One of my favorite moments at Sunday worship is just after church. I love talking to everyone as they leave. I love seeing them, looking them in the eye, and expressing God’s love to them. This Sunday, one of our regular worshipers came to me and said she had a flat tire. Knowing I couldn't do it at the moment, I told her to go find a young guy to help her. She did, and soon she had not one but two young guys helping her change her flat.
This image left a big impression on me for several reasons. First, I loved seeing God’s people spring into action when there was a need. I had just preached about loving people and how that has more to do with meeting one another’s needs than it does feeling an emotion about someone. Secondly, it made me happy to see these two guys taking time to help this lady. It was a gesture of love and kindness in her time of need. And last, I was reminded that without each other, we can’t survive. Our lives are more whole and more complete because of Christ’s Body, the Church, all around us.
All of us in the Church are in different phases and stages of life. Some of us are single, married, or widowed. Some have young kids, some teenagers, and some no kids at all. Some of us have a gaggle of grandkids spread all over the country. And some of us take care of our neighborhood children like they’re our own. No matter who we are, though, we need each other. My friend who had a flat tire needed help. She needed some young guys who could get the job done. I remember several moments in my life where Amy and I depended on the Church to surround us with love, grace, counsel, and God’s presence.
At All Saints East Dallas this happens most acutely in Pastorates. Pastorates are a key part of our vision of planting a three-stream Anglican parish and connecting with the neighborhoods of East Dallas and beyond.
Pastorates are a place of connection and desired transformation. They are groups of 20-30 people that gather in the neighborhoods of East Dallas to live in God’s presence and live out his love by
- sharing a meal together
- discussing Scripture together
- praying together in the power of the Holy Spirit