Festive All!

This weekend, we celebrate our Fall Festival – or as I like to say, “Festive All!” This is a time for our community to gather and celebrate all that God has given to this parish family.

Gatherings are so important in the life of any family. I am the fourth of five children in my family, and I remember always celebrating holidays together. We still carry on that tradition of being together, sharing stories and laughter, as well as sadness and tears. Anne and I have taken over the tradition of hosting Christmas Eve, now that both of my parents have gone to the Lord. Being together as family affirms our sense of connection and opens our hearts to be Christ to our family members and guests.

This will be my first Fall Festival at St. Peter’s. I am looking forward to the food, fun and fellowship that I know will be part of this celebration. Like any family, it is important for us, as a community of faith, to step back now and again and celebrate what God has provided. It is also a time for us to welcome visitors and guests to our parish. I look forward to this celebration of who we are as a parish—brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord!

Fall is a time of transition. We see the leaves turning beautiful colors. We move from short sleeves and shorts to long sleeves and cardigans. The days grow shorter as we prepare for colder weather and the coming of winter.   It seems fitting that our parish celebration comes in the midst of this time of transition. We gather to celebrate the life of this beautiful parish and each person who makes up its family.

St. Peter’s is a beautiful tapestry of new and familiar faces. I have been blessed to baptize many of those “new faces” that have joined our community and get to know their parents and siblings. I have blessed couples who are celebrating milestones in their married life.

Each Sunday, as I elevate the chalice during the prayer of consecration, I look out on this wonderful family, and thank God that I am blessed to serve in this vibrant community of faith. I have listened to the stories of many of our parishioners who have been faithful members of this community for decades. I also enjoy talking each week those who have heard about St. Peter’s and wish to make it their parish home. We must continue to share what God has given to St. Peter’s with the visitors who join us each week.

There is a weaving that God does so quietly and beautifully that we can sometimes miss it! God weaves us together as brothers and sisters. Within our parish, we welcome new life and say goodbye to those whom God has called home. We visit the sick, heal the broken and bring the Word and the Eucharist into the hearts of the faithful. God has woven this breathtaking tapestry that is St. Peter’s. With His gentle and guiding hand, the Father takes delight in watching us grow and change, and yes, sometimes struggle.

We are family. We are family, because God first called us to be His children. We are family, because God has brought us, for different reasons and in different ways, to this place to give Him honor and worship. Like any family, we have moments of joy and of sadness. We get along, and we disagree. Through all of this, He watches over us and guides us. This is a place where we can welcome all who come, knowing that God will continue to send new members to this beautiful family that He has made here.

So, here we are, joined together by a common faith and love in Jesus Christ. As we gather this weekend, we stand together as family to say a giant “thank you” to God for His boundless generosity. We recognize His hand in every aspect of the life of this parish. We also recognize the strength we have when we stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and profess the faith that binds us at each Mass.   It is this common faith, this common bond as children of a loving Father, that makes us able to go out into the world and shine light in the darkest places.

So let’s celebrate this weekend. As we enjoy this time of being together, let us remember who we are and why we are here. Let’s affirm each other and welcome the stranger. Let us celebrate with song, dance and laughter. Let us give the glory to the One who calls each of us by name. We are blessed, truly blessed, that God is among us. And for all of this, we give thanks. Festive ALL!

In God who is always with us,

Deacon Tim

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