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Dear St. Luke’s Community,

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!! The Lord is Risen Indeed!

First, let me begin by thanking the multitude of folks who worked so hard to make our Holy Week and Easter Celebrations a delight to behold and a joy to share! I have mentioned before in these missives, that liturgy is literally translated ‘the work of the people’. There was not one instance of LITURGY last week that was not deeply filled with the inspired work of God’s people….all of us!

The music was stellar, the atmosphere was Holy, the engagement and willingness to try new things in the course of our walk toward the Resurrection was great. Holy Week is so wonderfully rich, it is definitely our Episcopal Tradition at its best.

I was wandering about Church Websites as I sometimes do looking for something when I came across a piece by the Rector of a Church in Pennington, New Jersey entitled “What’s Right About The Epsicopal Church”. To hear secular media (and any number of others across the continuum of our Church) tell it, we are on life support if not already nearing our last gasp as a Church. To that, I politely say, “Fiddle Faddle!”. With thanks to Fr. Jack Belmont, Rector of St. Matthew’s in Pennington, New Jersey, I offer you this:

The Episcopal Church is not perfect and is in continual need of repentance and renewal, as are all institutions touched by humanity. Yet, I feel personally blessed by God in Christ to be counted as member and priest of this Church. I believe we have much to offer the world in Christ’s name that is right and good. I am saddened by those on both extremes who would hurt this Church by cruel words and accusations, especially those with whom we break the bread and share the cup. It becomes apparent to the world we are called to serve when some of us are long in zeal and light in charity! Surely Christians who strive to seek the will of Christ for this sinful and broken world have a common mission. In our disagreements, we are confronted, challenged and mandated to love as He loved us. As Episcopalians, we can be the answer to the great high priestly prayer of Jesus: “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one.” Only we can get in His way!

I would like to add a hearty HERE, HERE to Fr. Belmont’s sentiments. Without a deep investment in seeking to serve Christ in All Persons (especially those with whom we disagree) we have nothing to offer the world that does anything to counter the tendency to shrill bickering that most of the general populace believes about our Episcopal Church. We must do better, because God wants desperately to demonstrate a ‘more excellent way’ to the world through His Church. To quote Fr. Belmont again ONLY WE CAN GET IN HIS WAY!

It is my fervent prayer that during this Easter Season we will find the grace, courage and wisdom to get out of God’s way and to allow Him to work his grace in the world.

Peace and Good,

The Rev. Warren Earl Hicks, Rector
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
921 Pleasant St.
Worcester, MA 01602
508-756-1990 (Office)
508-756-8277 (Fax)

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April 2007

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