Dear beloved people of Trinity Church,
As we continue to prayerfully discern who we are and what we do in the Episcopal Church, the Marks of Mission for the Anglican Communion can be one way to shape and guide that process.The five Marks of Mission give us some details to understand how the mission of the Church is the mission of Christ:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Numbers one through three are part of the role of every priest, and I have learned so much about how to live into that role at Trinity Church. Recently, however, numbers four and five have really been tugging on my heart strings, and I felt the need to commit to these two missions in a particular way in full-time ministry. As a result, I’ve accepted a call to serve as the Priest-in-Charge at St. Francis Episcopal Church in North Bellmore, Long Island.
St. Francis is a small church with a sizable community garden that feeds local folks who struggle to make ends meet, where individuals can come to the garden for fresh veggies. The church also delivers vegetables to local soup kitchens and food pantries, and members of Long Island’s growing Spanish-speaking community frequent the garden.
North Bellmore is also home to many members of the FDNY and NYPD. The Bishop of Long Island has asked me to care specifically for their needs and those of their families. The town was also hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, and they know first-hand the devastation of climate change. As we continue to see growing numbers of migrants directly related to climate change, St. Francis Church’s commitment to environmental sustainability and getting closer to the earth is of primary spiritual importance for me right now.
I’m so grateful for the ways Trinity Church has equipped me for this call. I’m a better priest because of my time here. I look forward to spending the next few weeks here with you all as we continue to listen to where God is leading and guiding us to respond to the mission of Christ.
Br. Chris McNabb, OSF