Clergy Notes — Sixth Sunday After Pentecost, June 30, 2024

At our last Diocesan Synod, one of the major tasks was to identify the primary Diocesan priorities for the next few years. The majority of people voted housing and homelessness amongst the top three. Bishop John has taken this directive very seriously and it has most certainly become a major focus of Diocesan efforts over the past year. Clearly we are all concerned about the very real and very dire housing situation in Greater Vancouver and beyond, and especially its impact on those who are most vulnerable.

One of the challenges with this – as with many social issues – is that there are already agencies and professionals who are far better equipped to deal with them on a practical level than the Church is. But, does that mean we are supposed to turn a blind eye and pretend we do not have a voice or a say at all? “Certainly not!” as St. Paul might say.

Social action and Christian faith are a natural partnership. However, when we as Christians engage in the movement of social reform, we must always do so leading with the Gospel. We must remember that – while of course we are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. – it is not to make ourselves feel better about enormous structural issues we simply cannot fix. We need to be realistic about our ability to change things, whilst also having faith that the efforts we make are not in vain. The only way to do this is to remember what our primary reason for existence as the Church is: to proclaim the Gospel in our own time and age.

This is not separate from social justice – quite the opposite! As much as we can and should work towards social reform, we will burn out and fall into despair if we lose sight of the fact that our primary goal as the Body of Christ is to love God’s people as Christ does. If we can do that, in word and action, then we can truly say that we are living into the mission and vision that belongs to us uniquely as God’s holy Church, the Body of Christ. Then, no matter how dire the circumstances may be, there will always be hope, because rather than looking for impossible solutions, we will instead be looking for ways to bring the love of Christ into a desperate world. Then we can embody the hope which does not originate in us or anything we can do, but in Christ alone.

Mother Amanda

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, June 30, 2024.