Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope it’s been a season filled with rejoicing, time with your loved ones, and a fresh reminder of God’s overwhelming love and grace to us.
Today at Morning Prayer I was so encouraged by St. John’s epistle where he offers this trinitarian insight to the churches of Asia Minor. “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us” (1 John 2:23-24).
Our call as children of God, disciples of Jesus, members of his Church, and leaders in this local church is simple - believe in Christ, love one another, keep his commands, abide in God and rejoice in the Spirit he has given us.
As you’ve heard me preach since August, we’re transitioning to take ownership of our finances, governance, and organizational development as we become our own church. As part of this transition, I began a series of monthly meetings in October with Bishop Philip, Mike Blanchat (administrator at ASD), and John Williams (ASD Board President); these meetings are focused on our transition and have been very productive.
One result of that initial meeting in October was an encouragement and blessing from Bishop Philip to change our church’s name. He, John, and Mike agreed that as we become our own entity, it makes sense to have our own identity, and that around this new identity we’ll have an opportunity to build vision, velocity, and momentum for the coming months and years.
I have to tell you that I was very excited to hear this counsel. And as I’ve prayed over the past three months and shared with our staff and a few of you, I believe God has given us a name. This name won’t change the core of our identity - a three-stream Anglican church connecting with the people of East Dallas and beyond - but has to do with the vision and mission God is unfolding in us and through us. I will be sharing this name during the service on January 14th. I hope you can be there.
God bless you all! Here’s to a fantastic new year full of God’s vision, power, purpose, and love!