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Being a visitor – St. Nick’s News Aug. 18, 2023

Full St. Nick’s News for August 18, 2023

Dear friends,

On our last day in London, we began our day worshiping with the Moot Community at St. Mary Aldermary Anglican Church. St. Mary Aldermary is said to be the oldest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in London. If you are interested, you can learn more about St. Mary Aldermary here or the Moot Community here. It seemed right and fitting to worship in a church called St. Mary Aldermary right after the feast day of Mary the Mother of Jesus. And finding out they have a Moldovan Church that worships there under the name St. Nicholas didn’t hurt either!

We joined in on a morning Taizé service which is a contemplative, musical prayer service. We were welcomed, assisted in finding the correct songs in the song book, and invited to join in with the worshiping community afterwards for some tea and coffee at the coffee shop inside the church.

The hospitality we experienced in and after worship was a stark contrast to our other worship experiences during vacation. We worshiped quite a bit, visiting St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey in London, and the American Cathedral in Paris. While our worship in these places was lovely and inspiring, there was something missing. Something felt off and not quite right. As soon as we were warmly welcomed and asked to join in, a great big “duh” hit me over the head. Church is the body of Christ. The people… not the buildings…

It took people – real life, welcoming, human beings – to help me experience church while away. What a great reminder as I come back refreshed and renewed and excited for this new year of life together.

It is so easy to forget that we… all of us together… are the body of Christ. Our buildings simply provide a sacred space for us to gather and worship, to be strengthened by the love of God in Jesus so we can live out and share our faith and love in the world.

My hope for us this year, is to continue to grow in ways to share our love of Jesus with one another and our communities and neighborhoods. I had been missing you all at St. Nick’s so deeply, and was reminded of you, and touched by the hospitality of the Moot Community. I thought about how many times I have watched you all reach out to one another and newcomers in friendship and love. I pray that all of us (regardless of age and role in the church) will continue to be greeters and friends to newcomers and visitors; it is a much needed and blessed role for all of us.

I also love this reminder right before our celebration of two years in our space. When we celebrate our two year anniversary of being at St. Nick’s on August 27th, we are really celebrating our life together, our work together, and all that God has done with and for us. And I am looking forward to more work, love, and blessings yet to come!

God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,