In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. (Acts 1:1-2)
Here we are, friends, Christ Church Parish, and indeed everyone on the planet has entered a new era. Not that pandemics are new to the planet; human history records many plagues and famines and natural disasters that altered life for us. Yet today in a profoundly interconnected world where our food, clothing and even our work comes from faraway places. I believe that the church in the next decade will become more localized, our worship more person-centered, and our dependence on the insights of the first Christians more crucial than ever.
I have asked those who meet together in Education for Ministry to reflect on the Acts of the Apostles. In St. Luke’s account of beginnings of the Early Church, I see patterns of life, faith, and care for others that we would do well to emulate. The first believers had no buildings, no clergy, and only the most basic understanding of the sacraments that we treasure. Their reliance on the Holy Spirit to guide their decisions and embolden their witness enabled them to transform from a few dozen Galilean followers of the Rabbi Jesus to an interconnected body of believers that stretched from Italy to Egypt, and embraced Roman, Greek, Syrian, Egyptian and Ethiopian cultures and ways.
During the two weeks from April 20 to May 2 you will receive a reflection from a member of the CCPKI family. They have been given a chapter to read, but I have asked them to find one moment in the chapter to reflect on. This is less about investigating everything in Acts and more about finding a single gem to treasure.
I am deeply grateful to the leaders and students of EfM. I know that their program is strenuous and the times we face are stressful. At the same time, I have heard about their gratitude for what they have learned and their desire to give back.
Please join me and the Christ Church Parish EfM group as we reflect on what God was, and is, and will be doing for our members and for the whole world.