“Rooted in Connection: Through Grace and Rage” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

May 26th,2022 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

This is a picture of me praying at Jesus’s tomb at The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Beloved Friends,

I had hoped to come back to this newsletter, after some time apart while I journeyed the holy spaces of our scripture, with stories of hope and new life for myself and our shared ministries. And while I do have stories of hope and new life to share from my travels, those stories will have to wait because like all of you, the stories at the front of my heart and mind are those of the lives cut short in Buffalo and Uvalde. My tears, prayers, and calls to my representatives are insufficient to capture the deep pain and sorrow of the families, friends, and communities feeling this loss. So, I pray filled with rage, “How long, O Lord?” and hope for those with the power to change- to do so. And we as a community will continue to name and fight the sins of white supremacy, racism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and greed, and we do so with Jesus- our God who suffers with us. It’s a lot… Please know that your pastors are here for you.

This week we are in the Book of Acts in chapter 18. We spend time in Acts this time of year especially at Pentecost as we think about the formation of the church. I love this time of year because it calls us into reflection about the church as it is and the church as we hope it to be. And what is the church if not a collection of her people living out their faith? So, in this week’s story about Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos I invite you to think of the ways you are still learning and growing in your faith and how that growth shapes the way you understand the church as it is and the church as it might be.

I hope to see you all in worship this Sunday at 11am.

Acts 18:24-27 (Year W):

24 Now a certain Jewish man, Apollos by name, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man well-versed in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the Way of the Messiah and spoke with a fiery spirit and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him in and explained the Way [of God] to him more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross over into Achaia, the sisters and brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; upon his arrival he greatly helped those who had through grace come to believe.

  • Who in this story do you most relate to?
  • Who is someone that helped you grow in your faith?
  • What is a significant time in your life that changed your relationship with God?
    • How was that time for you?
    • Who was there to support you?
  • How did that shift help you see God in this world anew?

Friends, I carried you with me in my travels and I continue to carry you in my prayers. This world is challenging and beautiful and everything in between – I am grateful for a God who is ever and always present and I continue to pray that as the world grows and changes that our leaders who had through grace been elected and upon their arrival greatly help those whom they are called to serve.

Shalom Y’all
Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: How long, O Lord? Amen