“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
-A.W. Tozer, “The Pursuit of God.”
And there you have it. Complex and at the same time so very simple and concise. Aiden Wilson Tozer touched many hearts with his preaching and grassroots ministry. As an Evangelical minister, preacher and writer, Tozer knew how to communicate with his congregations. He spoke to them and listened to them and worshiped with them. Together, they formed community that was strong, faithful and unified.
Unity, as defined by the Free Dictionary is: “1. The state or quality of being one; singleness. 2. The state or quality of being in accord; harmony. 3. The combination or arrangement of parts into a whole.”
St. Nicholas is many things: we are diverse, we are multicultural, we are openly and demonstratively welcoming and inviting. We are young, old and many ages in between. We are black and white and various shades as well. We are urbanites and suburbanites; our roots and heritages are found in other countries far away and as close as a mile from our church. We are also imperfect and flawed. We are frail and finite; we are mortal and at times become victims to sin. But still and most importantly we are united. Our unity is forged through our friendships and our commonality as believers in a loving and benevolent God. We are sisters and brothers and heirs of the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father and Jesus, His son. We worship as a community. We celebrate and grieve as a community. We succeed and yes, on occasion, we shall fail as a community. We try and when needed, we will try even harder. This is what a family does…it works hard at staying together…at being connected…at being in harmony…at being unified.
The next few months, we will be receiving mail from the Bishop’s Committee, the Senior Warden and myself. These letters concern both our annual Stewardship Drive and Capital Campaign. This is a rare and unique time in the history of our church. The Stewardship Drive is a yearly event. We are all familiar with this. Every Episcopal church in this country encounters this. However, our Capital Campaign is quite new to us and we certainly hope and pray, an event we will not have to revisit for many, many years to come.
We are asking much of our community because much is needed to help rebuild and strengthen our church for now and the long-term future. With the kindness extended to us by the Diocese and the funds already on hand, we are well on our way toward our goals. Yet, there is still help needed as well as much work to be done. Much of the work we are undertaking is long overdue. With this in mind, it is up to us, here and now to do what is “good, right and just.” Please know this; I am very conscience of the generosity of this amazing community — this loving family. No one will be pressured nor will we come “a-knocking at your door.” We ask each member to share as we are able, as we are willing.
Let us see our unity, our harmony and our singleness in action. Let us build our house of worship stronger, better and more beautiful. “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:9.
And let’s make a joyful noise…a resounding sound so others know that some thing good is happening at St. Nicholas…and we shall all rejoice at the efforts we put forth.
Thank you again and yet again. You are all in my prayers and always in my heart. Unity is a wonderful thing…