Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost)
As people of God who make up what is called the Church, the body of Christ, how might we “persevere with steadfast faith in the confession” of what we believe? I ask this question because I am reminded daily that each of us walks the journey of faith in a different way. Even as we share the common bond of the Baptismal Covenant and are steeped in a tradition that offers a common Cup from which to drink, our walks are quite different. From colorful, powerful and likely complicated histories, we gather regularly and as we are able indeed to share our paths with others, while seeking always to be steadfast in faith. Our call to discipleship is answered in a variety of ways and we look rightfully to life at St. Peter’s to assist us on the way. Moreover, the gift of each new day presents us with the opportunity to look ahead and explore how we might give thanks for God who blesses us abundantly and loves us unconditionally.
St. Peter’s new vision is to become: a community of bold followers of Jesus, a crowd that effects good change for the world, a place known for radical love and welcome, and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. Let us imagine, become foolish, and prayerfully consider how we – individually and collectively – might move forward as the Church, the body of Christ, with new vision, so that the world might know what we believe. The world needs you and me. It needs all that we are and that we might offer to the glory of God. Ours is a story that must be told by actions which speak louder than word – a story that can transform and bring about new life. I thank God for being the Church with you and anticipate going deeper together both in and beyond this incredible, sacred place.
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector