I'm home! I've missed you! I'm so grateful to all of you, and to our AMAZING STAFF, for the opportunity to go away for two Sundays. Thank you for praying for me and my family.
We went to England for ten days and had such an incredible time exploring and hiking in London, Yorkshire, and the Lake District. I read novels (Turtles All the Way Down, recommended by Nadia; A Tale of Two Cities, recommended by Trent), walked a million miles every day, slept deeply every night, napped on trains, prayed at ancient sites, paid homage to writers whose works formed me (my first love is literature), learned a new city, wandered vintage markets, soaked in a stunningly beautiful countryside, and caught up with the dearest of old friends.
I expected to come home exhausted, and in one sense, I did; the soles of my hiking shoes are worn thin and my legs are still a bit sore. But the trip was also deeply refreshing in ways I didn't anticipate. It felt like a pilgrimage to so many people and places that had formed my imagination from my childhood until today. There was beauty and wonder at every turn. I even bumped into a living hero of mine, the poet-priest Malcolm Guite, outside a London pub! I'm full to the brim with stories, memories, and reflections, and I'm sure I'll share more in the coming weeks and months.
But for now, I want to draw your attention to a few wonderful things coming up at Incarnation:
This Thursday, we will hold a Healing Eucharist at 7pm at Greenbrier Baptist Church. This is the first of what we hope will become a quarterly service. This service is for anyone who would longs for healing of any kind — spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, circumstantial. In other words, this service is for everyone. We are all in need of God's healing, even when we don't feel that need acutely; that is simply part of being human in a broken world. Please consider coming even if you don't have anything in particular for which you seek healing. You can expect an unhurried atmosphere of quiet reflection, with unpressured opportunities to receive prayer if desired. You can also expect an atmosphere of order and safety, as we encounter the healing work of God within the predictable framework of the liturgy. I know some in our congregation have experienced spiritual manipulation in "healing" spaces, and I want to say clearly that this is not that. It will be very good, and I'm so glad to be offering this service on a regular basis from now on. Katie's helpful blog explains more.
Throughout August, we've been praying for our partner of the month, Justice Ventures International (JVI). Todd Fisher from JVI will worship with us this Sunday; we'll pray for him during the service, and then we'll head out to lunch together on the Pike to learn more about his work. In addition to his current justice work, Todd's a fellow priest and former church planter, and I know you'll enjoy getting to know him as much as I have!
The fall retreat is October 6-8, and registration opens today! Read all about the retreat and then register. And please consider giving an hour or two of your time to helping with our kids at the fall retreat! There's a place to indicate this on your registration form.
Vestry nominations are open through the end of the month. Please read more, pray, consider who might fill this important leadership role in our church, and then nominate them by sending an email to email@example.com.
There are so many opportunities to pray with our community throughout the week on Zoom. Consider joining us Tuesday and Thursday midday prayer at 12pm, men's morning prayer at 7am Thursday, and women's morning prayer at 7am Friday. Links to join all prayer times are on our Online Worship page.
I hope to see you Thursday. And then again Sunday. And many times after that — I've missed this community. It's good to be home.
Your refreshed priest,