There is a lot happening at St. Paul’s. It may seem odd to realize this at first; we’re used to hearing all of the announcements about things happening on Sunday mornings in worship or in our socializing during breakfast or the hospitality hour. But as I sit here and write this folks from around Wilmington are arriving in St. Paul’s parking lot to drop off donations of food to support the mission of Nourish NC. Our music program is providing live streaming concerts on Friday afternoons. We are worshiping together on Sundays via our live stream and we are praying Morning Prayer and Compline together on Tuesdays and Thursdays; Adult Christian Formation is committed to offering virtual programming throughout the summer months. Just yesterday the vestry met to both lay the ground work for the implementation of the strategic plan as well as present the search committee with their charge. Both of these will require ongoing discernment and discussion with the entire congregation as we get further along in the process. This time of social distancing has separated us physically, but we remain the Church; in particular the body of Christ at St. Paul’s.
Yet while we are doing a lot, I believe this time has offered us as a congregation and as people of God an opportunity to listen, pray, and discern where God is calling us to show up and bear witness. One way we at St. Paul’s are actively listening is through the Sacred Ground dialogue series on race in America. I am grateful to Ellen Weig and Royster Hedgepeth in joining me in facilitating two small groups; we have 26 parishioners engaged in these discussions. I ask your prayers as we walk this journey together through the end of October.
Many of you have asked, “What can St. Paul’s be doing to work towards racial healing in our own community?” I have often responded with an honest, “I’m not sure. What is God calling us to do?” It is my prayer that those of us engaged in listening and discerning through the work of Sacred Ground and those who are engaged in their own discernment around that question will hear God’s voice on our journeys. I believe God is already speaking through our questioning. As we continue with Sacred Ground I am certain we will be challenged in our assumptions and disquieted by the experience of others all the while being affirmed in our faith that God is already ahead of us calling us to continue. I ask your prayers for this group and our conversations as they relate to the ongoing life of St. Paul’s. I also welcome your questions as well as your concerns. These conversations are important. Through them we draw on our faith in the promise and power of resurrection and new life for us all.
May God’s peace and blessings go with you,
The Rev. Adam Pierce
P.S. The Food Drive
Continues today (6-25) through Sunday. Please bring your donations of canned spaghetti sauce, hearty soups, canned vegetables, canned meat (chicken/tuna), peanut butter, jelly, cereal boxes, and mac and cheese to St. Paul’s between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Thank you to all who have already donated!