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  • Writer's pictureThe Rev. Beth Knowlton

Community in Motion

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

What a joyful return to our nave this past Sunday. The lighting is striking in its brilliance, and while that shows off our space, my favorite part was seeing your faces clearly! No more hiding in the back rows, we are all bathed in light. It is a wonderful metaphor for what we think happens as the people of God. Regardless of how many dark forces are present in our world, we claim that we are still able to turn to the light. This is not a moment of naive wishful thinking; it is a real posture of faith and requires flexibility, teamwork, and trust in community.

 

We demonstrated that so faithfully this summer. The joy with which we worshipped in Gish Hall, the transition to a new service schedule, intergenerational formation with breakfast, and praying in Bethlehem Chapel have all been faith in motion. It’s a change and some of us revel in that while others struggle a bit. Sometimes I feel both at the same time. I love the energy that comes from something new, and I also really like routines and the known. If you think about our way of praying as a community, that is what we do throughout the liturgical year. Much of the service stays the same, and other parts change each week. It’s a good metaphor for life.

 

I just returned from some wonderful time of retreat. As usual, I find similar insights each time I slow down enough to discover my own rhythms. What was most precious this time was veryregular prayer. Saying the office in community with silence each morning, stopping at noon when the Angelus bell rang out, having afternoon Eucharist, and concluding the day with night prayer all gave me a deepening sense of grounding in God. I love to imagine that I can uphold that schedule here in San Antonio, but the reality is that while the rhythms are still present, they are not always so regular. So, I reflect on what are the most essential gifts of that time? Who are the people that help me keep to those rhythms.

 

This is the same process all communities are in all the time. We were particularly obvious in our physical movement from space to space this summer, but the journey of faith is always one that is on the move. We need to honor the practices and the people who help us stand with our faces turned towards the light. We claim that through Christ we can find the grace and power to accomplish that which we are called to do. Our community did that in impressive ways these past weeks and I give thanks to all who so joyfully made this possible. Now, let’s enjoy the light!

 

Peace, Beth +

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