The Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents
New Altar Cloth in Memory of Bob Bregler
Sunday, 9 July 2017
Exactly 135 years ago today- Sunday, 9 July 1882- Bishop Scarborough led the first service in the original church building; since the building was a freehold, he consecrated it at that first liturgy..... and here we are 135 years later, still saying our prayers and laboring in behalf of The Gospel. What a blessing and privilege.
Dear Friends in Christ:
Garrison Keillor has said, “You can become a Christian by going to Church about as easily as you can become an automobile by sleeping in the garage.”
I love that aphorism. It speaks well of the distance between the forms, observances and customs of life, and our hearts’ true engagement with life…. a distance often that is vast.
For millions, life is a spectator sport to which is given laser-precise Monday morning commentary never having done anything other than observing- as though their genuine vocation is to offer indifferent and indolent observation, and unasked pithy opinions about everything from the national economy to another’s wardrobe. Many would just as soon watch and mutter sage-toned arrogance as they would participate, and in so doing risk something. Sometimes prior experience has taught us to shy away- recalling past sufferings that train us to not risk any more. For others, cumulative experience has tired them, and they’re content to be passive because it requires less energy. In any case, our desires, our longings for fulfillment, our envy of others, and our weariness simply lead us still to feel obligated to our visions somehow, but we hope it will take no more than sleeping in the garage will make us an automobile.
There is such sadness, disappointment, and lowered expectation in the World. Like all other aphorisms, Keillor’s is funny because it’s True.
Summer’s here. It’s always fair to take stock when the Sun’s angle changes, and the water warms up, and the pace of life on our Island quickens. What are you going through the motions about? What retains your begrudged or beleaguered allegiance, but not your heart? Is there any way you can stop sleeping in that garage, hoping to become that automobile? I pray so.
What ministry in your life is righteously and rightfully completed, and needs to be lovingly acknowledged and set down? Do you have the courage to let it be ended?
What ministry in your life awaits you? What ministry engages you, and fires your imagination, and animates both prayer and outward action in your life? That’s the place where you are already becoming Keillor’s automobile, and don’t have to sleep in the garage. That place makes you dream of things that you are willing to risk, in your own behalf, in behalf of The Gospel, in behalf of the World.
My prayer for you as Summer goes on is that you will find the garage where you are already the automobile, and celebrate that. My prayer as well is that you’ll get up off the floor of the garages you’re sleeping in hoping to become an automobile that you’re not and never will be...get up off that floor before you catch your Death.
Love you. See you in Church.
Perhaps you're a visitor on Long Beach Island. Maybe you haven't been in Church for a while and would like to start back. Whatever is going on in your life, you are welcome at Holy Innocents. Your past affiliations don't mean nearly as much to us as your present affiliation with us.
410 South Atlantic Ave
between Atlantic and Beach)
Beach Haven, New Jersey 08008