The Way of Love: On the Journey with Jesus

On Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, I described the Christian year as a journey with Jesus—a journey with him through his birth, baptism, ministry, passion, death, and resurrection. I also invited the congregation to a year of intentionally leaning into that annual journey the Church has given us. Now that we’ve journeyed through Advent and celebrated the birth of Christ, our pilgrimage leads us to those places and events in the life of Jesus where God’s love and grace is revealed in particular and powerful ways.

Beginning this Sunday, January 6, and concluding on February 3, we will unpack the baptismal covenant and prepare for Bishop Greg’s visitation on February 10. Using the curriculum “I Will with God’s Help,” we’ll dig deep into each component of the baptismal covenant each Sunday at 9:15am. I encourage every parishioner to consider making a formal renewal of your baptismal vows at the bishop’s visitation. This formation series will prepare you for that. The series also serves as preparation for Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church. I’m also asking new members or those considering membership to attend this class as part of their introduction to the parish. And for those who are just curious and not really sure about making a formal commitment, you are especially welcome! Forms for renewal of baptismal vows, Confirmation, Reception, and new member registration (with an explanation of each) will be available again this Sunday. I’m particularly excited about this series as it will be something we do together to deepen our faith.

After the bishop’s visit and continuing through the season of Lent, we will continue our journey on “The Way of Love.” Inspired by our Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, this Sunday morning series will explore practices that help us on the journey of Love. Bishop Curry writes:

Before they were called “church” or “Christian,” this Jesus Movement was simply called “the way.” Today I believe our vocation is to live as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement. But how can we together grow more deeply with Jesus Christ at the center of lives, so that we can bear witness to his way of love in and for the world? The deep roots of our Christian tradition may offer just such a path.

Each session will focus on a particular Christian practice, with some time for reflection and practical application. We’re working, too, on activities and events during the week to follow up on what we’ve been learning about and discussing on Sundays, including the possibility of a short retreat at one of the local monasteries.

After Easter, we’ll continue the Journey leading up to Pentecost, which is celebrated on May 31 this year. Pentecost, remember, celebrates not only the coming of the Holy Spirit Jesus promised, but the sending out of the Church into the world to do the work of the Kingdom. During this season, we’ll be very intentional about putting into practice what we’ve learned and discovered throughout Epiphany and Lent about the Way of Love.

As either Fr. Brian or I say every Sunday as we invite you to the Lord’s Table: Let us walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us…”

Fr. Steve+