Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – Reflections on Annual Convention, Susan Tilt

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Title Sermon Date Liturgical Scripture
Lent 4 March 26, 2017 Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year A Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41
Lent 3 March 19, 2017 Third Sunday in Lent, Year A Psalm 95, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42
Lent 2 March 12, 2017 Second Sunday in Lent, Year A Genesis 12:1-4a, Psalm 121, John 3:1-17
Lent 1 March 5, 2017 First Sunday in Lent, Year A Matthew 4:1-11
Ash Wednesday March 1, 2017 Ash Wednesday, Year A Matthew 4:1-11
Last Sunday after the Epiphany February 26, 2017 Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Matthew 17:1-9
Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany February 19, 2017 Seventh Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Leviticus 19:1-2, I Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23; Matthew 5:38-48
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany February 12, 2017 Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A Deuteronomy 30:15-20; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany February 5, 2017 Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Isaiah 58:1-12; Matthew 5:13-20
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – Reflections on Annual Convention, Susan Tilt January 29, 2017 4th Sunday after the Epiphany Matthew 5:1-12
Third Sunday after the Epiphany January 22, 2017 Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A Psalm 27:1, 5-13, Matthew 4:12-23
Second Sunday after the Epiphany January 15, 2017 Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-12, John 1:29-42
First Sunday after the Epiphany, Baptism of Jesus January 8, 2017 The Baptism of our Lord, Year A The Book of Common Prayer
Epiphany January 6, 2017 Epiphany 2017 Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12
Christmas Day, Year A December 25, 2016 Christmas Day, 2016 Isaiah 52:7-10, Hebrews 1:1-4, Psalm 98, John 1:1-14

 

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – Reflections on Annual Convention, Susan Tilt

Sermon Date:January 29, 2017

Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12

Liturgy Calendar: 4th Sunday after the Epiphany


Walk in Love 

222nd Convention of the Diocese of Virginia

January 26-28, 2017 

Thank you to the Vestry for the privilege of representing you and our congregation. 
It was an honor to be chosen as an alternate delegate and an even greater honor  to serve as the delegate taking Boyd’s place at the convention.  We missed you, Boyd, and thought of you often. 

This was an exciting, energizing, uplifting, inspirational and Spirit filled three days!  

 I loved every minute of it! 

I wish everyone could experience the gathering of Episcopalians as I did.  Our diocese is something very special. 

Following votes for Clergy and Lay delegates to the national convention and other committees, Bishop Shannon presented us with his Pastoral Address.  

He called us to come together as people who need to avoid divisiveness  and to love one another selflessly….saying it is crucial to our life as a diocese, to our identity and community. 

Bishop Shannon recognizes that too many Episcopalians feel disconnected from the diocese  and that the Nicene Council said the diocese was the heart of the church.

With a desire to know us better…

He wants to change the paradigm by shifting the bishops’ visits to one per Sunday and visiting each parish every other year.  

On churches off years the Bishops will visit mid week for meetings or get together…to really get to know the congregants and clergy. 

Ongoing ministries of the diocese include an intercultural ministries office, racial reconciliation, refugee resettlement and a successful pledge campaign for Shrinemont, now being stretched beyond 2 million to 2.5 million. 

There has been impressive growth in the Diocese of Virginia 

124 of 180 churches grew this year 

35 had double digit % growth 

1000 baptisms with 70m adults included 

715 people were confirmed and 45% were adults 

292 people were received into the church 

We heard stories from around the diocese.   Here are two of them… 

Deacon Ed Jones interviewed four people with four different perspectives…a muslim woman with a Phd  who teaches at VTS,  a Latino priest from Harrisonburg, a Republican woman from Alexandria and a white male who has worked in the White House and continues his work in other political arenas.  Though they have differences all had very similar concerns and the same hope for recognizing all people as creations of God. 

A group of students and teachers from St. Stephens St. Agnes told us of their 3rd grade program to interview seniors, identify their individual problems and solve them!  Three young children spoke of their work….work that will continue at the school and will draw more children and more seniors together. 

Our keynote speaker  was Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta.  An enthusiastic preacher  he told us that we walk in love because God made us to walk that way!  To paraphrase Paul in his letter to the Corinthians….walk and that the show on the road!  Love is a walking thing that Jesus compels us to do…so we are to partner together and walk in love. 

And, according to Bishop Wright…love is more art than it is science. 

Bishop Susan Goff ‘s  address was titled Gospel Shoes….how we can walk in love wherever we go,  whatever we do 

 "With God we get other people. That’s the deal. We have a bias. But it is not a partisan bias. It is not a political bias. It is a Jesus bias. Those who follow Jesus get other people. That is the deal. With God we get other people. That’s the deal. Our relationship with God is a vertical.  Our relationship with other, all others, is horizontal. Together these two relationships form the cross, and we are in the middle." 

We live at the heart of the cross.  We are called to respect the dignity of every person. 

And we heard from Bishop Ted Gulick who said he was in his 7th year of Bishop Shannon’s three year invitation! 

He said…

We are more than red or blue, we are ambassadors for Christ. 

-Our leader has no term limit. 

-One person can’t do everything, but one person can do something. 

All of the bishops received a standing ovations and thunderous applause ….and they earned it! 

Other presentations included the ECW and their initiative to bring the issue of human trafficking into clear focus. 

There was a very successful sock drive headed by the deacons.  

An Alcohol Task Force is in place offering hope and resources in addiction recovery.  

And…The budget was approved on one vote.  

Also there was news of the work that continues to reshape our regions in order to share more in ministry, mission and interests. 

I’ve saved the best news for last….Bishop Shannon has appointed Catherine as the Dean of Region one!  I spoke to him on Thursday and he is so pleased  with out priest and her work and the work of St. Peter’s.  I told him how pleased I am to be here. 

Thank you for putting your trust in me.  I’ll try to answer any questions you may have.

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