An Instrument of Grace
A reflection from David Tate, Vestry Member
Dear siblings in Christ,
Lent is intended as a time of reflection. It seems there is so much upon which to reflect; mostly negatives. The senseless tragedy in Ukraine; the paradox of how Ukrainian refugees are being welcomed versus the treatment of Iraqi, Syrian, Afghani, Yemeni, Sudanese and other refugees; and at the same time African and Asian students encountering discrimination while trying to flee the horrors in Ukraine; and here at home growing violence against Asian Americans accompanied with legislative assaults on trans people, women’s reproductive rights and the very right to vote itself. It appears the evil one is busily at work undermining the core value of our faith which is hope.
Yet this is where I find the Spirit once again present and active. Yes evil does exist in the world and we are called to confront it. We as a people are called to follow Christ’s example as he humbled himself to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus submitted to unspeakable pains in order to fulfill God’s greater glory and make us whole. We too are called to sacrifice some part of ourselves in order that the Spirit may empower us for the greater good. We are called to reflect on ourselves and our lives.
Lent is the traditional time for us to take stock and engage intensely in that reflection. We do so knowing that this discipline is meant to draw us closer to God and prepare us for the Easter miracle. Even in the darkest times we are people of faith who know the Son will rise.
I have been a member of this parish for approaching 40 years and an Episcopalian Christian since baptism in infancy. I have been a Co-Warden of this parish twice and a member of vestry for more years than I remember. I have witnessed many transitions both positive and negative and watched us uplift many to ordained ministry including our soon retiring Diocesan Bishop Ian. I have also witnessed the Spirit’s power in the birth and growth of our lay ministries.
Around 1990 then Canon Jack Spaeth met with the parish and pronounced that, based on our finances, we had about five years before we could no longer sustain ourselves, leave alone call a full time rector. He has since passed to God’s glory. We remain; stronger than ever. Since that time we have begun revisioning our worship space and our relationships with the greater New Haven community. I truly believe the Spirit is active and God is continuing to use us as an instrument of grace.
Let us take the time to reflect with joy as we embrace the hope that God inspires in and through us. In the name of the One who was and is and is to come. Amen.
David Tate, Vestry
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