Going Home Again
Saint Peter's Episcopal Church nurtured me and my family in our faith and supported me as a leader in the years leading up to my answering God's call to ordinained ministry. I was a 31-year old father of a three-year old and the 150-year old church made room for Victoria and I in significant leadership. Through leading children's church and Senior High EYC, we gained experience that continues to help us in ministry. But most importantly, we shared our lives in that wonderfully messy, not always easy creation from the heart of the Trinity—Christian community.
It had been 13 years since we last stepped foot in St. Peter's when we went to Juliet Voccio's wedding rehearsal this past Friday evening. Walking into the church was an experience in returning to a place of significant spiritual growth, a homecoming, in a way I had not anticipated. How great it was to take in the church building and see again the stained glass that had looked over us in our time at St. Peter's. Then officiating at wedding itself and even moreso attending the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, we reconnected with the congregation. The Rev. Don Black has since retired, but we keep in touch. The Rev. Roger Ard is doing a great job as Rector at St. Peter's. In 13 years, there were many new faces to be sure, but so many more familiar faces grown a bit older. The very people who had supported me and my family, making the ministry which has followed possible.
I discovered that several parishioners have kept up quite closely with our progress. The internet makes reading sermons and religion columns easy enough, and also allows for news to flow freely. A recent issue of our newsletter The Olive Branch hung on the St. Peter's Newsmakers bulletin board in Daniel Hall. I was humbled. I find that my words fall short of conveying what it was like. But I am reminded of Brandon Watson's video about King of Peace. It showed in words and pictures this concept of discovering your own name amid a group whose names you don't always know, but who are a part of your spiritual journey nonetheless. So, as I fall short of conveying the experience, I will let Brandon do so for me:
Facebook users go here to see the video: You Will Know Them.
It was an enriching experience to go home to St. Peter's. It also brings to mind the significant support and experience gained at St. Philip's in Baden, Maryland; St. Hilary's in Kibondo, Tanzania; and Church of the Spirit in Alexandria, Virginia. Each of those congregations also nurtured my journey toward ordained ministry in important ways. I return to them now in my mind, looking around their spaces and seeing the faces of those with whom I worshipped. I trust that a return to King of Peace would be similarly meaningful for those nurtured in our congregation.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pilgrim