ALMIGHTY AND EVERLASTING GOD, INCREASE IN US THE GIFTS OF FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY; AND, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN WHAT YOU PROMISE, MAKE US LOVE WHAT YOU COMMAND; THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO LIVES AND REIGNS WITH YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD, FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN.
Dear siblings in Christ, The Collect above (this Sunday’s Collect) is scheduled for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost in The Book of Common Prayer. Do you remember Pentecost? Does it seem to you like it was only twenty-one Sundays ago? Amid the conflict, anxiety, and polarity of 2020 I find great comfort in the clear and unitive acknowledgement that we need God’s help to even have the hope of following God. Moreover, we need the gifts of faith, hope, and charity if we are to love what God commands. And, what does God command? That we love one another as God loves us. You will soon receive a pledge card in the mail for the 2021 Annual Giving Campaign. I ask you to prayerfully discern how you might give back to God through the Church of Our Saviour in the coming year. For obvious reasons, this campaign will be different from every other Annual Giving Campaign, and there is a strong argument to make that it will be one of our most important. We are asking for the return of as many pledge cards as possible by Sunday, November 1, 2020. Online pledge cards are also available, for those who prefer, by going to www.cosepiscopal.org and clicking on the “pledge” button. Here’s an interesting historical fact: when Thomas Cranmer updated the medieval prayer above to be included in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, he made sure to change its words from “that we may deserve to obtain what you promise” to “that we may obtain what you promise,” in order to eliminate any reference to our own merit in the exchange. I think we could all use more faith, hope, and charity in 2021. We could certainly use some more love. I have never been more mindful of my own need for God’s undeserved grace freely given to us in Jesus Christ, as well as my need for faith, hope, and charity if I am to love as God loved us first. I pray that the Church of Our Saviour might have the faith, hope, charity, and love in 2021 to be the church God is calling us to be. Would you please join us? Faithfully, Jeff+
The Rev. Jeffrey D.S. ThornbergOctober 23, 2020