Sunday, June 26, 2011

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

It was the start of a beautiful, warm Southern California day -- the sky so blue, the air warm.

I saw the sign and smiled -- "we LOVE Our Bishops-- Welcome!" How lovely it was to be welcomed in such a warm way, and to have ALL the bishops in the Diocese of Los Angeles remembered.

It is the radical hospitality offered at this parish that caused other parishes in the area to send people over to be confirmed, received or reaffirm their confirmation vows. It was a beautiful day.

The rector of the parish, the Rev. Mark Hallahan is an exceptionally kind, spiritual man who loves Jesus and loves this congregation. It is obvious just standing in the sanctuary.Among the amazing moments for me was the fact that this ex-Roman Catholic was in a church where the Society of Mary is present -- and given that fact that today was my mother's birthday (Mary Alice Deal Jardine), it made me so glad to be there.

If you're ever in Pomona, check out St. Paul's -- today we dedicated an upper room for prayer, meditation and day retreats. It's a reflection of the love of God in Christ in this place.

There were people who hugged me as I entered St. Paul's who I remembered from a visit 5 years ago with my husband Steve. There were new friends I met last year when St. Paul's hosted the budget input meeting last summer. There was also an old friend/fellow board member of Camp Stevens (Mary)! there today. What a treat to see her.

I wonder what I will find, or who I will find the next time I wander into St. Paul's. For sure, I will see the face of God in Christ, experience radical welcome and hospitality AND feel the movement of the Holy Spirit.

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