I have hundreds of CDs, musical, not financial. Once cutting edge technology, these are now in their waning days. My collection of CDs is heavy on Anglican Church music — certainly a niche market. A few years ago, my car was broken into, they took the Garmin, but left 20 or so CDs lying on the passenger’s seat, among which was a 2002 recording called Great is the Lord, anthems sung by the Washington National Cathedral Choir of Boys and Men. My favorite track on that CD is an anthem called “Inherit the Kingdom,” by Lee Hoiby. The words are from the gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25:31-40. Jesus is talking about the work of ministry to the least of these my brothers and sisters. When we give food to the hungry, or drink to the thirsty, or care for the sick, or welcome the stranger, or visit those in prison, we encounter the living God. “In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my sisters and brothers, ye have done it unto me.” The words are beautiful on their own, but when set to music, they are soul stirring. Perhaps that is the reason St. Augustine said, “those who sing, pray twice.”
Our life together is about inviting people to encounter the living God — the God of love and forgiveness, the God of mercy and compassion, the God of hope and new life, the God made flesh in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The God who rejoices with us in good times and comforts us in our sorrows. The God who calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
All of our ministries are in service to that goal of inviting people to encounter the living God. We all have gifts for ministry that God uses to draw us closer to God and to one another. The Spiritual Gifts Assessment that the Human Resources Team of the Vestry compiled, and that many of you completed, is helping us to identify the spiritual gifts of our parishioners and matching them with existing ministries, or potential new ministries. A few of St. Paul’s ministries are in need of additional help at this time and I invite you to consider joining in.
St. Paul’s Meal Train is a ministry that provides home cooked meals to new parents, those recovering from surgery, long term caregivers, and simply as an expression of love and concern for someone going through a time of transition. If you have a gift for cooking, sign up to be part of the Meal Train Ministry. For further information, please contact Laurie Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a gift for gardening, or like to take out your frustrations by pulling weeds, join us for a Garden Party Work Day on Wednesday, March 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to spruce up the church gardens in anticipation of Easter. If you want to volunteer, please contact Pat Scherer at 301-606-3979.
If you have a gift for welcoming friend and stranger, we are in need of ushers for services on Maundy Thursday at 7 p.m., Good Friday at noon, and Easter Day at 8 a.m, 9:15 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. If you want to help, please contact Don Bobo (email@example.com), or me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
St. Paul’s is blessed to have a congregation full of people with gifts for ministry. Our patron, Paul, reminds us that, “the gifts Jesus gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” What gifts can you offer to usher in the reign of God here at St. Paul’s?
Be kind to one another. Be patient. Keep the faith!