I would like to share some thoughts and feelings with a few of my closest friends if you don't mind...
I like my brain. It has at times served me well. It contains mathematical equations, memories of summers I spent with my granddad building things, as well as a lot of trivial facts. I cannot part with it very easy nor want to. And I appreciate that the Episcopal Church doesn't ask me to do this every time I walk through its doors. At All Saints I feel like I am allowed to roam around the room in the dark until I find the light switch (or someone helps me find the light switch). Many times this has put my soul at ease and inspired me as well.
My heart found a home at All Saints through the kindness of others and the caring atmosphere. I believe it was Father Gary who once said in one of his sermons that the new testament can be viewed as a love story. I must say that feeling began to give me a whole new perspective on my spirituality. It is the understanding of this story that has brought me closer to the Lord than in any other time of my life, and it is the friends I have found at All Saints that have allowed me to share in this experience. It has awakened me to the unconditional love of the Holy Spirit and its inclusion of all souls who receive it. And, I have found it is Jesus Christ's acceptance through the love and mercy he shows all types of peoples and personalities that enriches my experiences in life. The family that I have found at All Saints has helped me understand this condition.
Leo Buscaglia, a famous professor and author who taught a college class in Love, once remarked that, "Love always creates. It never destroys. In this lies man's only promise." This perspective reminds me of the opportunities I have found at All Saints to create and share this love. These opportunities have been many and varied, and have always moved me closer to the Lord.
So, to put it simply, All Saints and the Episcopal Church have expanded my mind, gave comfort to my body, and eased my soul. They have given me shelter when I needed it and offered solace when my soul was troubled. To this I am very grateful. I hope others have found the same.
One of the parts of the service that speaks to me the most is,
This is the table of the Lord
It is made ready for those who love and for those who want to love more.
So come you who have much faith and you who have little.
You who have been here often and you who have not been here long.
You who have tried to follow and you who have fallen short.
Come, because it is the Risen Christ who invites you.
It is the Risen Christ who wants to meet you here.
I can say I have met him, heard him, and felt him at All Saints. I have come to know that the Lord has my back. And, I feel that he has yours as well. I thank him for that and I thank my family at All Saints for being so gracious with its love.
Marc F. Dudley
All Saints Messenger >