Dear Friends in Christ,
Where do you find God?
The Feast of Saint Francis is often celebrated by blessing animals. (We’re doing that, of course—come Sunday, October 3, at 4:00 p.m. to the Saint Francis garden, just to the left of the tower entrance to the church building.)
But Francis was more than an animal lover. He experienced a profound connection with all creation—with Brother Sun and Sister Moon (as he named them), delighting in the natural revelation of God’s glory. That connection gave him the security and confidence to embrace a life of poverty, letting go of his family’s inherited wealth to instead become a wanderer, a citizen of the world. He saw God everywhere and so pursued God everywhere.
We tend to look for God more narrowly. We are used to meeting God in church, of course. One of the pandemic challenges for many of us was being denied access to God in the typical place. One of the pandemic blessings for some of us—not as many of us, I am afraid—was meeting God in new places.
On this Saint Francis Day, I encourage you to look and see if God is waiting somewhere new for you. The legacy of Francis a reminder that God is in this precious creation: in the yellowing sycamores, in tidal waters of the Potomac, on the monarch butterflies that come wafting through our neighborhoods from time to time.
And I have an invitation particularly for those of you who have been uncomfortable returning to indoor church—stay outside with me. I am working with Father Pete Nunnally at Saint Mary’s Church in Arlington to sponsor “Wilderness Church” this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. at Roosevelt Island. We’ll have a flat walk, some good conversation and music, and a sharing of the eucharist.
This church may not be for everyone. (If you are happy back indoors, thanks be to God! I’ll be back at 10:30 for our choral eucharist, and glad to be there.) But it is meant for those who are still seeking the right way to meet God in the wake of the disruption of the past year and a half.
Wherever you go looking, I know God wants to meet you. I hope you find him.
Yours in Christ,