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Letter from Amy: Sept 27, 2023


Saint Francis preaching to the birds, Giotto, c. 1295-1300. Be prepared for scenes like this next week at Greenbrier!

Dear Incarnation,


This morning our pastoral team gathered, as we do on Wednesdays, to pray for the people, needs, and hopes of this church. It really is such a privilege to be your pastor, to carry your griefs and joys to God in prayer, and to witness the Spirit at work in your lives and in our community.


I continue to appreciate the discussions on the Sunday sermons that have carried on into the week. Forgiveness for enemies, grace for undeserving people...this is the gospel of the upside-down kingdom and it's so good to wrestle with it together.


I'm also REALLY looking forward to next week's Feast Day of Saint Francis! On Wednesday, October 4, from 3-5pm on the lawn outside Greenbrier Baptist Church (5401 7th Rd S) we will celebrate Saint Francis with a short liturgy and a "blessing of the beasts," praying for God's loving care of the animals he has made and entrusted to our care. Please bring your dogs, cats, guinea pigs, snakes and beetles (or is that just my house?!) for an afternoon enjoying God's creation together.


We are also opening this event up to our neighbors around Greenbrier, including the large group of parents, aunties, neighbors, siblings, babysitters, and pets who assemble on the lawn each day for the school bus drop-off. Our friends at Coracle will join us in the fun! Please join me in praying that this event would be a meaningful time to meet, pray for, and relax with our neighbors.


It's easy to turn Saint Francis Day into something cutesy and, frankly, a little strange. But Saint Francis wasn't just a nature lover who preached to birds (though as a birder, I'm not opposed...). He renounced his family fortune and lived a life of simplicity in solidarity with the poor and marginalized for whom Christ died. His feast day is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our unique vocation as Jesus' followers in the world, and to listen for the ways creation is groaning for redemption and blessing. How might God be inviting you to follow him more wholeheartedly? To proclaim his kingdom with your life and words? To bless some aspect of his creation by your care and stewardship? You may want to pray this collect as part of your reflection:


O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility: grant that by walking in Francis' footsteps, we may follow your Son, and through joyful charity come to be united with you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


We've never observed Saint Francis Day before, so in the great tradition of Incarnation, we'll "try stuff" and see how it goes! Hope to see you and all your fluffy or scaly friends.



Also...


  • If you are a member of Incarnation, please read the bios of our slate of vestry candidates and pray about who will help lead our church in this next season. We will open voting on October 8 and elect 3 new vestry members.

  • The fall retreat is just a week and a half away! We will send out information later this week with details for packing and preparing. There are still a few slots for those who want to sign up. Please remember, there is NO CHURCH ON OCTOBER 8 at Drew Elementary - we'll be on retreat!

  • We will hold a parish meeting immediately after church on Sunday, October 15. Please plan to stay to hear important updates about our church's finances, vestry, and more.

As always, please reach out to me and Katie if you would like to pray or talk or ask questions about anything - we love to hear from you!


Love,

Amy

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