There’s a new energy spreading among the beloved members of Saint Brigid’s congregation. Over the past few months, community members reimagined our beloved congregation. The work began at our Signpost meeting in October and continues as we move closer to our saint’s feast day in early February. Many established traditions based in our history and core values will remain alongside newer innovative ideas arising from the work of the Spirit among our current attendees.
Saint Brigid’s congregation will begin worshipping in the afternoon starting Sunday, February 5, 2023. We will gather at 1 pm and share a light meal together to celebrate Saint Brigid’s Day. The liturgy will get underway around 1:30 pm. For now, I won’t say much more because plans are still coming together but I can assure you the synergy of ideas is thrilling! I am personally excited to witness the movement of the Spirit among us.
A major impetus for these new imaginings was our desire as a community to honour our core value to be a welcoming and inclusive community. I’ve been doing some personal reading and reflecting on what it means to be welcoming and inclusive. What I’ve learned has challenged some of my initial thoughts.
I used to think that it was my job to approach visitors and incorporate them into our congregation. You know; greet them and get them to stay and belong. However, I don’t think that any longer. Certainly, I can’t make anyone stay or belong. And in fact to think that I can is acting from a place of privilege and pride. What I can do, with God’s help and along with others, is create a friendly, safe space with as few barriers to participation as possible. I recognize that visitors and newcomers are already making a monumental effort just by showing up. Respecting their boundaries and honouring their journeys is the least I can do in welcoming them to our community.
In addition, I’m learning to be kinder and more generous in order to be more inclusive. I’m learning that inclusion is less about me ‘schooling’ another person about how they can be included and more about accepting the unique gifts each person brings to our community and learning from each person how they wish to participate in the beloved community. As we begin to engage in new ways of doing things at Saint Brigid’s, I have chosen to be intentional about letting go of preconceived outcomes. I will give the Spirit room to move and work among us in ways that I cannot imagine or understand. I will honour that each person will participate in their own way.
Our beloved Saint Brigid community is moving towards a reimagined vision of who and what we are and how we fellowship and worship together. Change can often make me feel uncomfortable and uncertain. It has been my journey to become less hesitant and resistant to change. I am setting my intention to be open to the changes. With God’s help, I pray that I will experience new ways of worshiping and celebrating the Eucharist within our beloved community. And for that, I’m truly grateful and hopeful to see what the Spirit has in store for us as we continue together to be a welcoming and inclusive beloved community.