Praise God for his work among us during our recent Season of Discernment! These past months have simply been an intensification of what All Saints always strives to be—a people marked by prayer who listen to and are guided by the Holy Spirit in all things. Our desire for this season was to engage the entire parish to ensure that our journey toward building a Mission Abbey was a shared one, unified and in step with the Spirit.
We had close to 130 adults participate in one of our nine Discernment Pastorates, where we explored the story of the early church, revisited our own story as All Saints, and asked questions about how together we might continue this story in a way that is faithful to our mission. Our Season of Discernment culminated by responding to the Spirit’s leading with our More of the Story cards, which revealed a great deal of enthusiasm and imaginative dreaming around our Mission Abbey vision. There is a display in the foyer that shares many of the thoughts and dreams people wrote on their cards.
Our intention was that this season would be about more than making financial commitments, as important as these are, but that it would also enlarge our own personal visions for how we might remain faithful to our mission on this piece of property and beyond. The comments and conversations that have arisen from this process reveal a church that is hungry to do more than “build a building”; we are hungry to build the Church, to expand God’s kingdom in new ways, to deepen and enrich our spiritual life together, and to love the least of these. We must always remember that the building of our new Nave, and the Mission Abbey vision of which it is a part, ultimately serves these ends.
We are also excited and encouraged by the amount that we have raised so far, exceeding the expectations of any average fundraising project for a church our size. As we are still waiting to hear back from a few committed pledgers, we will let the parish know the final amount sometime in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, our Design Team will begin working with our architect to develop more detailed plans for the Nave, which we hope to bid out to various construction companies toward the end of the summer. The Design Team plans to reach out to the parish for additional input to help them make some of those design decisions. Please be in prayer for our Design Team: Greg Jordan (chair), Janet Brown, Leslie Creasy, David Laird, Joy Moore, and Sally Slack.
Now is the time for us, like always, to continue to share in the life of God, for the life of the world; to continue to pay attention to what the Spirit is doing in our midst, and to be ready to join Him; to begin laying the foundations for those dreams we imagined together during our Season of Discernment; and to trust that whatever becomes of our brick- and-mortar construction work, God will build his Church!
Our God has acted in the past, and we can trust that He will surprise us in the future as we listen and seek to be faithful to Jesus. Stir our hearts, O God, for what is to come, and do more than we can imagine!