Thoughts from Fr. Marshall - All Saints Episcopal Church
 
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In the last minutes of this fading year I am very grateful for the life I have.

Being the priest in charge at All Saints is a great joy to me.

There was something at All Saints that was and remains very attractive to me. There is a strong core of friendship that is much deeper and richer than many might think.

Obviously, there were problems in the past and I am sure that they are not all fixed. The parish was shrinking and had been doing so for some years. Many of you know more about it than I do. There was still, however, a strong, willing and loving core of committed friends in the chairs and they are the foundation upon which we are now building.

I am sure that my approach to the situation has not been perfect and will remain imperfect but I am proud of the progress we are making. I believe that I have acted honestly and honorably.

My approach to life in general is to be honest and open and as patient and kind as I can find it within me to be. I believe that I have acted honestly and honorably here and pledge to continue to do so. I have experienced generous support and assistance freely offered from almost everyone here.

All of us  will not see or understand things in the same way. From my perspective there was within the parish a history of and a culture of bulling and lack of welcome. It seemed to come from a few key people who had found themselves in control for a very long time. I do not wish to judge their motives but it is my strong conviction that it has been necessary to address that history and to change that culture.

Those few who have left the parish in response to this change of culture need to know that they are welcome at All Saints at any time and will receive the same open, honest and honorable treatment they have received for my entire time here.

For the most part the change has been greeted on all levels with warm support, encouragement and assistance. I am so grateful to those who stayed through the difficult times and are now so important to our health and I rejoice in those who have come home.

We have wonderful relationships with many groups in the community and our connections are growing. Arts at All Saints is bringing more people into our extended community. We are about to begin a large cooperation with a number of Girl Scout Troops. Our buildings and grounds give us a great deal to use, enjoy and share.

Our relationship with our sisters and brothers in the Mar Thoma community is growing stronger. They are a great gift and inspiration to us at All Saints. We are in full communion with them and stand to learn a great deal from them. It is a wonderful thing to share different traditions and cultural experiences and they are a very welcoming group. I am committed to finding ways for us to increase our interaction while they are sharing our home.

We are called to grow and mature in our faith and to offer to the world the healing and regenerative and transformational example that comes when we live in Christian Community. This is our witness, our service, rendered to all with an openness to people of all faiths and of no faith in particular. Our call is to respect and to love, not to posit our dominance nor our superior status. It is not our job or within our capacities to define our way over and against those of others but to live ours fully and to share our experiences freely.

I believe All Saints has much to offer and that we are progressing from strength to strength. That causes me great joy and prompts me to offer to God and to you all my heartfelt gratitude.

Love and light,
Lewis Marshall



Lewis
1/2/2011 01:49:38 pm

This photo of Our Lady and the Infant Jesus in the flag is from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans about a month after the storm.

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Diane Twitty Williams
1/6/2011 07:45:47 pm

Your website is awsome. As to your end of year comments: having known you well for many years and not as well through others, it touchs my heart that the goodness and caring that I think of when I think of you has remained a vital part of who you are and how you respond to the world around you.If the patrons of All Saints do not yet know whom they have watching over them by the grace of God they have a wonderful surprise in store. Your path has always been to care for those around you and it appears you may have found the place to do so. I love your comments and the things that you are doing through God's grace to make All Saints a place of care and loving. In a selfish world your little world shines brightly for right!

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1/7/2011 05:48:52 pm

Diane,
How kind of you. It is kind of a full circle moment for you to write on the web page of my parish. We have been friends, as you know, since the fourth grade.

Life has sent us in so many directions and I hope it will keep sending us for a long time yet.

I do indeed feel at home at All Saints and am very grateful. It would only be better if we lived closer together so you could come to yoga class and whatever else you would enjoy. I hope you will come visit again soon.

Much love,
Lewis

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6/12/2012 10:15:59 pm

Wonderful post. I hope within a few days we will get more post from you like it. Thank you.

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