Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Tales of Hofmann – Nov. 14 sermon

“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and give thanks.”

It is so wonderful to be with you today and I am especially grateful for this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you about giving thanks, specifically about giving thanks for being part of this Church of Our Saviour faith community.

I first opened the red doors of this church over 12 years ago, not knowing that I needed to be here or indeed in any church. But I had a clear persistent feeling that I needed to come in that door. I sat in the back, tried to follow along with the service in the BCP, comforted, as a former Roman Catholic, that the service seemed so familiar, but still not clear that I belonged here. Then at communion time I heard the priest at that time, Linda Privitera, say these words: “the gifts of God for the people of God.” I knew that she was referring to the bread and the wine, I knew that she was also inviting everyone to come forward to partake, even me; and I understood as well that each of us, sitting in that church that day, were also “gifts of God” meant to be used for “the people of God.” Today I would like to remember more specifically this COS community – these ?gifts of God for the people of God? – people in action, making a difference,
living Christ’s mission. People who said ?yes? – sharing time, talent, treasure.

When I was a child, my father loved to gather the family together to show slide shows of photos that he had taken of all of us. He carefully clicked through each of the slides in his Kodak carousel projector (remember those?) as we all commented and sometimes laughed and groaned at what we saw. My father always left a few blank slides at the end – for the future, what was yet to be. Today I would like to offer a limited selection of ?slides,? not in any particular order, chosen because of their influence on me, shared to remind and inspire all of us as “new beginnings” occur at COS. You will see yourself in some of the circles of ministry/slides; others might inspire new action. I hope that you will fill in the blanks. I look forward to seeing new slides!

  • worshipping on Boston Common with the homeless as part of Common Cathedral, later distributing sandwiches made here at COS
    and warm socks collected by parishioners
  • stacking items for the Alternative Christmas Gifts fair in the parish hall and packing bags of food for the Arlington Food Pantry
  • selling Equal Exchange coffee with Ginger at Arlington Town Day; promoting the Blessing of the Animals to every dog we met
  • staffing a water stand in front of COS for the Affordable Housing March with Jane and Gail; watching kids come by
    with balloon hats made by Rob and Kevin
  • hanging the Art for AIDS show in the sanctuary; hosting the reception in the parish hall; work to support Jubilee Ministry; wonderful calendar designs
  • purchasing and wrapping Christmas presents for the holidays for families in need
  • COS participating in Gay Pride March with other Episcopalians; our parish witness to the equality of marriage
  • setting up Godly play classrooms in the basement and parish hall –Valentina asking us to pray for Albus Dumbledore, Elisa wearing
    Bishop Tom’s mitre when he came to visit
  • walking to the Arlington Rest Home with Kelly S. and Margaret K. and the children because outreach is necessary for all
  • the stations of the cross for children on Good Friday– Suzanne H., Selina M., Elizabeth G., Viktor B., telling the
    stories; making butterflies afterwards
  • Karen King’s Bible studies – getting the “scoop” on the Gospel of Judas
  • Palm Sunday processions with Chester the donkey; Creation of the icon cross with each of us placing mosaic tiles; Easter Vigil
    dedication of the new round altar
  • so many meals: sharing a harvest meal with members of the Korean Methodist church; Holy Thursday under the tent; ice cream
    social to mark the start of summer (How much ice cream to buy?)
  • our priests: Linda, Bill, Joyce, Lily, Tricia and many seminarians and deacons. Remember Eric Bond preaching with his newborn son
    in his arms?
  • my discernment process to become a Deacon (grateful to those who accompanied me) . You have given me the courage to claim new ministry!

Between now and the Feast of Pentecost, I will be serving as a Deacon Intern at St. Michael’s in Holliston. Although I won’t be with you
in person on Sundays, please know that I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers . Please do the same for me. Many thanks!

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