I arrived at Thinspace’s Feast of St. Patrick “gig” last night at around 5 pm. As one of the first travelers to arrive, I got a chance to wonder around and look at the amazing space that Vineyard Central bought from the Catholic church about 12 years ago. St. Elizabeth’s is a beautiful place as you can see from the pictures below.
At the evening gathering Todd Hunter spoke to us about our vocation as God’s people. In particular he made the point that the “Kingdom God is a secular reality” not limited to a singular expression such as “the church.” One of the questions he asked us to consider was “What has the power to organize our lives?” For him, and for many of us there, one answer, perhaps the answer, is the Story we have in scripture, particularly the story of Jesus. For me, this question needs more reflection and contemplation, and maybe a post on this blog in the future.
The evening closed out with a worship service and a tribute to two of the members of this community who had died in the past year: Mark Palmer and Chad Canipe. The video memorial for Mark was particularly moving and gave even an outsider like me a glimpse as to why he was and remains a beloved member of the Vineyard Central community. Finally we shared communion together, singing along the way the old hymn “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” and the new praise song, “Breathe.” It was a moving service and reminded me once again that we don’t need to jettison the old in favor of the new, but that both can enrich our lives and faith journeys.