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Feeding San Antonio with the Bread of Life

by The Rev Beth Knowlton on March 23, 2022

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
—Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent
 
It is not uncommon for you to hear me talking about our core vocation, Feeding San Antonio with the Bread of Life. We do this in so many rich ways in our community. We focus on those hungry for real food, those hungry for knowledge and meaning, and those hungry for beauty and creativity. Most importantly, it names for us that while we have many wonderful things happening on our church property, our vision is larger in scope as we proclaim the gospel from this particular place.
 
This Friday will see a return of a favorite Lenten offering, Music in the Park. It’s a little different this year, scheduled for Friday evening. But we will welcome Mothership and Q: the Music of Queen to allow us to gather off our main property in Travis Park at 7 pm. It will be a chance to see one another and welcome others from the downtown area to share in community life. The gathering in that space has become important symbolically. We have now celebrated Christmas and Easter there, as well as our normal gathering on Palm Sunday and the Easter Vigil fire. Every time the assembled body gathers in the park, we are pointing towards our desire to be in and feed the life of our beloved city.
 
When I first arrived seven and half years ago, there was a lot of energy around making sure our beautiful facilities were a place of meeting and that our ministries were not just inwardly focused. Part of the reason we engaged in the Future Directions appeal was the awareness that we wanted to make sure our staffing was able to handle an expanded reach into the city, and that lingering debt would not prevent our future ministries. Fast forward a bit, and we have found ourselves in a new time of reflection and meaning, radically disrupted schedules, and another chance to let our spaces be available for our common life and the broader community.
 
Construction completion is in sight, and we expect to have regained full use of the property by late spring. As spaces have gradually come back into use, some renovated and others restored, I once again sense that growing of community energy. We are returning and reconnecting with one another. We are starting to imagine what might be on the horizon for us. 
 
Meanwhile, I invited you to continue to drink deeply of this Lenten season and all that it offers. Sign up for the Day of Prayer and Service, and come to as many of the Holy Week liturgies as you can. We will be ready to proclaim a joyous Easter Day before you know it!

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