Dear Resurrection Church and friends,
As we begin the month of June, I’m grateful for the opportunity we have in this month to celebrate the coming Sundays after Pentecost with some different experiences of dialogue in and after worship. Dialogue is an ancient word, a good word: it comes from the Greek and literally means "through" (dia) "words" (logos). It describes how through words with one another we come to learn and grow. Participatory learning,in other words, in its most classic form!
With that in mind, come this Sunday as we experience time and space for dialogue with one another around the Scriptures that we read at the heart of our worship. In our divine service to God, following the sermon, we’ll pause to create a space for response, silently or aloud, to the sermon or the readings (whether a comment, how it strikes us, or something that we’ll take forward). It takes some risk to dialogue, and we can do it together around that which is most important. This will be a new experience for some of us. This practice is something I’ve introduced in two of my previous parishes, and it opened up people’s understanding of what it is exactly we are doing when we interpret the Scriptures, personally and together, in worship.
After worship, in fellowship with one another over refreshments, I’ll invite anyone who wishes to join me to pull up a chair to a table and look ahead at the Scriptures from the lectionary for the coming week. I’m imagining a table of those who can stay for conversation and look at the gospel ahead, beginning to think with me about what is going on in the readings, what God is up to in them, and in us as Resurrection. Great sermons begin with listening: to one another, Scripture, and for that which God might be saying through these and other means. This experience will be rewarding for our learning and growth.
So come this Sunday and worship God "in the beauty of holiness" with Word and Sacrament. And as we do, and afterwords, let’s together experience learning and growth in our lives as Christians. And ps., this congregation is growing thanks to you, so bring a friend!
The Rev. Nathan Speck-Ewer
Resurrection Episcopal Church