From Fr. O’s corner………Counting Our Blessings and Respond Faithfully…
What a glorious 50th Celebration!!! All the activities before the Gala and the finale, that is, the finale on Sunday October 14, made all of us at St. Edward’s proud and thankful to God. God has truly blessed us for the last 50years.
Let me use this opportunity once again to thank everyone who participated to make the events and the celebration meaningful and successful, especially the 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee. They were diligent in prayer and dedicated to every detail, with faith that all would come out gloriously. And it did! Let me also say special thanks to Fr. Fabio and our Latino Mission for their tangible contributions. For those who may not know, our brother and sisters from the Latino Ministry painted the Parish Hall and the Breezeway, manicured the grass, and jet-washed all the major buildings on the campus, at no cost to the parish. Thanks and praise be to our Gracious and loving God. We have many good reasons to continue to count our blessings, because God continues to bless us abundantly.
The challenging we face going forward and the question we need to ask ourselves as we begin the next 50 years is: how do we respond faithfully to all these blessings as well as look forward to many more blessings from God?
First, I believe we have to continue to wrestle with who are we as a church, and of whom are we, and supposed to be, and what is God’s plan, mission for us as a Church?
Let me once again share what I see and think — knowing full well– that what matters most is not what I think, but what we think together as a worshipping community. I see a church that is a true Ecclesia, that is, one that has almost all the faces of God’s creation, trying to live together in love and with love as God loves us. That is a relationship that demands and entails a sacrificial love for one another irrespective of who we are, or how we look. This is, of course, not an easy way to walk, yet we all know that it is what God calls us to do and be. This is an example of what I mean by finding out and facing the reality of who we are as Church. What does it really mean to be a Multi-Cultural Worshipping Community where everyone feels they truly belong? For those who may not know, we are one of the leading Churches in this Diocese that can genuinely claim a rich multiculturism. This is a great blessing to us all. This is a well- known fact in our diocese — and not surprisingly, there are some churches that are curious and want to learn from us.
The other important aspect of who we are and of whom we are is that we are called to be the light of Christ to our neighbors, families, community, and the world. With our multicultural diversity we should be able to spread Christ’s light to the ends of the earth.
So from my perspective, not only are we blessed, but we already have many gifts, talents and time to faithfully respond to our blessings in significant ways for the next fifty years.
So my friends in Christ, as we move forward experiencing upcoming events in the life of the Church Universal, and our part of it as St. Edward’s, let us cherish the events, see them as God’s continual blessings and a challenge for us to respond to faithfully.
I am referring to the following:
1. Our Harvest Ingathering, with the Taste of St. Edward’s cuisine and luncheon.
2. The season of Advent that starts on first Sunday in December.
3. The ingathering of our Stewardship Campaign on December 2nd when we bring for to the altar our pledges of Time, Talent, and Treasure to a loving God who continues to bless us with our faithful response of THANK YOU.
4. But most important of all is the season of Christmastide, when we expect and welcome the greatest gift God can ever give us, that is, God Incarnate through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For me each of these events is a reminder — and evidence of God’s continual blessings, that challenges me to faithfully respond as I share the blessings with all persons I meet.
Lastly, but certainly not the least, Jean and I truly appreciate and thank you for your love. We recognize and accept this love as part of our blessings. THANK YOU!
We also like to say that we truly love everyone in our parish and our worship community.
May our gracious God continue to bless us all abundantly.
The Rev. Canon Dr. A Gordon Okunsanya
…But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31