Tabernacle Ministry Begins
These times we find ourselves in, can feel like we are a people wandering in the desert. Lost and afraid – separated from our community and our deep sense of safety and belonging.
Yet, we are the children of courageous and faithful people who also walked in the wilderness, on their way to the promised land.
While they walked, lost and separated from their temple, they formed mobile worship spaces, small and light enough to carry with them. Spaces where they could gather together until they made it to the promised land. They called these spaces Tabernacles.
The Tabernacle played a crucial part in keeping people connected and engaged with each other. Tabernacles created sacred spaces that called people to prayer and to care for their neighbor.
Tabernacles held the people together, until they could reach the promised land.
Good people of Grace, we are wandering in the desert and yet, we too will reach the promised land. But the journey is far from over and we need sacred space, faithful presence, and prayer to keep us engaged and comforted until we as a people are able to come home, until we too can get to that promised land.
To that end Grace church will begin to create 10+ Tabernacles made up of 7-10 people each. These Tabernacles will offer space and will meet weekly, via Zoom at first, for prayer and fellowship. If the congregant does not have access to Zoom or the internet, weekly contact will be made (by phone or in person) by a member of the tabernacle they are given.
Each Grace congregant will be given a tabernacle and each tabernacle will be “guided” by a vestry member, pastoral care team member or Grace staff member. The purpose of the tabernacle is to create small groups out of our larger church, so that we can ensure every person is getting regular care and is being given a way to connect to Grace. The smaller size of the tabernacle also makes it possible to grow relationships at a deeper level during this time of distance.
We find ourselves in very different and difficult days. We as a church have been doing our best to meet the needs of our growing parish, and yet we are finding that the same ways of doing church and caring for our neighbor, are simply not possible now. Our Tabernacle ministry will help us to create relationships, meet needs and give members a way to stay connected with consistent presence and care.
Over the next week we’ll be making up the Tabernacle groups and assigning “guides” to each. Those guides will be emailing or calling you to let you know which Tabernacle you are given. Participation in your tabernacle gathering is of course up to you. It is an invitation, an invitation to connection and fellowship, as we all travel through this wilderness, to the promised land. Rev. Milly’s announcement YouTube video can be seen here.
The Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th) we remember the wise men who came from the East (Matthew 2:1-12) bearing gifts for Jesus, born king of the Jews. Reading this scripture with fresh eyes, we might wonder as did twelfth Century French abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux, “How have wise men become such fools as to adore a child, whose age and whose relations’ poverty alike deserve contempt?” A baby born to an unwed mother, lying in a manger among animals, and adored as a king? We join these kings as fools—as people who follow Jesus who a man and yet God and who calls us to serve the meek and lowly. In the Sundays of Epiphany we hear how God is revealed in this world. The first and last readings we hear the words “”You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 4:11) and “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” (Mark 9:7). Listen to the stories in the gospel of Mark. Through them we come to know Jesus, God’s son, who loves us intimately. Jesus heals our pain and restores us to new life so that we can follow him. In this season, look for the light of Christ. Take bold steps, as did the magi more than two thousand years ago, to follow the star to our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Become a fool so that you may become wise. This booklet begins with a home blessing to invite the presence of Jesus in your home and continues with the collects and gospel readings for this Epiphany season. Following each reading is a question to consider. The booklet is available for download by clicking the cover art.
Grace’s 2020 Annual Report is available here.