Summer 2023 Newsletter

How is God Calling Us?

The Very Reverend Canon Anne Sawyer, Interim Dean & Priest-in-Charge

It’s hard to believe that I have been with you for nearly a third of the year. Having arrived in March, we have slid into mid-summer. I am grateful to all of you for the warm welcome and opportunities to become acquainted. I am grateful for the diversity that exists within the community of St. John’s, and I can hardly wait to celebrate the independence of Belize in Sept. There are many cultures and traditions to cherish.

To be expected, I have met beloved parishioners who are faithful and dedicated to the good work begun with the previous Deans. I have met beloved parishioners who have worshipped at St. John’s for decades, and recall the leadership of previous clergy. We have also welcomed a few fabulous new members who are finding home. This time of discernment is an exciting one as we listen and learn from each other, and you begin the process of calling a new Dean.

How is God is calling you, the people of St. John’s to be the Church for generations to come? Who will help discern God’s call and lead? All of us are called to be faithful, trusting in the Spirit ever-present in and among us.  

This past chapter for me was spent tending to business, within and beyond the walls of our church, and learning more about this special place. This summer I hope we will take time to reconnect, nurture, and grow community by spending time together. Perhaps, we can have dinners in neighborhoods through the city, or enjoy an outing or two. Or we can bask in a good summer read. I welcome your ideas about how we can live, learn and grow in love.

A time ago, after returning from clergy conference and hearing writer and theologian Debie Thomas reflect on lament (defined as grief), hope and communion, I floated the idea of offering listening circles on grief and loss. I am wondering now if this is the right topic, or whether there are other topics to explore. I do believe that we would benefit from time listening to each other. Please stay tuned for more information on listening circles this summer. I hope you will join us.

Finally, it is my prayer that we can identify the activities of the past that you miss, dream about what has yet to be born, and offer these ministries for the fall. This is the time to dream big with trust that all things are possible with God. We have children among us who need time and attention; as well as a few of us older folk, and many in between. Let us be a community of faith who cares deeply for and loves one another – as Christ loved us. I treasure this time with you.

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