All Saints Messenger - August 11, 2016

posted Aug 11, 2016, 10:25 AM by Church Secretary   [ updated Aug 16, 2016, 3:51 PM ]
  "Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
                                                                                         -Book of Common Prayer, p. 835

When I walked into our June vestry meeting and saw the sign-up sheet for Messenger articles during Father Gary's sabbatical, my heart sank. What was I going to do? Being a man of few words, how was I going to fill this page? I had visions of my junior high English teacher announcing that it was time to turn in an essay that I had not even thought about writing!

Later in the meeting the discussion turned to "How do you know when God answers prayers?" That's when it hit me. God lets me know my prayers are answered the moment I realize no matter how bad I think my situation is, there are many in this world whose situation is worse. During the times in my life when things feel bleak, I am eventually (God's comfort is always there, I just need to do a better job of recognizing it) comforted by the certainty that in the end, I will be better for it. This passage in Romans, chapter 5 comes to mind:

"3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

I am really blessed to be a part of the All Saints family. When I am down, God lifts me up through you. Thanks to each and every one of you for your stories, your relationship and your comfort. It's an honor and privilege to serve you.

John Woodward