We strive to know Christ more deeply and bring others to his redeeming grace.
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” - John 20:19-23 (NRSV).
Where is the Spirit moving? Apparently like the resurrected Christ, it can move through locked doors. Many of us have spent more time inside lately for fear (a reasonable fear) that we might spread COVID - 19. However, just because our doors are closed doesn’t mean the Spirit is not alive and well. The Spirit indeed is moving. We may wonder, and it may seem as though the Spirit, like us, is a little confined. Not so. The Spirit is always up to something.
One way the Spirit is moving at St. Bede and in our community is through the gift of an $8,500 dual purpose grant from the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon Fund. We were able to use $5,000 from this grant to help needy neighbors at this critical time through our neighborhood food bank at Solid Life Center. The other $3,500 of that money will be used to help buy equipment needed to permanently stream worship services from St. Bede’s. We hope to have that up and running by the end of July. The labor to assemble this amazing gift of hope and spiritual sustenance, is being donated by our own Aaron Sackett and other church friends. Another sign of the Spirit’s movement is that we have been able to purchase a new organ console through generous community donations and we hope to have it installed in the near future. Jeannine and David Jordan have donated countless hours to ensure that we have just the right instrument, and Kerry VanderZanden and Travis Powers have been taking care of logistics. What an amazing gift. Thank you all, and thanks be to God.
I am thankful also for the Spirit’s gift of a much-needed vacation coming this month. During that time Wade and I hope to patch together some kind of graduation celebration for my daughter Abby and celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. My vacation will be from June 21-July 18. The Rev’d Jane Besse will be covering for me as presider and for pastoral care while I am gone.
One final thing is that St Bede’s is discerning how to open the church safely for face to face worship with a potential opening date of July 26, pending the Bishop’s approval. If you haven’t heard from one of our BAC members recently, you should be hearing shortly. I appreciate your taking time to talk with them about your perspective so that we can have a better sense for how best to worship face to face.
May the Spirit guide us in the days ahead,
MESSAGE FROM OUR VICAR
ST. BEDE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1609 Elm St. Forest Grove, OR