Greetings from Father Thomas
We are so glad that you found our site! There are as many reasons as there are people as to why individuals look for and come to a church. No one reason is any better than another, so whatever brought you to us be assured that we are happy that you are here!!
You will find that we are an eclectic group of individuals made up of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds. Some of us are conservative, some liberal; some are cradle Episcopalians while others of us have had a more circuitous path and come from various denominational backgrounds. We all carry with us the scars of life, but what joins us together and serves as our common ground is our desire to know and follow Jesus!
So regardless of what brought you here, or what "baggage" you carry, know that you are welcome and we invite you to come along on our journey of faith!!
The Rev. Thomas J. Mitchell
GREATER LOVE THAN THIS...
I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. . . .
I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which was once mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. . . .
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.
The above passage is taken from one of my all-time favorite novels: A Tale of Two Cities. It is a morally gripping story of transformation and renewal. The story builds throughout the novel culminating in the last chapter as Sydney Carton prepares to sacrifice his life. This passage prophesies two resurrections: one personal, the other national. Just as Paris will 'rise from the abyss' of the French Revolution's chaotic and bloody violence, so too will Carton be reborn into glory after a virtually wasted life.
For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you.
Sydney Carton declares this to Lucie Manette, the only true love of his life, yet he knows he is not worthy of her love. Despite this, Carton makes clear that he would make any sacrifice for her or her family. In the end, he keeps his promise by making the ultimate sacrifice for Lucie's happiness: to die in place of her husband, so that she could be happy.
What would make you be willing to give up your life for another? Love of spouse or child? Love of country? Nothing??
And what would you expect from the one for whom you made this ultimate sacrifice? During our journey this Lent we have been focusing on the questions of 'Who am I?' and 'Whose am I?'
To be able to be transformed into a new being requires that we move the emphasis from me, myself and I to the Other.
When Jesus found himself in the same place as Sydney Carton it wasn't about him; it was about the Other -- not you and me, but faithfulness to the will of the Other -- his Father.
A Tale of Two Cities is a story of sin and selfishness, transition and transformation, resurrection and glory. It is the story of a life squandered and ultimately redeemed and lived anew. It could well have been entitled A Tale of Two Selves, one who lost everything to sin and the other who fould the real self -- and redemption -- by dying to the former and embracing the authentic and noble self within through sacrificial love of the Other.
Lent is our journey inward in search of connecting with who we know ourselves to be, our better angel, or truer self. But then to bring that self to the fore, to become more fully ourselves and to reflect that by living not for ourselves but for the Other, who calls us out of the darkness to live in the light of his glory.