January 18th I had the joy of visiting Church of Our Saviour Somerset, a parish that is powerful example of what it means to be authentic Christian community. Their rector, Kate has built a community at Church of Our Saviour committed to learning from one another as they discern what it means to be a disciple of Christ. This mutual learning environment has developed leadership, spiritual depth and a sense of joy that fills the parish.
This culture of Church of Our Saviour made it easy to preach on the call to relationship. The sermon highlights that being a disciple of Christ is primarily about responding to the recognition that Christ abides in humanity and exists in each one of us, this is the miracle of the incarnation. Therefore, we can only fully know God through being in authentic relationship with one another. The work of being in relationship in a way that reveals our identity in God and challenges us to live a life as agents of reconciliation … this is church. This is important in parish life but also in the way that we engage with the pain of the world. The sermon address how this dynamic of relationship MUST be in place if we are to respond rightly to the racial injustices in the U.S. today.
Church of Our Saviour is also a powerful example of how to engage with the world in a way that is rooted in relationship. Currently they are in a
partnership with Elewana Education Project in Amagoro, Kenya. The two communities have formed a shared commitment to creating a world in which youth can thrive. They are doing this by developing service learning programs for youth in their areas. They are sharing their experience/learning with one another through exchanging videos and holding each other accountable to this work in their own contexts. It’s an incredible model of global partnership, one that deserves to be celebrated. After Eucharist on Sunday I spent time with the youth group in Somerset talking about how partnership and relationship can reconcile us to one another. It was a beautiful day and I left most thankful for the people of Church of Our Saviour.