Oktoberfest was, by all accounts a smashing success. A good time was had by all. The music kept our toes tapping while the decorations gave us the feel of an authentic “German Brauhaus.” Plenty of food, ear to ear smiles, friendly conversation, loud and contagious laughter. Yep. By all accounts, a mighty good time.
A healthy church community provides her people with opportunities of growth, spiritual development and nourishment for both the soul and the body. At the Liturgy we are fed with “bread of the finest wheat and the fruit of the vine.” These elements from the earth and works of human hands become for us, through God’s immense grace and wonder and the Words of Institution as prayed by the priest the Body and Blood of Christ. Thus are our souls nourished.
At St. Nicholas we do find that social gatherings, where the sharing of food is a prime objective, does bring us together in large, energetic and enthusiastic numbers. And why not? Music has been considered “a universal language.” Well then, food is certainly universal and does bring people together perhaps even more so. Whether we gather around the altar or a buffet table, the objective is the same…we seek to be nourished.
This ‘sharing of a meal’ is just one of the many things we do at St. Nicholas and we do it quite well and with such happiness and joy. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) The very gift of gathering is not to be taken for granted. We are blessed with a wonderful and warm, worship space as well as a lovely Hall where we gather to celebrate and worship. There are many faith communities that are not as fortunate as us; for they have no house of worship of their own. Some communities rent halls, storefronts and some rent other churches for their weekly worship. We have a place that we can call our very own. Each time I enter our building I smile, because it is such an inviting and special place and…it is ours.
During this, our annual Stewardship Campaign, it is vitally important to remember the very simplest of facts: St. Nicholas Episcopal Church is ours. This brick, mortar, and stained glass structure is our very own, our pride and joy. Consequently, it is our responsibility to do what we can to insure our church remains just that…ours, now and for always. In order to keep our church alive, thriving and growing, it is necessary we all consider carefully and prudently how best we can assist our church; how best we can provide for not just the here and now, but for our future which we all pray, is long and fruitful. For it truly is a “good, right and holy thing” we do, when we give and share, from our hearts for our house of worship. Let us be mindful that the continued ministries and outreach programs are possible because of the kindness and generosity of our church family.
How blessed we have been. How blessed it is to share for the well being and benefit of others. This is, after all, what makes St. Nicholas Church such a special and endearing place…because we give and share so willingly. May God grant us the courage to be equally generous and kind to our very own house of worship. In advance, my sisters and brothers, Thank You. God bless us, each and every one of us.