Sorrow and Joy

AdministratorCliffNotes, Frontpage News

Dear Christ Church,

As we continue to fervently pray for Christine’s complete healing, and for Cliff and the children, we also want to take the opportunity to share some celebratory news in the life of Christ Church.

Lennon Elisabeth Summers

First, our Children’s Ministry Director, Heather Summers, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Lennon Elisabeth, on April 11th.  Congratulations, Heather and Michael!  Heather will be on maternity leave until July 9th.  If you have any questions about our Children’s Ministry, you may contact Matt Dampier (matt@christchurchofaustin.org).  Thank you to all the volunteers who are helping coordinate our Children’s Ministry these next few months!

We want to invite you to also celebrate next week’s ordination of Sarah Smith as deacon in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).  We had the privilege of having Sarah on staff at Christ Church from 2014 to just this past fall, before the birth of her third child.  Sarah, along with the whole Smith family, is deeply embedded in our community, and she serves Christ Church wholeheartedly and lovingly.

After several years of consideration, prayer, training, and formation, including the completion of her Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, and meeting last fall with our Parish Discernment Committee to listen to the Lord together, Sarah will be ordained as a transitional deacon on Wednesday, April 25th by Bishop Todd Hunter in Atlanta.  Ordination as a transitional deacon will begin a period of service and preparation for ordination into the priesthood.  We are overjoyed to see our Bishop and church affirm this calling in her life.

Sorrow and joy.  Corporately as a body, and individually in our own lives, we’ve all tasted various sorrows and joys recently.  Both are reflective of the rhythm of death and resurrection that God invites us to participate in, growing us into the likeness of Christ.  In the chapter entitled “Spiritual Formation” that Christine contributed for Spirituality in Mission: Embracing the Lifelong Journey, she writes,

“This rhythm involves mystery and grace and obedience, and takes place on the one hand, in large and dramatic ways such as processing pain and suffering with patient endurance and tenacious hope, allowing God to accompany and transform us through trial.  On the other hand, the work of death and resurrection occurs in quiet and small ways such as the choice to avoid name dropping which might get us noticed, the practice of serving in invisible ways, releasing our agenda of productivity for the sake of relationship, and even fighting for hope while struggling with depression.  We are likewise shaped as we practice resurrection joy, embrace a Sabbath lifestyle, and reap the rewards of authentic spiritual friendships and community.” 

Death and resurrection: we’re invited into both, shaped by both.  May we be granted patient endurance and tenacious hope to participate in Christ’s death, and also have eyes to see the immensity of God’s goodness and love, participating in His resurrection.

Under His Mercy,
The Christ Church Staff and Vestry