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Lamplighter - Fr. Ralph

posted Oct 29, 2015, 12:42 PM by St. Thomas Church   [ updated Jul 26, 2018, 12:57 PM ]

One of the highlights of General Convention was when the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies both voted to welcome back the Diocese of Cuba back into our church.  The votes of both houses were unanimous.  Cuba was cut off from the church back in the 1960’s.  I’m not sure what all the reasons were, but it was a sad time for the church.  Welcoming them back was a joyous time for the church.  In the midst of the joy, I began to think about what it must have been like to be separated from our brothers and sisters.  For the Cuban Episcopalians it had to sad and isolating.  Relationships that had been formed were disconnected.  Support must have been difficult if impossible. 

As I pondered this long and complicated history, I began to wonder about others who have been separated and isolated.  I wasn’t thinking about a diocese, but of members of families, members of churches, folks who look different or who seem different for a whole host of reasons.  The more I thought, the more I could picture ways in which we cut each other off.  It is so easy to stop someone from speaking, or to interrupt them while they are.  We have all experienced being disconnected. 

Jesus came to earth to reconnect us to God and to each other.  The Apostle Paul words it this way, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”  This is our ministry.  It doesn’t mean it is easy.  Christ didn’t walk an easy path.  The work of reconciliation is costly.  It is often slow work.  It is tempting to give up.  We may even think someone is hopeless.  Thanks be to God that Jesus doesn’t think we are hopeless. 

I don’t remember anyone talking about the Diocese of Cuba ten years ago.  I doubt many were thinking about them twenty years ago.  God had a plan.  I glad the church joined in.