Wednesday Word: Willing to Serve
“Would you be willing to serve . . .”
And with those words, or something similar to them, the Rev. Ramelle McCall asked me to consider being on the team behind all of the liturgy for General Convention 2021. If you aren't yet aware, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church will be held in Baltimore from June 30 – July 9, 2021.
Fr. McCall serves as Priest in Charge of Holy Trinity, Baltimore, and as Urban Missioner for the Diocese of Maryland. He was appointed as Vice Chair to the GC21 Worship Committee, and he is working on putting a team together to pull this off.
One of the things he did was to ask me to serve as part of this body. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am an introvert and really dislike large groups. In fact, I was hoping to basically hide out in Hagerstown where it might have been possible to be overlooked for anything having to do with GC21. That didn't happen.
However, if I'm going to get asked to serve, it might as well be on a committee in which I have a good skill set (liturgy) as opposed to evaluating some resolution on the efficacy of canine baptism (I'm kidding).
But, like it or not, this is part of what I am called to do. In the ordination rite the Bishop says, “Now you are called to work as a pastor, priest, and teacher, together with your bishop and fellow presbyters, and to take your share in the councils of the Church.” In other words, remember that the Church is bigger than the particular parish you serve; because sometimes even priests need to be nudged out of their pews.
As we come to the end of the calendar year, this is something for which we should all remember: the Church is bigger than our pew, it's bigger than our parish, it's bigger than our diocese, and it's even bigger than our denomination. We are part of the Body of Christ – a living, breathing, active organism. If all we do is sit, then that body will eventually atrophy and die.
You may not be called to serve on a committee for General Convention, but there are plenty of areas around Saint John's for which you can serve. As some of our members begin to grow older and are not able to give as much time physically as they used to, or are in need of a long overdue rest, others need to step up to keep this part of the body healthy and active.
So, would you be willing to serve?