Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Newsletter article: A very merry Rebirth-Day to us

On November 21, the Feast of Christ the King, which is our patronal feast, we are having a Rebirth-Day party and everyone is invited! On this day we will mark the end of the celebration of our 150th anniversary. We will also mark this as the day of our rebirth.

There is a rich and varied history that forms our identity at Redeemer. The happy events in our past affirm our hope for the future. The painful moments have made us stronger. Since February, we have been honoring our forebears in the faith at Redeemer. Now the time has come for us to go forward and create our own legacy.

That’s why we are marking this date, the Feast of Christ the King, as the day of our rebirth. All that was, all that went before, is done. It is part of us, but nothing in it hinders us (unless we let it). Claiming our Baptismal promise of being marked as Christ’s own forever, we know that the truth for us is, “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation…everything old has passed away, see everything has become new!” (Col 5:17) It truly is a new day at Redeemer.

On this day, we will remember and give thanks that we have already seen God’s plan at work restoring us, and through us, the world. The Shepherd’s Table is a gift God has given us all. Beyond its fundamental purpose of feeding the hungry, The Shepherd’s Table has restored life to tired souls among us, strengthened relationships with our partners in mission at Westside Praise and Worship, and glorified God who is acknowledged and praised weekly with all who come to eat and serve there. The Shepherd’s Table is for us, a living example of what happens when we trust that God’s grace is sufficient, and that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)

On this day, we will also formally renew our commitment to God and to one another, renewing our baptismal vows together and re-clothing ourselves in love, “which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Col 3:14) This will be our day of Jubilee (Lev 25:8-27:24), our day of release from whatever debt or sin holds us bound. “Forgive us our sin as we forgive those who sin against us…”

As we gather in “holy convocation” (Lev 23:7) at our Rebirth-Day party, we will bring a Rebirth-Day gift. Giving freely and generously to God who has given freely and generously to us, we will return our forms that pledge our time, talents, and financial commitment to the church - an offering set apart for the Lord. (Num 18:28). Watch for these forms to be sent out this week.

Finally, on this day, we will remember the three members of our vestry who will be retiring in December - Karen Lattimore, Brett Niblack, and Maggie Watson – and we will thank them for their faithful leadership these last three years. They have worked hard (and I mean hard) with the vestry to build Redeemer’s new foundation. Because of their devotion, their free gift of their time and talents, Redeemer has been made ready to forge ahead into the new day and the new year God is preparing for us. Don’t forget - the new year for the church begins Advent 1 (Nov 28) and we have another party planned for that - the Advent Festival and Chili Cookoff!

We have so much to be grateful for at Redeemer. So let’s gather up, party hearty, give thanks, and get going creating our legacy! Redeemer has a 150th anniversary remembrance gift for you too when you come! See you there!

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