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May 21, 2017: This I Know
When I was young we frequently visited both sets of grandparents. My paternal grandfather was a minister, so before leaving his house for the drive home to Detroit we’d gather in the living room, read Bible verses, and pray together. My maternal grandparents, in contrast, would have daily family prayer at bedtime,? ??the frequency of which pained my brother and me such that we would make ourselves scarce in the evenings. But it was no use...

by Jeff Wells, Outgoing Senior Warden

When I was young we frequently visited both sets of grandparents.  My paternal grandfather was a minister, so before leaving his house for the drive home to Detroit we’d gather in the living room, read Bible verses, and pray together.  My maternal grandparents, in contrast, would have daily family prayer at bedtime,? ??the frequency of which pained my brother and me such that we would make ourselves scarce in the evenings.  But it was no use.  Grandma or grandpa would inevitably come looking for us ?on what we called the "prayer patrol."  Pretending to be asleep didn't work either.  Thus captured we would all stand in a circle in their family room while my grandfather prayed.  Of course my brother and I would make faces at each other, squirm, and at times even softly mimic my grandmother’s “Yes Lords” until Mom opened a single eye and shot us a look.  Finally, after what always seemed like hours, the prayer would end, we’d get a hug and a kiss and go to bed. 

While my brother and I certainly didn’t relish group prayer we didn’t resent or reject it either.  It was important to our grandparents.  ?We loved them and ?they loved us, ?so we accepted it.  I believe we also thought that it was good for us and that we would appreciate it some day just as God would probably appreciate that eventual eager participation.  Nevertheless, I can’t say that TV didn’t still beckon as a lot more interesting draw at the time. 

Looking back I see my grandparents' piety as a sort of footing for my own faith.  Those prayer sessions wrapped personal history in family, tradition, love, and an abiding sense that God is there for each of us in a profoundly intimate and immediate way.  All Souls offers us similar bedrock with measures of tradition, reason, scripture, faith, and community as family that all form the faithful foundation on which we must now create our future as a parish.  What are we going to build?  How will we build it together?  (Father Jadon suggests this second question is even more important than the first.)  How will each of us participate and contribute and how will that transform us?  I have faith, not just hope, that All Souls will engage each of us as people of the resurrection in an inspiring and beautiful way.  May God bless our efforts, witness, and mission as we move forward in faith together.

Last Published: July 19, 2017 8:48 AM
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