Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A little break from the 'sturm und drang' of the Anglican Communion

Dear Friends,

I ask you to join me and the people of St. Paul's, Chatham, and the entire Wang family as we prepare ourselves in prayer to baptize Sabrina Yu Shan this morning.
She will become the 1,000th person to be baptized in our household of faith.

Sabrina was born in Taiwan and was recently adopted by her parents who just returned from her home country where they formalized the adoption and then carried her with great rejoicing to her new home and family.

I will preach a Baptismal Love Letter - the gospel appointed for the day through the lens of her baptism - as I have for the other 64 souls I have been privileged to baptize in my 6 years at St. Paul's.

I write these 'love letters' to underscore my strong belief in the primacy of this sacrament, along with the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, as the two that shape and form our lives together in Christ. The five sacramental rites also shower us with grace - 'unearned and undeserved' - at various times and at various milestones as we journey in our lives of faith.

I write them, too, in the hope that parents will save them in their children's baby book, so that they might use them, one day in the fast-approaching future, as a spiritual meditation as they prepare for Confirmation.

Two other people have written her beautiful, prayerful "love letters" which I wish to share with you, that you may be inspired to join us in prayer and that you may also rejoice in the gift of your own baptism:

Dear Sabrina,
Congratulations on becoming the 1,000th person baptized at St. Paul’s Church.

I pray that you will build on the wisdom and faith of your parents, your family and friends and your spiritual ancestors – and the extraordinary giftedness of who you are – and become, in time, a fierce and bold bearer of hope in the name of the living Christ.

In peace,

+Mark
(the Rt. Rev’d) Mark Beckwith
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.



Dear Sabrina Yu Shan,

Today marks your entry into the Body of Christ, and today many, many new sisters and brothers will welcome you. You are joining a family that has welcomed nearly 1,000 others in its 100+ years at St. Paul’s in Chatham, and many millions who have bound themselves to our elder Brother, Jesus. All of us – all of us - join in reminding you that you are much loved, and we promise to keep on reminding you. As you grow, we pray that you will come to know and believe that you are God’s beloved and begin to proclaim that good news to others. May God’s blessing be abundantly evident in your life.

Shalom,

+Katharine
(the Most Rev’d) Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

1 comment:

FranIAm said...

Oh my - so very beautiful.

Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

Generosity of spirit is clearly a gift of yours. Some might say that is an occupational demand... but I do believe it comes naturally and not as a result of priesthood or ordination.

God bless all the baptized - those baptized today, all of those baptized in the past and those who will be baptized in the future.

Blessings and prayers in great abundance for Sabrina Yu Shan and her family.

Amen, amen, amen.