The theme for this year’s Annual Clergy Conference is “Renew, Refresh and Rejoice.” It gave me an opportunity to meet and listen to some insights shared by the principal of Vancouver School of Theology, Dr. Richard Toppings. He set the tone of the conference by saying, “congregations (Like St. Michael’s) are renewed thru the power of Easter.” We often hear and use the word “renewal” in a lot of church related engagements. For me, renewal is not just committing ourselves more into what we have promised in the past. The Renewal of Baptismal Vows in the Book of Alternative Services which we include on our Easter Day service could mean a personal responsibility to some of us. However, the emphasis should be on the movement from a personal undertaking to a congregational endeavour.
The renewal of our hearts and our minds as a congregation is made thru the power of Easter. It implies that we can lead the Jesus movement by helping our fellow baptized from one place to a new one.
The story of Exodus illustrated this concept when the people of Israel refused God’s calling and continued to question Moses why they needed to leave Egypt and go to the Promised Land.
Ministry is hard work. The challenges are immense if we do it alone. The model developed by Jesus Christ during his public ministry is still the perfect model for our Church. It is the faithful, complete and whole hearted commitment of his disciples.
Our congregation needs consistency and total dedication to continue its life and work for the community. We need other members of the congregation to step forward and renew their promises for a much higher level of commitment to the ministry of this congregation. What can you do more to see the lives of God overflow in the lives of other people? Fr. Louie