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Some Thoughts from the Gathering of Leaders

March 13, 2012

I just spent a wonderful week in San Francisco attending a continuing education conference (and doing some touring) which was fantastic.  In part it was fantastic because I had never been to California before and so that was great.  The conference, however, was even better than I had expected.

It was great to meet so many new Episcopal colleagues, who are engaged in exciting ministries and enthusiastic about the work they are doing!  I was enthralled by the depth and breadth of what we as a church are doing in so many places, like in the Diocese of Texas where new church plants are taking root, and the Diocese of Los Angeles where new models of ministry are being developed and practiced.

One of the things I took away from the conference was how paralyzed we can get and be by the fear of failure.  We spent a lot of time talking about how we, as Christians, follow a God who, in the eyes of the world at the time of His incarnation, failed.  We have to live as a resurrection people, a people of hope.  We have to let go of fear.  If we fail, we try again.  If we fail, we do something different.  But we cannot be paralyzed into immobility, especially when it is the Gospel at stake, by our fear of failure.

The Rev. Micah Jackson, Assistant Professor of Preaching at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (Texas), had this thought for us in a sermon he delivered, which was very powerful.  “My greatest hope is that Jesus will transform my life.  My greatest fear is that Jesus will transform my life.”  How true, how true.

Let us give up fear.  Let us live in hope.  Let us claim and hold accountable the Resurrection.  Ours is a mighty God.

Fr. Ryan+

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