What‘s Happening at St. Paul’s 11-05-2021
Once, during the long contemplation phase of my discernment process, I asked Chick Carroll, Deacon Emeritus, if he thought becoming a Deacon had made him a kinder person. Chick, being Chick, thought for a moment and then, nodding slowly said, “I think it did.”
I don’t remember what prompted that question and it sounds, on some level, very naïve. But much to my surprise, I am finding that my formation has inclined my heart toward kindness in a way that I never expected but had always prayed was possible. And although I can’t say that I have become kinder, I think much more about kindness as a manifestation of the love and grace of God.
Long before I ever considered becoming a deacon, I was drawn to the Church because I was looking for a spiritual home. I joined the Church of the Holy Spirit in Gallup, NM in my late twenties and was the youngest member by several decades. What I found was a group of people representing broad swaths of the economic, cultural and political spectrum- Anglo/Native/Hispanic, Republican/Democrat, redneck/cowboy/pillar of the community, etc. But they had one thing in common- they were kind and they loved God. Despite our differences, I felt at home.
Ever since that first foray back into the fold in 1976, I have belonged to the Episcopal Church. As many of you know, I have my differences with the institutional church but what I have always found is a community of loving people who love God. I hope I don’t offend anyone if I say that, for me, that alone makes it worth staying.
Fast forward to formation and my question to Chick. Formation has been like an intensification of the experience I come to St Paul’s for. I have felt a deepening of my faith and a deepening of my relationship to God/Jesus. I am more aware of the love and grace that God has given us through Jesus and, yes, that has inclined my heart to gratitude, and kindness.
Thanks, Chick, and St Paul’s.