29 October, 2023
This week and next week our focus will be on the saints around us. As we gather together as the LCM cluster this weekend at Coatesville UC, we will spend some time talking about the saints in our congregations.
I led an All Saints remembrance service at Victoria by the Park on Wednesday and had an interesting conversation following the service with one of the staff members. We had named the residents who has passed away during the year as well as any others that those present wanted to remember. We lit candles and shared a prayer for these saints as well as shared in communion.
Following the service, the staff member approached me and asked in a surprised voice if everyone who has died is a saint. I shared that for us the answer is yes, including the saints who surround us today and are alive. This was very different from her understanding and experience of the Roman Catholic Church.
I believe we have saints surrounding us on all sides, protecting us and walking through life with us. Paul talks of the great cloud of witnesses that gather to watch over us and cheer us on. There is also this imagery in some communion liturgies.
I am very aware that when I come into a new congregation that there are already a number of saints contained in those buildings. People may not think of themselves as saints, or think of others as saints, but saints you are. Faithfull and faith filled members of God’s family in a particular place. You bring your love, your dedication, your willingness to care into every activity that the church does. You are very special.