Matthew 17:20 New International Version (NIV)
...Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible.
It's winter in Wilmington, which is such a funny time...one day it is 70 degrees, the next day only 45 degrees, and there is frost at night. Tonight, it's cold.
And I'm dreaming of iris blooms, sweet basil, sunflowers, and perhaps even the mustard seed Jesus talked about in Matthew.
We'll get back to the mustard.
First, I want to remind you of two big events at Holy Cross in February: 1) The Wine Experience on Feb. 10. I hope you'll come and bring friends for an evening of fellowship and enjoying some wine and chocolate in the spirit of Valentine's Day...all proceeds go to the Priest Quest Fund (we're almost there! only @ $7000.00 to meet the goal!) 2) Bishop Skirving joins us in worship on Feb. 26 at 10:15. He will be confirming some of our young people, and others will reaffirm their faith during the service. Afterwards, we'll have a reception. Please come! No 8:00 that day...we want to all join together to welcome our Bishop, and hear his encouraging words about our Priest Quest.
So, as to the mustard...we at Holy Cross are preparing our hearts and minds to welcome a new priest who will worship with us, serve with us, and lead us. This will be a change for our parish, as we've had wonderful part-time leadership with Fathers Dick Warner, Ed Dunlap, Jerry Gallagher, and Deacon Andy Atkinson. But 2017 should be the year that we invite a Priest to be our full-time leader...what will that mean for us as a parish?
At our annual vestry retreat, we heard from Bill Anlyan, former Senior Warden at St. Paul's Episcopal here in Wilmington. Four years ago, St. Paul's searched for a priest through the PIC (Priest-in-Charge) process, and found their current priest, Dena Whalen. Bill was very animated in sharing with us that the process was not completely smooth...there were bumps as in every road we travel in life. But the vestry challenged the parish to go into the search with open hearts and minds, and to be determined to "love and support this person to succeed in the position." St. Paul's is growing in leaps and bounds...the parish has been revitalized with Dena's leadership. This process can work well!
Serving as a priest is not a typical job...think of the hospital calls, the telephone counseling, the sermons to prepare, the committee meetings, the community outreach and service to lead. And we at Holy Cross are hoping to find a priest who is excited by our current model of lay-leadership. Bill encouraged us to go forward in faith...we need to have as much faith as could be contained in a mustard seed, and we have God's promise that we can move mountains, that we will find and support someone special - someone to lead and be part of our Holy Cross family.
Please be praying for the person God has already chosen to come to Holy Cross! And let's be praying for ourselves, that we open our hearts and minds to love this new priest, and be ready for the changes that will come.
(By the way, Canon Matt Stockard told us before Christmas that we have had several great applicants for the job...we expect to hear something from him about a candidate after the Convention in New Bern, Feb. 2-4, 2017)
Peace and mustard seeds!