From the Priest’s Pen

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last month I wrote to you all about our upcoming joint mission trip, which will take place Thursday, October 6-Sunday, October 9.  We will be partnering with the Episcopal College Fellowship to do flood relief work in Louisiana.  I asked for you to consider how you were called to support this ministry, either by taking part, making a donation, or lifting us up in prayer.  As a result of your generosity, I am writing to you this month in gratitude for all of the support that we have received over the past several weeks.

I am pleased to let you know that this week eleven people from both the parish and the campus ministry will take part in our mission trip.  Many of these participants are offering up what would otherwise be their fall break to serve our brothers and sisters in need.  In addition, many of you, though you are not able to participate in person, have supported us through financial gifts.  Thanks to you, the cost of our travel, lodging, and group meals have all been covered.

We also received a donation that will allow us to purchase the tools that are needed for our work in Louisiana: wheelbarrows and crowbars, hammers and shovels.  The Diocese of Louisiana asked us to consider this option, as these purchases will give a much needed boost to the local economy, which is still recovering from the impact of the disaster.  Once our week of work is completed, we will donate the tools that were purchased to the Diocese of Louisiana, so that they can be used by groups that are not able to purchase their own equipment.

You all have been a blessing to us!  Yet, I would like to ask one more favor of you as we prepare to depart.  Please continue to pray for us this week.  Pray not only that we travel safely (though we certainly need those prayers), not only that we have the strength to do the work that is set before us to do, but that we would be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst.  Pray that the Spirit will open our eyes and our hearts not just to the physical tasks that we undertake, but that we might see and, to the degree that it is in our power, work to heal the deep emotional and spiritual wounds of our brothers and sisters whom we go to serve.

Finally, pray that we would be changed by our trip, not just those who travel to Louisiana, but all of us.  Pray that our Lord Jesus will take this opportunity to make us more aware of the deep needs that surround us.  Pray that we continue to seek out opportunities to serve the world in his name.  And pray that we might be open to all of the ways that, while we are serving others, we are serving none other than Christ himself.

With deepest gratitude,

Matt