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Letter from Amy: May 29, 2024


Ordinary church - where we all serve each other!

Dear Incarnation,


On Sunday, we contemplated and celebrated the mystery of God the Trinity, Three-in-One, eternally Father, Son, and Holy Spirit whose being is a fellowship of outpouring love. Were you away on Sunday? Perhaps you'd like to listen to Katie's sermon or read Becky's post on the Athanasian Creed that we recite on Trinity Sunday.


Now we enter the longest season of the church year: Ordinary Time, sometimes called Growing Time — on Sunday, we'll switch to green linens, the color of growth. Ordinary Time gets its name from the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc) that the church has long used to count Sundays in this season (e.g., Third Sunday after Pentecost). But it is also "ordinary" in the more familiar sense of that word — this is the season in which we focus on the growth, gifts, calling, and actions of the church in the world. And most of that work is exceedingly ordinary, lived out in small moments of faithfulness throughout our everyday lives.


This year, we're starting Ordinary Time with a 4-week sermon series called "Ordinary Church." Two Sunday ago we witnessed the birth of the church through the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost. Last Sunday we contemplated the reality that God is a Three-Personed community of love. So from now until the end of the school year, we will explore what all of this wondrous, miraculous stuff means for us as ordinary people in an ordinary church here at Incarnation.


Our text over these four weeks will be Acts 2:41-47, which describes the church that was formed in the wake of Pentecost:


Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.


This text is a little intense! Incarnation is not growing by the thousands, meeting daily in the temple courts, or holding all property in common — but we share the same spiritual DNA as those earliest Christians, and our ordinary lives have been transformed by the same (rather intense!) Jesus and empowered by the same Spirit. What does ordinary faithfulness look like in our church today? We will explore four ways of being from the Acts text that mark the ordinary life of faith in an ordinary church: Worship, Giving, Peacemaking, and Kingdom Citizenship. (Who knows, God may even inspire us to renewed intensity in some aspect of our lives!)


I'm really excited for this series! If all goes well, we hope to repeat it each year in the Sundays between Trinity Sunday and the end of the school year as a sort of mini-liturgical-season to contemplate our life together before scattering, resting, and reflecting over the summer. We're also hoping to provide some take-away resources for further reflection in the coming weeks.


In other news:


  • Karah Brink from Partners will join us on Sunday to share a bit about her work in the Al Hol refuge camp in Syria. She'll even lead Wild Wonder at 9:30am! We'll pray for her ministry and join her for lunch after the service to learn more.

  • The Atrium (children's faith formation for ages 3-12) year has concluded and we are transitioning to our summer rhythm. This means . . .

  • Wild Wonder meets every Sunday at 9:30am in the Courtyard for children (and adults!) of all ages. Join us for a relaxed time of enjoying creation, scripture, and prayer together each week before church. Email Josie if you have a gift, interest, or skill you'd like to share during this time (past weeks have included shelling beans from the garden, baseball cards, balloon animals, pet snakes, music, tango, and more): josie@incarnationanglican.org.

  • Children worship with us in the sanctuary during the summer months (though nursery is still available for ages 0-3 in the Courtyard). This is how children begin to absorb the rhythms of the liturgy at any developmental stage. Sitting with parents up front close to the action, practicing whispers and soft movements, and using quiet materials on floor mats (provided) near parents are all helpful ways of connecting children to the liturgy while minimizing distractions for other worshipers.

  • Parents are responsible for their children in the service! (This is also true of small groups, retreats, and other church events.) Although friendly volunteers are always around to help, it's the parents' job to ensure that their kids are treating property and people with kindness. Parents, please keep an eye on your children at all times! This is a matter of child safety, and it shows gratitude and respect to our hosts at Drew Elementary and our volunteers who serve so faithfully. Thank you!


Reach out if you'd like to grab coffee, go for a walk, or chat or pray about anything!


Ordinarily yours,

Amy

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