Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 1/16/23

Posted on ; Filed under News

Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

I use this occasion to bring to your attention two “business” matters.  The first, announced at Eucharist, is that the next vestry meeting of the parish is scheduled for Sunday, 22 January, in St. Francis Hall, immediately following the 10:00 a.m. Eucharist.  Concerns or recommendations may be given directly to our wardens or sent to me via “reply” to this email.   The second matter which I bring to your attention is to remind you of our Annual Meeting, which has been warned for Sunday, 12 February 2023.  All members in good standing should have received this warrant on Saturday last via email.  Should you not have noticed this in your inbox, please check under spam or junk mail.  Copies of the warrant have been posted in St. Francis Hall and on the inside of the entrance from Broadway.

The Annual Meeting is mandated under the Statutes of Religious Organizations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.  That is the legal side.  However, the Annual Meeting carries for me a greater importance, and I take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of the Annual Meeting.  All are eligible to attend; however, only those eligible to vote as defined in the Warrant may vote.  Participation, by voice and/or by vote, is essential to the health of our parish.  Unlike some of the national provinces of the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church of the United States, of which we are members via the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, is a bicameral body: Clergy and Lay.  This reflects the era of the Independence of the USA from the British Crown. 

Lay people have, and play, an important role in the mission of the church, and, therefore, I urge your serious consideration in attending this meeting.  Not only do we set our budget for the year 2023, but also have opportunity to get to know how and where, i.e. whereto, our pledges and other revenue are dispersed.  Your/our vestry monitors the affairs of the parish until the next Annual Meeting.  As mentioned above regarding monthly vestry meetings, I ask that you direct concerns to our wardens, with whom I work closely, in order to carry out the ministry of our congregation.  As a sincere teaser for the Annual Meeting, I make the following observation:  Since my arrival among you in March 2018, now almost five years ago, I have not felt as positive regarding our combined ministry—outreach and survival—as I enter with you into our sixth year of ministry together.

Of your charity, I bid you pray not only for our parish, but for all in position of authority and responsibility in our nation, and for the leaders of all nations, that we may come to realize the message of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.  We pray:

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and those whom you love into this new year.  Amen.

Your fellow Sojourner in The Way,