, but of all of us. Keeping these goals in mind can help us become stronger disciples of Jesus. Together we can accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God; I pray you will keep these goals in mind as you are prayerfully considering your estimate of giving.
Grace and Peace,
Lectionary page for 2021:
The Online Book of Common Prayer:
State of Florida COVID-19 page:
Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 page:
Diocesan of Southwest Florida Covid-19 Page: