“Take Care, My Friend”

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

Dear Christ Church,

“Take care, my friend.”

Dr. Don Lewis, a friend (and professor and fellow Anglican) from my seminary days, always concluded conversations or time together with these words, “Take care, my friend.” It’s such a powerful way to name someone, perhaps at times with already-true descriptive force, and at times with hopefulness for more to come. Don, by the way, introduced me to Peter Coelho ten years ago, who then became a friend of my own after joining our staff as Associate Rector, before we sent him out to plant Church of the Cross. Don died suddenly earlier this week, leaving behind many friends. You can read about him here and here.

Don was an intentional practitioner of what the 12th century English monk, Aelred of Rievaulx, called “Spiritual Friendship,” and wrote about in a book by that title. He writes, “No medicine is more valuable, none more efficacious, none better suited to the cure of all our temporal ills than a friend to whom we may turn for consolation in time of trouble, and with whom we may share our happiness in time of joy.” Friends who happen to both be Christian don’t necessarily enjoy the richness of “spiritual friendship,” which requires pursuing God together, sharing in service, and growing in the gospel and the knowledge of God and self.

This weekend, Christ Church, we will be on retreat together, which is one the best opportunities all year to grow in friendship. I want to encourage us all to not only look for opportunities to deepen old friendships (for those who’ve been at Christ Church for a while), but also to make space for  new friends. Be bold, reach out, and introduce yourself. Have a meal with a stranger. Invite others into your group conversation or, if you happen upon a group insert yourself with a friendly interruption. Every conversation at our parish retreat is interruptible!

Take care, my friends,

Cliff+

P.S. Don’t forget that there will be no services at 112 Medina St. this weekend! Join us out at Highland Lakes for worship at 9am Sunday morning (see below for details).