As I am preparing for my visit next weekend to the People of God in the community of Bend, Oregon for the formal introduction of the Evangelical Catholic Church via the establishment of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church, the music and lyrics of the historic hymn "Now Thank We All Our God" keeps coming to my mind.
The creation of any new parish is a very serious and solemn commitment. It is a tangible presence enabling the witnessing of faith and sacramental celebration of our continuing catholic journey. It is also an oasis for those who are sacramentaly and spirituality parched from feeling separated from God's altar. For this opportunity to continue our celebration of faith, we indeed thank our God.
We must thank our God for the coming birth of Holy Communion Parish for it represents the unconditional love of God. I believe that our new parish shall be akin to a new flower in God's garden and our celebration of praise and thanksgiving shall give Him pleasure.
We know the genesis upon which our Parish has come into being. We refuse to be spiritually or sacramentally entangled by past acts and we freely forgive the difficulties of the past. Our focus is to the future and our celebration of our catholic faith for we are, as Paul writes, "One Bread, One Body."
When celebrating Mass, I traditionally begin it by saying "We come together as God's family in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
I hope that all those in attendance with us on June 8th will respond with a loud Amen.
Please join me in thanking God for the gift of our faith, our community and for our new parish.