On Sunday April 7, All Saints warmly welcomed our new Diocesan Bishop, the Right Reverend Andrew Asbil. Bishop Asbil is the new “chief pastor” of the Diocese, with oversight of 202 parishes.
Bishop Asbil officiated our 10:30am service. Along with over 80 parishioners, the Bishop was treated to a performance from our young people. Narrated from the pulpit, children and youth in our Sunday School took on all the roles in the story of the Good Samaritan: the lawyer and Christ who used the parable to explain who is our neighbor, the poor man who was beaten and left, the passerby’s who ignored him, and the Samaritan who bound his wounds and put him up at an Inn. When asked to comment on their performance, the young people agreed that acting out the story brought it to life for them. The Bishop was encouraging and expressed his appreciation.
Later in the service, the Bishop delivered an inspiring sermon on the Gospel story in John 12 of Mary anointing Jesus’s feet with expensive perfume and wiping them with her hair. He said that we all have a ministry and called us to give generously of our gifts. Our relationship with God is always moving, sometimes he is out of sight and seeks us out. “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”, he quoted from Isaiah when the Jewish people were separated from God. “Sometimes you have to be far from home to know who you are. Then God reveals himself, and knows who you are. He says ‘I see you’ , I will do a new thing and the whole creation will change. Old words will be fresh again.” Mary knew that grief was coming to Jesus.
He reminded us that Mary’s immense gratitude involved anointing Jesus with perfume worth a whole years’ wages. He told the story of an event when he was a curate raising money for his church and he had to ask a parishioner, Jim, for a donation. To his enormous surprise, he promised $100,000 saying, “it’s a joy to give.” In the Gospel Jesus says the poor will always be with us. He urged us to be open handed with them and with our parish. In so doing we will receive new life and be transformed
Submitted by Patrick Gossage