A New Beginning. We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to a voice saying to us: “I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it! Imagine! – Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)
December 31, 2019
A Message from The Rector
“New Year, New Beginnings”
Dear Grace-St. Luke’s Parish Community:
The 2020th year of our Lord will be a pure gift and new chance to live more fully into what it means to be followers of Jesus. In my sermon for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I offered “Love and Life came down at Christmas – a mysterious and historic birth, which suggests that we will never be the same, and neither will this broken and unreconciled world, if we respond to his birth both with and through our lives.” This means that 2020 will be God’s venture of abundance for us to be unapologetic and even radical followers of Love and Life.
Together, the human family is navigating a society where prejudice, hatred, bigotry, and violence are increasing in explicit, horrific, and hidden forms. This we have been navigating for too long, while God continually calls followers of Love and Life to be God’s partners in co-creating the kingdom of heaven, here and now. With God’s help, our human family experience can change through working with countless others within and beyond familiar circle and spaces. Sadly, we are not talking much about, seeing, or celebrating all the good that also is going on in quiet or public ways. If we were, maybe the rampant evil would go away, and all would be well.
Our resolutions to be beacons of light, hope, justice, and peace, and choices to approach 2020 as a new beginning truly will be partnerships with God to transform the world into the dream of God. The baptismal mission of the Church, the body of Christ, is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. The vision of Grace-St. Luke’s is to be a thriving community of hope, belonging, and healing through worship, parish life, and service, and who rejoices in the love of Jesus to transform the world. May these two aspects of the journey order our steps.
It is my prayer that each Grace-St. Luke’s household will spend time between the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 reflecting on what approaches will be different to partner with God in transforming the world – as followers of Love and Life. Life at GSL in 2020 promises to be new and more thriving through planned and spontaneous offerings for worship, formation, service to others, and fellowship, and whatever else we might do together as a community of faith.
On behalf of the Wardens, Vestry, and Stewardship Co-Chairs, Allison and Steven King, thank you for your investment gifts of time, talent, and money in life at GSL that have and will make it possible for us to focus on our mission and vision. Together, we can do incredible things to support our important presence in the heart of Midtown Memphis. To make a yearend gift today that will offset certain unforeseen expenses, you may do so online. To offer a pledge to the 2020 annual fund, you may so do online. All that we offer, in any amount, will support the Church in responding to a broken and unreconciled world through the power of Love and Life.
God’s peace to you and yours, and blessings as we embrace a new beginning.
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector
901.252.6320 | orencher [at] gracestlukes [dot] org