|A Word (or Two) from the Rector |
A parishioner recently said to me "if someone is looking for a McChurch, St. Mark's is really not the place for them." I suspect that is a somewhat accurate statement of fact. I have never found Christianity to be like a quick meal consumed while on the go. Rather, for me, Christianity is a hearty feast of many meals served over the journey of a lifetime. I am well fed but not sated.
Holy Scripture, the main course of Christianity, is rightly described as an Orchard of Holy Words. In citrus country we know an orchard is of great benefit to those who pick, peel and finally taste the delicious fruit therein. The peeling back of layers of meaning is what is meant by the Tradition. Tradition holds the many and varied efforts of Biblical interpretation passed down through the centuries. Reason provides the inquisitiveness to make sense or merely attempt to make sense of these ancient words of Scripture and Tradition. Scripture, Tradition and Reason are referred to as the three-legged stool of Anglicanism. It takes such a stool to sit comfortably on rough terrain.
I am comfortable sitting within the Episcopal Church. My comfort is not because the Episcopal Church has all the answers to difficult questions. Such answers are not always easy and many certainly beyond my ken to grasp. I am comfortable within this church because many within are not fearful of asking difficult questions about the great moral and ethical dilemmas brought to us by modernity. I am comfortable with the polity of our church. It is bi-cameral and democratic.
Some, however, are not so comfortable with the results of our democratic governance. They seem to be saying that if the elected representatives to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church do not vote their way they will have chosen to walk apart from the Anglican Communion. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can't sit on a three-legged stool if you are taking a stand…vote my way or else. You will know them by their fruit.
So here I sit tending an Orchard of Holy Words. Democracy is at my side doing her work. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Rev. Tom Gibson
St. Mark's Rector