Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, Church!!

And it’s January!

As the new year begins -- with all its opportunities and challenges -- here at All Saints Church we look forward to another year of living out our mission of turning the human race into the human family and making God’s love tangible 24/7. We quote Martin Luther King Jr. a lot here at All Saints -- and high on the list of frequently quoted quotes is “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

We know that to be true – and we know also that we stand on the shoulders of generations of “arc benders” as we work together to make justice roll down in our generation as they did in theirs. And during the month of January we’ll be getting a jump start on that work as we welcome some extraordinary leaders to equip us to both learn from our history and mobilize for the future.

On Sunday, January 8 the Reverend Dr. James Lawson – one of the architects of the Civil Rights Movement – will be with us in the Rector’s Forum to continue to equip us in the work of using non-violent direction action to make change happen. We were honored to have Dr. Lawson with us in November for a teaching session with the vestry and are delighted that he will be kicking off our 2012 Rector’s Forum series. The arc of the moral universe is long, but Dr. Lawson will help us work to bend it toward justice.

On Martin Luther King Sunday (January 15) we welcome the Reverend Stephanie Spellers – a long time friend of All Saints Church and a national leader on issues of radical welcome and the emerging church movement. From the pulpit and in the Rector’s Forum she will both challenge and equip as we continue to expand our understandings of what it is to “be” church in the rapidly changing challenges of what some are calling the “Digital Reformation.” The arc of the moral universe is long, but we will continue to work to bend it toward radical welcome.

And then on January 28/29 we will mark a very special anniversary with a weekend dedicated to the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1992 blessing of Mark Benson and Phil Straw: the first same-sex union blessed at All Saints Church . A day-long conference on Saturday the 28th will include speakers from the original “God, Sex & Justice” task force and a video look back at this important part of our history followed by workshops equipping us to move forward in the future.

Confirmed participants include Bishop Mary Glasspool, Rector Emeritus George Regas, Bishop Gene Robinson and Mark Benson. Bishop Glasspool will preach and Bishop Robinson celebrate at the conference day Eucharist on Saturday afternoon – and the day will conclude with a special “sneak preview” of a brilliant new documentary on the work and witness of the Bishop of New Hampshire: “Love Free or Die.”

Then on Sunday morning, January 29 both Bishops Glasspool and Robinson will be with us to continue the celebration: Bishop Robinson preaching at the 9:00 & 11:15 services and Bishop Glasspool celebrating. It is going to be quite a weekend!

The arc of the moral universe is long, but we have seen it bend toward justice … and this January we are going to continue the All Saints tradition of setting audacious goals and celebrating incremental victories as we continue to do our part to make justice roll down. Happy New Year, Church!

-- by Susan Russell, Senior Associate for Communication, Incorporation & Inclusion

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