October 25, 2022

From the Associate Rector…

While Candice is away, I thought I might take the opportunity to do something I probably should not do which is to inject controversy by discussing a topic that is probably better left untouched. But this is a controversy that I believe needs to be addressed, especially in light of it being fall and the various holiday seasons approaching. Are you pro candy corn or not? Now, I bring this question up in light of a meme that my sister-in-law found on Facebook and texted to me. It simply read “I think candy corn was meant to be decorative and one day somebody ate a piece and was too embarrassed to admit they made a mistake and now here we are.” I later found one that I forwarded to her that read “Stop saying candy corn is the worst candy ever. Don’t forget black licorice exists.” I am now waiting for the retort from the black licorice supporters. If only my grandfather were still around. I remember as a kid culling the black licorice jellybeans from my Easter haul to give to him. Regardless of which side of this cultural fence you find yourself, those who hold an opinion on the subject are staunch advocates for whichever view they hold.

As we turn the corner on the month of October and look forward to the arrival of the holiday season, let us seek to find joy and comfort in diversity. Let us look for God’s peace in our contemplation of others. We will celebrate Thanksgiving next month. Thanksgiving is core to our theology as Episcopalians. The way that we give thanks is as diverse as our worshipping community. One of the things that I am most thankful for is how inclusive everyone is here at the Church of the Ascension. I think that is a testimony to how we have not just survived the last couple of years but have in a sense thrived as we have grown our ranks. It was wonderful to see so many people attend the Newcomer’s Luncheon a couple of weeks ago. That sense of radical welcome that is so characteristic of this community is embodied in each of you and I feel it every day in your welcoming of Allison and I to partner with all of you and Candice to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community.

As Episcopalians we embrace the via media or the ‘the middle way.’ It is core to our theology as we seek to be a “both/and” community rather than an “either/or”. In placing value on the gifts that everyone has to offer we are not only being welcoming, but I think living into that sense of God’s peace that we offer to each other every Sunday. This is the essence of what we mean when we say, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes Everyone!” So, whether you are pro candy corn or not, pro licorice or not, like any of it or none of it, you have a place at God’s table. I have often heard that variety is the spice of life. I believe it is that diversity that makes us uniquely various. It is that diversity that is individually the beloved createdness in which our loving Father sought to make us.

“ For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 12:12-13