A Challenge to Capture and Cultivate Growth

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

One year ago, I accepted Father Ollie’s invitation to serve St. Peter’s as your associate rector. I look back on this year with gratitude for all St. Peter’s has given me, for our community, for our worship and music, for our formation, for our diversity, and for our commitments to social justice and outreach. It continues to be a deep honor and privilege to serve as one of your priests.

At the Vestry Retreat last weekend the parish leaders reflected on our growth and deepening engagement as a community. In 2017 St. Peter’s welcomed nearly 90 new members of all ages, a growth of nearly 10% in active membership. While these numbers are very good, the challenge remains how our parish will capture and cultivate this growth, how we will deepen our commitments to this place, and how we will foster a community to form disciples of Jesus Christ.

Last Sunday, Senior Warden Bert Miano read the above quotation from Saint Teresa of Avila. He highlighted the vestry’s commitment to St. Peter’s, and the need for our entire community to imagine how each of us will commit to St. Peter’s. We are a growing and vibrant parish and our shared future will be determined by how we capture and cultivate that growth. Christ has no body now but yours. No one can support St. Peter’s but you!

As the New Year dawns and as each of us reflect on resolutions and opportunities for 2018, I hope you will consider how you might give of your time, your talent, and your treasure to support this vibrant corner of God’s Kingdom. Christ has no body now on earth, but yours.

Gratefully,

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Associate Rector