Letter from Liz: Nov 10, 2020
A Purple Season for a purple church
A purple church
Have you heard the phrase ‘purple church’? I learned it this election season: a church which has people who would count themselves as red or blue or independent sitting side by side in a purple church. I love this idea - the reminder that our faith is so much bigger than any partisan leanings we may each hold (or not). A reminder that we are called to be in the world but not of the world. A reminder that it matters that we care about justice, and law and peace, but may hold different ideas on how best to achieve those goals. That it matters how countries are run and how people come to ethical decisions. It matters that we are all different and that we can all learn from each other. It matters that we care and that we can listen with respect to opinions other than our own, honing what we believe to be true. Together wrestling with how to live out our lives as Christians in the 21C.
But it also matters that Christ is first - that we turn to Scripture for guidance. It matters that we pray and plead with God for mercy. It matters that we each come with our unique gifting to bring to the whole. It matters because we (the church) are here to be the bride of Christ. Katie reminded us so beautifully on Sunday that, as St Cyprian put it:
“No one can have God for his Father, who does not have the Church for his mother.”Cyprian (died 258) On the Unity of the Church
But we come firstly, repentant. The church has failed in so many ways to be the bride of Christ over the centuries. We come humbly, not holding too tightly onto ‘our’ position, but listening carefully to the Holy Spirit and to each other. Katie also reminded us that it is when we have connected with a person, that we are more likely to help them. And so this is a timely reminder that even as this country is still churning and bubbling that we should strive to listen. To connect. To be sure that we know and love those in our pews and our neighbors. Have you found a way to connect with your physical neighbors recently? Could you linger on a sidewalk and chat this week? Could you invite someone to come and sit on your deck or balcony, or go for a walk? We MUST connect with each other if we are to love as Christ loves.
We come prayerful. Let us pray for President-Elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence for election officials and lawyers/judges/journalists. Let us pray for all who govern, or intend to govern. Let us pray for peaceful and careful transitions. Let us pray for this country. And for our church.
A Purple Season
We are approaching the season of Advent. A time when we dress the altar in purple as a reminder that we wait for the birth of our Saviour. The priest will wear a purple stole. We will drape the cross with purple. And this purple is representative, not of two groups with mutual understanding, but of God becoming human, to heal the fundamental rift. We are expectant. Hope filled. Grateful.
If you have perused our ‘Virtual worship’ webpage recently you may have been surprised to see that there is still a 5pm Sunday link. Did you spot it?
SUNDAYS ON YOUTUBE, 5PM
What is this I hear you cry?
Well, once we have all met and worshipped at 11am together on a Sunday morning (One time. Many venues), we are going to also upload the service to YouTube for a 5pm broadcast. For. So. Many. Reasons.
We hope that you will send your friends to check us out by watching it if they are a little wary of jumping into a zoom worship service. It may be a little easier if you’ve not been to church before to watch this as a ‘taster’.
Maybe, if you are out of town and can’t make the 11am you will want to watch and ‘catch up’: not simply to hear the sermon, but to pray the prayers, sing the songs, engage in the eucharist.
We hope that all Incarnation people will make the 11am service their priority week by week, but use this 5pm opportunity as an additional tool to welcome others to come and join our community and worship Jesus together.
This Fall, in this purple season, let’s find ways to connect with our neighbors. To welcome them to come and worship our God who chose to become a baby, in order that he could die our death for us.