Week of February 19

Dear Friends,
As we approach the Season of Lent, I find myself quietly energized, expectant, and re-focused. ‘Quietly’- because I have found myself called to a season of prayer– and believe that you have as well! Let me explain.
Last week, 14 of us gathered with others in our region in Raleigh, NC for our ‘Annual Regional Retreat’. It was a wonderful time of worship, teaching, and business. The ‘business’ side was centered on how our diocese lives into its call to be a gospel-centered, mission-oriented, kingdom-expanding community of churches. I am as energized by this as I am by the depth of teaching and the beauty of our worship.
Personally, I came away from the gathering with a renewed call to prayer. In 2016 our Leadership Council was guided by the Spirit into a renewing of the vision for Christ the Redeemer. We expressed that vision in these words: “We believe God is calling us to intentionally GROW a DISCIPLESHIP-focused, NORFOLK-centric, consciously ANGLICAN, MOTHER-to-BE Church within Hampton Roads”.
Please note, this is a ‘re-newed’ vision and not a ‘new’ one. Our original purposes and processes hold true today. However, we were led to re-new our commitment in a new way to this vision as a leadership body.
That was 2016.  In 2017 I believe our call is to ‘live into this vision’, and that begins with the call to prayer. I strongly encourage all of us, individually and corporately, to prayerfully ask —“If ‘This’ is our vision, then how am I/we to live into it? How am I to embrace this for myself? How am I to participate in it, to be part of its embodiment- its God-given, Spirit-directed coming-to-be?”
My encouragement is that all of us, individually and within the various groupings to which we belong to, take the Season of Lent to intentionally pray in this way. Then, Lord willing, in Eastertide we can gather and begin to share what we believe God is saying to us–individually and corporately. We are looking for several ways to help with this process; look for more suggestions as Lent approaches.
Speaking of Lent, please remember the following:
  • Remember to bring in your palm crosses from last Holy Week to be burned on February 25 for our Ash Wednesday Service
  • Mark on your calendar Our ‘Lenten Preparation Event’, Saturday, February 25, from 5:00 pm -7:00 pm
  • Be in prayer now seeking God’s direction in framing your Lenten intentions (in prayer, in fasting, in generosity)
  • If you are new to ‘Lent’, purchase Aaron Damiani’s book, The Good of Giving Up (if you purchase it through our web site, https://christtheredeemer.org/resources/bookstore/, the church gets a small portion back!)
Finally, please remember that Saturday, February 25 will be a busy day.  In addition to our Lenten Preparation Event, Brother Tim will be ordained to the priesthood in Newport News (details found in his invitation you received last week), and Park Place School has their banquet that same afternoon (see Pete Fraser for more details).
Looking forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.