Weekly Reflection, June 15, 2017

Between Ascension Day (May 25) and Pentecost (June 4), the Anglican Communion called   for a ‘prayer initiative’, officially observed in more than eighty-five countries… not to mention by countless individuals.  It was, on the surface, simple.  Pray

Thy Kingdom Come

I joined in.  Daily.  Hourly.  Faithfully…and, admittedly, at times, desperately.

Thy Kingdom Come

And, because prayer is nothing if not an opening, over the ten days, affirmation, comfort, and challenge emerged.

Thy Kingdom Come

What does that really mean here?  To us as a parish, a national church, a world-wide Communion?  (During Grace’s 150th anniversary year, just completed, we’ve been working on our parish vision – which could well be subtitled, Thy Kingdom Come.)

We have quotidian examples, though by no means diminished for their dailiness:  Grace’s Table, every single Saturday, lives brought together to receive lunch- bread and Bible- bread.   Sunday School:  energy, honesty, community.  Adult Forum:  more honesty, searching, digging deep.  Sundays:  celebrating together, grieving together, persisting together. And on.

Then there are the occasional glimpses.  I was part of one of those occasions this week, a clear, timely, if partial, answer to the prayer initiative.

The Episcopal Women’s History Project meeting: Women of Color in the Episcopal Church.  History:  past, present and future.  The recently-consecrated first African American woman Diocesan Bishop, Jennifer Baskerville – Burroughs, preached; National Cathedral’s Canon Theologian (and newly-named Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary, New York) The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, the keynote speaker.  Fifty of us talked together, not small talk, but Kingdom talk, some of which was difficult talk: experiences, struggles, disappointments, dreams.  Those of us who have been around for a while marveled at the gifts and grit of those younger women called into leadership of many kinds.

Thy Kingdom come. 

Though our lifetimes are less than a blink of the eye in God’s/Deep Time, nonetheless, I absorbed a Kingdom truth/reality/promise at this gathering.  For all the understandable concern in the church about declining ‘numbers’, the Episcopal Church is in very good hands.  Multi-colored, strong, gentle, experienced, imperfect, committed, self-giving hands. God’s hands.

By and in these hands, and others

Thy Kingdom comes.

Sarah Motley