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Remarks on Commitment Weekend

In 2002, I married my wife, Sarah, at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish. She grew up in this neighborhood, went to St. Margaret of Scotland School and if you’ve attended one of our 10am Sunday liturgies, you’ve heard her play flute with the choir. If you know her and you know me, you know that I married up.” 

After years of enjoying this parish community, we moved away from St. Louis so that I could take a new job. Over the course of ten years, we lived in three different cities, in two different states, and participated in many faith communities. During those years, when we would wander back to St. Louis to visit family & friends, we made sure to get back to St. Margaret’s for a Sunday Mass.  And whenever we did, we were reminded of the high bar this parish sets. 

As Joni Mitchell sings: you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone…”

About three years ago, when we got an opportunity to move back to St. Louis and this faith community, we jumped at the chance. And we returned to a parish even more dynamic and vibrant than the one we remembered. We immediately enrolled our daughter in the parish school and last year I joined the parish council. 

What exactly makes our parish dynamic and vibrant? I suggest that it is because the ministries of St. Margaret of Scotland parish are transformative.  

  • The RCIA program creates an environment for those asking questions and seeking faith to become baptized believers.

  • Our Living Justice Ministry is a voice for transformation throughout our community, calling us to respect human dignity and promote the common good. 

  • Our parish school transforms kindergarteners into talented eighth graders, prepared for any academic challenge ahead.

  • Our athletic association is a concrete example of transformation. If you don’t believe me, attend the first practice of 3rd grade volleyball and then show up to the final game of the season. You will see clear evidence of the transformation that can occur within this community of faith.

  • Each time I attend Sunday liturgy here, I arrive worn out from a week of work. After encountering Christ in the words of scripture, in the Eucharist and in this community, I leave a little different… a little transformed… encouraged and prepared for the next week.

This transformation, of course, is God’s grace, working through us & our parish ministries - in visible and invisible ways - to help us grow into the people God is calling us to be.

I know that the way I described these ministries is different from how we are experiencing them today, in the midst of a global pandemic. Please know that although the limitations put in place to ensure our safety do not limit God’s transformative grace.

Today, during this Commitment Weekend, I invite you to invest in the transformative ministry of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish.  

Please take some time to carefully consider how you might invest yourself. Your resources of time, talent and treasure, are precious. All these resources are needed to sustain our ministries. I might even call out the resource of talent. Operating ministries at this time, calls for significant creativity. 

With the collective impact of our investment, St. Margaret of Scotland Parish will continue to be a dynamic and vibrant faith community as we contribute to the coming of God’s Kingdom here on Earth.

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