November 12, 2015

posted Nov 12, 2015, 12:03 PM by Church Secretary
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

I read a blog this week that I'd like to share with all of you, it was authored by Maggie Nancarrow and it speaks about what we find important and central to our faith as Episcopalians and as parishioners at All Saints, Gastonia.
Recently there has been some pretty vial discussions online about "The War on Christmas." To do so is not the true Jesus movement, it is not our religion. The way of truth and life, the way of resurrection and restoration and reconciliation, THAT is our religion. Let's start talking about ourselves as if that's true.  As our new Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry said in his investiture sermon, "If it's not about love, it's not about God."
So, here are some ways that we can describe who we are that don't begin with "But I'm not..."
1. I am a Progressive Christian, and I believe that God loves me and you and everybody exactly as they are, unconditionally.
2. Yet, God loves us too much to leave us that way-I am a Progressive Christian because I believe that God is always pushing me to grow in love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self.
3. I am a Progressive Christian, because I believe that my God actually chose to be human like us-and live the beautiful, painful, messy life of a human just like us-solely to love us better.
4. I am a Progressive Christian, because I believe that God rose from the dead in order to prove how much we are loved.
5. I am a Progressive Christian, because I believe that my God gives me the tools-and the command-to spread the story of resurrection and love to those who need it most.
6. I am a Progressive Christian, because I believe that I-and all people-are invited to find healing from all pain, sorrow, and failure at God's table during communion.
7. I am a Progressive Christian because I believe that through Jesus, God declared that death, hate and oppression are never the last word.
8. I am a Progressive Christian, because I believe that, in our very busy world, my Christian faith offers me a time to slow down and take my relationships seriously.
9. I am a Progressive Christian, because I believe that, in our divided and fearful world, my Christian faith offers me a way to live into connection, belonging, and trust.
10. I am a Progressive Christian, because I believe that racism, and sexism, and all the isms that separate us from seeing each other as full humans, are sins against God, and in faith, we are called to stand up against them.
So there you have a view of Christianity that I believe many are seeking in the world today and All Saints can be a place of respite for those who have been hurt and marginalized for a very long time.  May we always focus on God's love and the understanding that all are welcome and loved.

Blessings,
Gary+
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