Spring, as we all know, is a time of renewal of nature, a rebirth of plant life. I think that is a good metaphor for what religion is, or should be—a renewal of our spirit, a rebirth of our life. At All Souls, we pride ourselves on our diversity, like a field of wildflowers, everyone unique.
We all have our own light
I remember when my parents died, I was invited to a memorial mass at St. Francis Hospital for those who had lost loved ones during the year. During the reception, I was speaking to one of the nuns. She said that one thing she had learned from working with people of different faiths is that they all have their own light. When we, like the good sister, deal with people of different faiths and backgrounds, I would say, first find out what enlightens a person’s life and work with that. Don’t try to blind them with your own light. They may just lose their way. Help them find their own road to renewal.
Every year, the high school youth at All Souls are given the honor and privilege to take over the Sanctuary, the Chancel and the Pulpit at All Souls. With this responsibility, they show our congregation what they are about, what matters to them, and share their considerable wisdom. The youth create, select and perform all parts of the service; from the music to prayer, and share their Senior sermons. This year, Youth Sunday is on April 23 at 10 and 11:30 am CST.
“You don’t have to be good for this church to love you.”
One year, I was moved by a sermon shared by a young man who told the congregation that he had tried to kill himself. It was the hardest thing he had ever had to tell anyone. He had to undergo a very painful renewal. Nearly all the people who came to see him in the hospital were from the church. He ended his Senior sermon by saying, “You don’t have to be good for this church to love you.” This brought home to me how important it is for the church to be a caring community.
Healing ministry for the suffering soul
Serving as a caring community is built into pastoral care, one thing All Souls does really well. What is pastoral care? It is a healing ministry for the suffering soul. That, to me, is the highest renewal of all. Anyone can call All Souls Care Team phone, 918-724-TEAM, any time, night or day, and talk to a member of the Care Team. It’s been my privilege to serve on the Care Team for several years and if we don’t have the answer, we can refer you to someone who does.
I would like to close with words from the Navajo nation, which are found in the back of the hymnal:
Beauty is before me, and beauty behind me,
Above me and below me hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it, I am immersed in it.
In my youth, I am aware of it,
And, in old age I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail.
In beauty it is begun. In beauty it is ended.
This post was originally published in March of 2018. It has been edited with correct dates for Youth Sunday this year (2023).
Youth Sunday is considered to be “the best service of the year!” We invite everyone to join our Seniors on Sunday, April 23 in both services, 10 and 11:30 am CST. Join us in-person or via live stream at allsoulschurch.org/live, or on Facebook or Zoom. For complete information, visit allsoulschurch.org/worship-services.