We’re not only a gathered people, we’re also a sent people. Jesus says, “I send you into the world. Just as the Father sent me into the world, I’m sending you.” We need to be sent out from the church building itself – and from the church community itself – to have a wider rippling effect in the world.

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We want our churches to be places of safety, places of welcome where people feel like they can be themselves. Places where they will be embraced just as they are, where they will be encouraged to become the person that they’re meant to be.

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The Eucharist and the liturgy continue to be an ongoing invitation. Even when I think I’ve got it all figured out, there’s always more. I’ve been receiving communion now for thirteen years, and it’s never the same any day. I never walk away feeling fed in the same way. I always feel fed.

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Baptism is our birth into the church as a whole, and we enter these baptismal waters again when we physically enter the worship space. When I begin to enter the chapel and put my fingers in the holy water stoop, then make the sign of the cross, I have this experience of going through the veil. It’s an experience of entering into the baptismal waters of death and birth; saying that the preoccupations, worries, thoughts, and feelings that might be a distraction are dying in this entrance into God’s time, into the time of prayer and worship, and in this entrance into the Christian community.

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Everything that I do in the chapel is actually an act of praise, thanksgiving, and adoration to God, who’s gazing at me. And I’m returning that gaze – wanting to return that gaze every moment I have because I’m so in love with Jesus.

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