Hello, Dear Friends:
How has it already been two weeks since I officially joined you and almost a month and a half since I made Toledo my home?! It is so hard to believe and it has most certainly felt like a whirlwind! I am so grateful that Lisa invited me to create sacred space each week to ground myself prayerfully in reflection on where the Spirit is blowing in and around us in our shared life of faith.
When I reflect over my very brief time with you all, it is so clear to me that Trinity is truly a vessel for God’s love through the charism of hospitality. Now yes, we are all called to be hospitable, to be welcoming and caring towards others. So, what makes a charism of hospitality different? Charisms or spiritual gifts are graciously given by the Holy Spirit and empower us in particular ways to be channels of God’s love and redeeming power in the world. It is more than just being skilled or having a natural ability. Charisms are deeply connected to our life of faith and when we embody them, they draw others towards God.
Many people wander into Trinity for lots of different reasons, but why do people choose to return again and again? In various conversation at our parish picnic last month, I asked people what made Trinity different. After thinking for a moment, one person shared that they did not think that people would remember their name after being separated for so long. But the community did. “This is my home,” they told me. What I am quickly learning from experience about our community is that we are not grasping to draw people in simply to be another number in our average Sunday attendance. And we are definitely not attempting to find particular folx to fit into an idealized community. Instead, we are swinging wide the doors welcoming and inviting all of God’s people into genuine, loving relationship!
As I continue to learn and reflect with our community’s hopes and desires from our 2030 vision, I can honestly say that I am so excited for the road that lies before us. Our commitment to radical transformation will be challenging and sometimes outright difficult. But what will sustain us on this journey is the Spirit’s empowerment and outpouring of hospitality. For at the heart of any transformation there is a willingness to be in authentic relationship with God, ourselves, and others. As I reflect this week, I am lifting up and giving thanks for our community’s charism of hospitality. And giving thanks for you.
Be well, my friends.