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Weekly Reflection

August 14, 2014

What Do You Like Best About Being at Redeemer?

I was asked this question last week.  I immediately realized there were several things I liked greatly; it would be difficult to pick one over the others.  First, there are the things I knew I would like (things which enabled me to agree to be Interim Rector):  the dedicated and effective staff—wonderful colleagues all; the vibrant music program; talented, insightful lay leaders; a large parish with many opportunities for worship, pastoral care, outreach and fellowship.  Now that I’ve been here for a bit,  there have been some very pleasant surprises:

I am delighted by the high degree of openness, friendliness, honesty, and enthusiasm I sense in so many of you!  People are serious about caring, responding, and being honest with one another.  When something is humorous, people laugh; where there is a need, people respond (whether it’s with food for CARES, or some way of assisting another parishioner, or accepting some new responsibility); ours is a very responsive congregation. Of course, all these virtues do exist in some people in any congregation, but here they exist to a surprising high degree!

I am encouraged by the seriousness of so many people here who are really trying to apply their Christian faith to everyday life, so many who want to move deeper, be more grounded, and gain new insights.  With this in mind we will shortly be announcing a number of adult educational opportunities coming this fall. 

There are so many little things I like.  It means a lot to me that when people come up for Communion, most make eye contact and most really look happy to be receiving our Lord in the Communion bread.  What a privilege it is to give another the Body of Christ!  In that brief and holy moment, Christ fills the space between us; would that Christ might always fill those spaces so that he might by grace enable us to enfold the other in Christ’s love and know ourselves brothers and sisters in him.  Many people at Redeemer take their faith seriously, and most don’t take themselves too seriously:  that is, they can stand back and with some objectivity laugh at their own faults and foibles.  I could go on and on….

In this interim time it’s important all of us to give some thought to “What do I like best about life at Redeemer?”  It will be equally important to ask ourselves:  “What could we be doing better?” “What aren’t we doing that I’d like to see us do?”  “How can we be even more the Body of Christ in this place?”  And then, “What is God asking me do/be so we might realize these things?” 

+Bob Ihloff