Deans' Note June 27, 2021

"So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation."

(II Corinthians 5:17-18).

St. Paul, writing to the early Christians in Corinth, had a vision of the new world Jesus began in his death and resurrection. The old order, dominated by tribal factions and enmity was passing away. God's dream was indeed a possibility through Jesus our liberator. The labels the world uses to define and separate us aren't central. Our primary identity is as new creations in Christ. And we have a mission to bring reconciliation to people who feel alienated from one another and from God.

This weekend we celebrate in particular the LGBTQ+ community, people who often have felt alienated from Christian churches. But what we in the Episcopal Church have come to know is that Christ invites us to be reconcilers. We have opened the door of possibility for LGBTQ+ people to find their identity and dignity primarily in Christ. And if that is true, then we are accepted and reconciled.

It's part of our mission as agents of the liberating and reconciling grace of Jesus to open our doors at St. John's to provide a sacred space to name our identity. To say the many ways we understand ourselves are part of the diversity of the new creation. We named, recognized, and loved.

This Sunday, we gather to celebrate with pride the many identities of the LGBTQ+ community. In the new creation community, we all share our common identity in Christ. So join us Sunday to rejoice with all our siblings around the Lord's table where Christ our liberator has set us free, calls us by our names, and claims us as his own forever.