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February 3, 2019: Canvass Reflections Part 5, Good News by Father Jadon

by Father Jadon

The Message: Canvass Reflections Part 5, Good News

Over the last several weeks, as we have been surveying the feedback from our every member canvass last fall, I have focused on areas where there is concern and/or disagreement among us as a parish family. Perhaps it is human nature, when we receive opinions, to focus first on the “negative” instead of the positive.  But the canvass actually revealed a tremendous amount of satisfaction and excitement about our church family.  One of the most repeated comments was some expression that you “love All Souls deeply,” or are “very upbeat about All Souls,” or that you are “happier now than at any other time” and “pleased to see so many new things happening around here!”  Many of you commented enthusiastically about all kinds of “new energy and participation” and about “how many different things there are to choose to do here, especially for a church this size.”  Many commented approvingly of the continued commitment to welcome and inclusivity, to “smells and bells,” a traditional style of worship, and a commitment to good music.  One of you noted "the fact that we attract and retain so many high caliber volunteer assisting clergy demonstrates how special All Souls is,” and several of you said "All Souls is central to my life.”

More than anything else, Jesus calls his followers to proclaim Good News.  Jesus was certainly not afraid of the truth, and he didn’t shy away from being boldly honest when things weren’t going the way he wanted or hoped, but in his ministry he always led with the light of the Good News.  Indeed, it is the bringing of Good News that lies at the heart of his purpose, and is it the proclaiming of Good News that lies at the heart of our purpose as his body, his church.

Last Sunday, a visitor who came to us looking for a church home asked, “Are things ok here? You all are talking a lot about what’s wrong here.” This was someone’s first impression, not knowing all the wonderful things about All Souls that may not be immediately evident on someone’s first visit, like all the things I quoted above.  And the truth is that there is a tremendous amount of good happening here. Our clergy and vestry leaders are all unified and unanimous about that, as are the vast majority of you.  But, after several years of change and transition, we need to start proclaiming that Good News among one other a little louder and more often... for our own sake, and for the sake of the very light we are called upon to spread.

Last Published: February 1, 2019 5:16 PM
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