Dear Friends in Christ,
If you have read C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia as a child, you may remember the talking mouse, Reepicheep. In the final book of the series, standing at the edge of what is, allegorically, God’s kingdom, he issues an invitation, repeatedly: “Higher up and deeper in!” No matter how far people follow him, there is more still to discover.
I have been thinking of this model of faith as we might live it at Grace Church. We are blessed with pillars of this community who have worshipped here their entire lives and held significant leadership positions. And we have people who signed up for this email last week. All of these people are equally precious, equally full of potential, and equally in need of growth.
Summer is a natural time to step back and reassess our commitments and how they fit in our lives. In this ordinary time, we think about how we grow as disciples.
What does going higher up look like for you? What would it mean to move deeper into love, proclamation, and service?
If you have been here a long time, I encourage you to consider where new depth in your relationship with Christ and his church might be found. Is there a way that your wisdom might be leveraged for the good of this community? Is there a change in our common life that has sparked something in you?
If you have been here a few years, see where your knowledge of this parish might be deepened by offering your leadership. (People are often afraid of offering themselves as “leaders”—so perhaps the word “organizer” sits easier with you.) Once you know how to set up the coffee pots, it’s a short step towards organizing a reception. The church’s greatest need is not worker bees; it is individuals who are willing to step up and take initiative and ownership.
If you are brand new? Get to know this parish through a low-threshold ministry, especially one that allows for connection with others. Some ideas:
• Volunteer at the Food Pantry, a Carpenter’s Shelter dinner, or Brown Bag lunch.
• Sign up to lead Children’s Chapel for one Sunday in the summer.
• Look for a place you might serve in worship: sing in the choir (no weeknight rehearsals in the summer), try one Sunday with the Altar Guild in the sacristy, or sit in with the Livestream team behind the video console.
• Bring cookies for coffee hour. (The clergy request chocolate.)
And if you’re stumped? Talk to me or Father Santi. We love conversations about ministry and discipleship.
I hope your summer is full of blessings, and that it offers you new opportunities to discover what it means to be a child of God in this place.
Yours in Christ,