May 2, 2024

The Episcopal Church and tradition blesses us with connections. One of the things I love about our church is its continuity with those who have come before us. The language is different, and the setting changes, but the pattern of worship – gathering, listening, praying, taking, breaking, and sharing the Body and Blood, and then going out to bless the world- follows the same model it did in the early centuries of the church. The words we say and the proclamation of love that we share are the same as those proclaimed by apostles, saints, and martyrs across millennia. The lineage of those who care for the church (“episcopoi” means “those who watch over.” Say it five times quickly and it becomes “bishops”) follows an unbroken succession of hands laid on heads from the Apostles to Bishop Akiyama.  

The Episcopal Church is not just tradition, though, it is also here and now. Our connections with the past and our ancestors are important, and our connections with our living siblings are just as critical. It is heartening to know that we are not alone, across the city, state, nation and world, Episcopalians and Anglicans are working to support and build one another up. When one congregation is hurting, the others are there to help. When one congregation accomplishes something wonderful, we can rejoice to point and say, “that’s our family.” 

In the next weeks we will have two opportunities to join our family for learning, prayer, and fellowship. On Thursday May 9, at 6:00 pm the Episcopal Church in the Eugene area will gather at St. John the Divine in Springfield (2537 Game Farm Rd.) to celebrate Christ’s ascent to the heavenly throne, and to celebrate being Episcopalians together both at worship and at a dessert potluck afterward. Then, on Saturday June 1, The Episcopal Church in Western Oregon will gather at St. Paul’s Episcopal in Salem for a day to celebrate our Diocesan family, and to learn from the Rt. Rev. Robert Wright, Bishop of Atlanta and one of the candidates to be our next Presiding Bishop. (Information and registration

Remember that our connections are both with the Saints that came before us and the saints that walk among us and come join in celebrating our connected tradition!