On Sunday, we will have our Annual Parish Meeting at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church. We will do so against the backdrop of the lectionary readings for the Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany, which focus on the wisdom that comes to us when we have reverence for divine authority in our lives and in our world.
The Psalm appointed for the day is Psalm 111. The first and last verses serve as bookends for the Psalm's description of the majesty and reign of God:
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, *
in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; *
those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
his praise endures for ever.
As we assemble virtually for our meeting on Sunday, we will indeed give thanks to God with our whole heart. Through our oral and written reports, we will recount the mighty works of God in our life during the past year, and there are many. We will also ask God to help us see into the future and discern what are the next steps in the mission entrusted specifically to us. We will acknowledge that God rules all things both in heaven and on earth. Such reverence for God, as the psalmist says, is the beginning of wisdom. This is the true agenda for our assembly!
Let us prepare ourselves for this annual event with this prayer from The Book of Common Prayer.
Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in this Annual Parish Meeting for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Very Reverend Ron Pogue
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church