|Vie de Jesus Mafa, The Transfiguration|
|Bishop Lee installs the new vicar. Photo from Br. Ron Fox.|
On Thursday evening, I participated in the installation of my dear friend, Fr. Robert Cristobal, as vicar of St. George and St. Matthias Episcopal Church, an historically African American and Afro-Caribbean congregation on the south side of Chicago. Much of the music was unfamiliar to me, and I noticed several visitors surprised by the exuberant engagement of the congregation with the preacher during his sermon. And yet, here was the fullness of the Anglican tradition: the bishop, the Eucharist, the Book of Common Prayer, clergy and people of the Diocese worshipping together as one. It was beautiful and joyous, compelling and powerful.
|Chicago Chapter-in-Formation of the Society of Catholic Priests|
|St. James window in West Dundee|
As it happens, each of them is credited with building a version of the Church in various places, all of which look very different from each other. These apostles too understood that the Church is contextual, shaped by the unique identities, experiences and situations of the people in a particular time and place. The lesson for us is to embrace the possibility that the Church can look and behave differently than we are used to, and yet we can find a place for ourselves in this new and unfamiliar incarnation of the Body of Christ.
Peace and blessings,