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I spent the day with clergy in the Baltimore North Region. A few years ago the Diocese realigned the regions, and now ours covers everything north of Northern Parkway, and as far west as Westminster. There were fourteen or fifteen of us there today with Bishop Sutton. We discussed the need for greater trust within the Diocese, and changes in the Diocesan Staff as they downsize like many of the churches across the country. We had a lively and enjoyable conversation about a book called “A Door Set Open,” which talked about churches finding their call in the world, and remembering that the church exists for those outside the walls. One of my colleagues brought up the definition of mission: does mission mean primarily feeding the poor, or does mission mean evangelization, filling our pews with more people? I think it means both. My question is, what does that mean for St. Thomas?

In this season of Advent, we experience perhaps the busiest time of the year. In many businesses, people are working on end-of-year reports. For families, there are school concerts and dance recitals to attend. And always the push of getting ready for Christmas – whatever that means in each family.

But also in this season, beginning December 2, Joe Zollickoffer will be offering a Forum on “The Way of Love” – an outline for personal spiritual growth given to us by our Presiding Bishop. The Way of Love is a rule of life that is simple, yet effective in building our faith, and how we personally answer God’s call to the mission field. There is more about The Way of Love later in the Newsletter. Take the time to join the Forum after church, and hear more about it.

Allow Advent to be a time of contemplation amid our very full calendars. Allow God to touch your life, and perhaps even the life of our church, in new ways.