Our bishop, Roger Ames, and his wife, Gretsie, will visit St. Augustine’s Anglican Church on this second Sunday of Easter, April 27th, 2014. They will bring abundant joy, precious laughter, and God’s great love. The bishop will preach and celebrate the Eucharist, and will confirm two in our congregation. The church will receive new members this day, as well.
St. Augustine is a new church in the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes and the broader Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). We are part of Anglican 1000, a movement to raise up new communities of faith in the United States and Canada. St. Augustine’s is honored to be a new parish in the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes and and in central Ohio. We believe God calls us to be missionaries in our community, and we are excited to open our doors to those who are looking for a place to worship and serve.
Following is a reflection of last year’s visit by Gretsie. Blessings to these spiritual leaders and tender shepherds for our Lord.
Experiencing the Upper Room
by Gretsie Ames
Good Shepherd Sunday 2013
There’s something about the “Upper Room”. Something that invites us, beckons us, even woos us to experience life anew. More than four walls, a floor, and a window or two, it is a place where time pauses and life happens. It’s the place where all things are made new and we are changed.
To enter the Upper Room is to enter the dance of relationships, as C.S.Lewis would describe it, where we engage in the life of the Father with Jesus and with the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit. Here, we enter into an experience of true fellowship of true belonging and of true beloved-ness. Here, we know who we are.
The Upper Room is a paradox because in its unchanging nature, it creates an atmosphere in which real change can take place and nothing ever stays the same.
I am speaking, of course, about the Place of His Presence, where we come apart to meet Jesus and share a fellowship meal together with His friends. The elements are simple: a place, a people, a time to gather, a meal, a song, a scripture, a prayer, a blessing and a sending out, all in the Name of the One Who calls us His own and to whom we say Our Father. But to experience the Upper Room is to join in the dance and receive the love so freely given and so freely bestowed upon all who enter. It is the love of Jesus and like no other.
St. Augustine’s is just such a place, where everyone is made to feel welcome and invited to take part. Yes, it is in a light-filled, windowed ‘upper room’; but it goes down to nursing homes and shelters and food banks and takes the upper room along!
Because you see, the Kingdom of God is all about right relationships in the love of the Father and in the life of the Son and in the Person of the Holy Spirit who brings it all together so we can EXPERIENCE life as it was meant to be lived — together.
I was so blessed to come in and to experience the Upper Room with the family of St. Augustine’s on Good Shepherd Sunday. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by. You will be welcome!