We welcomed Father Ben back from his sabbatical on September 8th. It is good to have him back at St Francis. It was an important time for him and for the congregation. The sabbatical period gave time to reflect on where we are as a church and where we want to go. In his first sermon back, Father Ben emphasized the need for contemplation. According to “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church,” contemplation is a form of mental prayer in which meditation and petition give way to quiet adoration of the mysteries of God. Contemplation is the fruit of divine grace. It comes after a period of recollection and self-abandonment. Daily concerns vanish and exclusive attention is given to the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Redemption. Active imagination gives way to waiting and listening. God is sought and found within the self as divine dwelling-place. Admittedly, I am not the best at contemplation. My mind tends to race and think about all of the things on my to-do list. It can be hard to quiet these thoughts. I appreciate being reminded to actively engage in contemplation. With all the noise in the world, we need to sometimes be still and listen. Let go of the distractions and listen to what God is telling us.
Brittney Kish Lightsey, Junior Warden