PASTOR’S PEN  01/08/21


Baptism by fire

This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus, an event which marked the symbolic beginning of his public mission. As I write this on the evening of Wednesday, January 6, it feels like we as a country are going through a baptism, but one of fire – and it doesn’t feel like the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Or does it? It depends on what we are able to “see” or discern in this horrible moment.  Already tonight some politicians on both sides of the aisle are talking with a new fervor about our need to re-find our common ground, re-find the soul of our nation, make a new beginning. Also, see responses from the Jesuit network HERE, including America Magazine.

The spirituality of St. Ignatius helps us learn to “find God in all things,” to ask ourselves how the Holy Spirit might be at work even in the most difficult times.  What new thing is God trying to bring forth in us? The baptism of Jesus began a new and decisive period in his life. We are beginning a new and decisive period in our country’s history, with a new administration facing enormous crises.  We pray for the Holy Spirit who anointed Jesus for his mission at his baptism to come and anoint us for our mission, to show us how we are to serve in our own moment in history.

And by water

In sync with this liturgical feast, we’ll celebrate two baptisms this Sunday! We congratulate Anne and Gabriel Rauterberg, the parents of Petra, and Kristy and Tom Schuelke, parents of Tess.  Let’s pray that they too may be anointed with the Spirit for their demanding vocation as parents.

Thank You!

Even though time and events have catapulted us forcefully into the new year, let’s take a moment to look back and say “Thank You” to all those who made our Advent and Christmas celebrations possible.  Especially Julie and the musicians, Aaron and the decorators – both for Christmas as well as the weekly Advent liturgies and Evening Prayer – the Social Justice Committee’s online Advent Calendar, and all the liturgical ministers at the celebrations.  We all owe much gratitude also to the parishioners and other donors who contributed very generously at Christmas and year-end; they make our parish life together possible on a very practical level!


We had a great response to the invitation to form small community groups within the parish.  Next week, a final email survey – brief, only 4 questions! – will go out to those who said YES, so that we can better understand your interests as the groups are formed. Please watch for the email and respond promptly.  Prior to our next newsletter Martin Luther King Jr. Day will arrive; watch for my next video, which will be released on that date.