All Saints' is always open for prayer and meditation
Message from the Rector
G. Corwin Stoppel
Dear Parish Family Members,
We know it is impossible to perfectly separate and compartmentalize the secular and sacred portions of our life. We also know that there are many political differences of opinion, and that voices easily become strident. And, we all know that words have true meaning which can create hope or hurt, division or inclusion, and the consequences have been long lasting.
Here at All Saints’ we do two basic things. We worship God and we grow in love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Then we take that love, knowledge and worship as we seek to imitate Jesus in tangible ways which we have come to call “Mission Outreach”. Almost everything here is based on worship and outreach. We don’t all have to agree on every single, sometimes minute detail because one of the truth strengths of our parish family is our open tolerance. We also make a point of extending the invitation, but never attempt to compel everyone into participating in everything.
Beyond our church and grounds, you and I have become increasingly aware that almost every conversation is tinged with political thought. The response and reaction to the November elections have been divisive and painful. Old friendships, and even families have been divided, perhaps permanently broken. Where we shop, what we buy, what we wear, our source of news, and more has entered into the equation of relationships. In short, it seems that so much of our daily life is filtered through political thought and conversation.
Because there has been such an over-abundance of this way of thinking, it is not surprising that is slips in the doors here at All Saints’. It is understandable that it happens. That it happens is undermining and counter-productive.
Many of us come here to worship, and want All Saints’ to be such a spiritual sanctuary, that if only for an hour, we can focus our hearts and minds on God. We leave our doors open for those who come to this spiritual sanctuary to find solace in God’s presence. Many desire to get away from the swirling and ever louder voices of the world. You and I share a mutual responsibility to maintain All Saints’ as a house of worship.
Our Sunday worship ends with the Dismissal: Let us go and serve the Lord. In practical terms, that means our outreach to the wider community. When we help underwrite the costs of our local charities, give direct help, and when our parish family members volunteer at any organization, we do it because we believe it is the right thing for us to do, our answer to God’s call to care for others. We have an opportunity to go something good; we do it. And that is exactly what members of All Saints’ have done for a century and a half.
Because so much of the secular side of life is now being filtered through political conversation, we must be vigilant not to let this hinder us from either worship or outreach. In worship, we will follow the direction from St Paul to pray for those in authority (i.e. our President, our governor, and our locally elected officials). That is not a political statement; it is part of our tradition that dates back to Henry VIII. Our Sunday readings were selected over a decade ago and rotate before us once every three years. They are not a response to today’s headlines. The hymns that David our Organist selects are based on suggestions made in his resource book to coincide with those lessons.
Our outreach work has been motivated by one factor: Answering Christ’s call to care for other people. It’s never been a political action, and now is not that time for us to allow the secular filtering process to any voice in doing God’s work. Our Mission Outreach Committee chooses to support a charity because they are doing a good work of which we want to be a part. We do have litmus tests: are they something we can support, are they good stewards of their money, but politics has never been one of those tests.
Periodically our computers ‘freeze up’ and don’t respond to any commands. When that happens we know it is time to “reboot” and start again. As heated as some of the political conversations have become, they have spiritually frozen us until our souls feel catatonic. It’s time to reboot, regroup, and restart. You and I have a perfect opportunity right before us as we move into Lent. It is a season of reflection over the state of our souls. It is a season of introspection where we can explore whether we are hearing the voice of Jesus or allowing all the other voices to disconnect us from God. It is a season of repentance as we seek to heal damaged relationships, and how our thoughts, words, and deeds have led to estrangement from our fellow mankind and God.
with Kristi Gillette
Meets Monthly on the first Monday of the month at 5:45 pm . This two hour workshop is free and open to the public; and is especially beneficial for anyone who has lost a close friend or loved one in the past few years.
Note: Our Next Workshop The workshop will meet on Monday March 6th.
THE SEASON OF LENT begins on March 1/ASH WEDNESDAY
As is our tradition, we will have our two Ash Wednesday Holy Communion Services and Imposition of the Ashes at 8AM & 7PM on March 1st.
Our LENTEN SCHEDULE resumes on Wednesday, March 8th and the succeeding Wednesday evenings, beginning with Holy Communion at 6PM, followed by a potluck dinner and program.
[This year's Lenten Study program will be "The Great Awakening, The Second Great Awakening, and This is Our Time" - led by G.Corwin Stoppel]
Fr. Cory Stoppel - Rector
Fr. Cory can be found in his office most mornings, Monday-Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until noon, or by appointment at 616-886-8007.
Rocky Kruithoff - Parish Administrator
8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
7 am - Coffee Hour
8 am - Holy Communion - Rite I
9 am - Adult Sunday School
10 am - Holy Communion - Rite II
10 am - Children Sunday School
11 am - Coffee Hour