" H e y   A l l "
           Notes from the Vicar of Grace
              inclusion service discovery gratitude
The Rev. Bill Harper

Hey All--

I do think that Sunday will be a fun day at Grace.  Really.  And rich and inspiring and important.  I think we know that our Bishop, Greg Rickel, will be with us at both services.  This is what Bishops do.  They travel around and every Sunday they show up at one of the congregations in the Diocese.  They preach, they bless, and most of all they remind us that we are connected to a larger, broader church--one that reaches around the world and back through time.  That's the important part--to be reminded that we are part of something that is deeper and bigger than our life at Grace.

And Greg is fun to be around.  He's vibrant, smart, friendly--and a fine preacher.  It's also his birthday on Sunday, so we plan to bless him even as he is here to bless us.  Of course we've also put time and thought into the plans for Sunday's service.  Because Bishops only drop by once every three years we do tend to get a little excited--and pour some energy into the day.  The music will be wonderful, and folks have been working all week simply to help Grace look and feel its best (thank you!).  I know that I want the Bishop to feel the life and energy that we experience in this community.  And yes, I want lots of us here--so that this experience is one that we can share with each other.

At the center of that experience there is something very rich.  On Sunday a large group of Grace folk will be making a very public commitment to re-affirm their faith, and to receive the Bishops blessing as he lays hands on each of them.  This is an ancient, historic practice, and it's a powerful moment for them, and for us.   In this we are all reminded that we are at our best when we have faith together, and not alone.  More than anything else, that's what a Bishop's visit does--it brings us together with followers of Jesus from around the world and across years.  It's an important, essential experience.  And yes, it will be fun!

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