Deans' Note February 06, 2022
This week marks the 97th anniversary of the dedication of our church building. We celebrate this milestone Sunday as we press on to nearly 100 years! And it's Candlemas, the day the Church marks Jesus' presentation in the temple in Jerusalem. It's also the time of the Lunar New Year. What a dynamic confluence of events.
The Feast of the Presentation provides us with the wonderful image of God's presence entering the temple at Jerusalem, almost imperceptibly, in the child Jesus. The Holy Spirit is also at work here, bringing something new out of that which had grown old. Where do we see God doing something new and are we able to perceive the Holy Spirit at work?
The connection between this Feast and the dedication of our building brings to mind a hymn sung by the first congregants of St. John's who came that day 97 years ago: "Come to this temple now thine own and let thy glory fill the place." Can we renew and energize our life again this year as we emerge into new post-Covid possibilities? How can we invite the Holy Spirit to let God's glory fill the place afresh?
And the connection of the Lunar New Year, a time of new beginnings in itself, reminds us all of the cross-cultural nature of our community and our city. Could our forebearers in the faith 97 years ago ever have imagined life in the 21st century, especially at St. John's?
These three streams of confluence invite us to pray for wisdom, joy, revival, renewal, courage, and hope. Pray with us the time honored words of the Book of Common Prayer, words that date all the way back to the fifth Century:
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Ho