St. John's - Grace Episcopal Church
An inclusive community walking a journey in faith.

Rector’s Blog - August 9th, 2018

I’m happy to say as the new Rector that I have hit the ground running in this exciting and joyous journey – not alone – but with the support of the people of St John’s-Grace.

I arrived with some dishes, pots & pans, and clothes on Tuesday August 1st at my new apartment on Parkdale near Forest. Many people were so helpful in bringing in things I needed for the apartment.  Thanks for your generosity!

I have enjoyed walking to church each day, seeing the beautiful summer gardens, shopping at Guercio’s, and meeting new friends on the sidewalk along the way.  One of the highlights was chatting with six Yemeni children on Parkdale who were delighted to hear me speak some broken Arabic learned in Saudi Arabia.  The joy we shared face-to-face combats the hateful rhetoric we usually hear from our current president and his followers.  As Jesus’ people, loving God and loving all of our neighbors is what St John’s-Grace is all about. 

I am honored to be part of the lived Gospel at SJG.  On Sunday August 5th, I presided at the Holy Communion and delivered the homily for the first time at 8:30 and 10:30.  We celebrated the Feast of the Transfiguration.  We too had the beautiful mountain-top experience of Christ Transfigured and the Glory of God in our beautiful, Episcopal Liturgy.  Our beloved Priest Associate, Fr Deacon, concluded in the dismissal, “Now Our Service Begins.”

Leaving the mountain top, we ventured out to begin our service distributing food and visiting with folks at Friends of Night People food pantry on Tuesday, and taking refugees from Vive to the Bisons game on Wednesday.   The fellowship we shared with one another and neighbors old and new is priceless treasure in the Kingdom of God.

On Saturday August 4th I met with the Healing Ministry Team and we read the Holy Scriptures (Luke 9:1-6) and prayed together – exploring how Jesus calls, empowers, and sends us out to heal.  I was inspired by the testimonies of those who suffered, were healed, and filled with love, compassion, and a desire to heal others.

Reflecting on my first week as Rector, I am amazed at how the people of SJG have been working so hard for years to keep everything running smoothly.  Ushers, greeters, acolytes, altar guild, chalice bearers, healing ministry, music, counting the collection, rotas, facilities, worship committee, parish administrator, sextons, lectors, flowers, bulletins, food and drinks for fellowship after the service – WOW! – everything is in place and running smoothly thanks to a dedicated group of folks – the body of Christ who love, serve and worship God. 

I am deeply honored to walk with you.  – The Revd Jon F Lavelle