God is in this place, continuing to form and re-form all creation.
The Holy Spirit is in this place, infusing us with new hope and energy.
This first Sunday after Pentecost was dedicated to resurrection and renewal.
Our reading was from 1st Corinthians 15:50-58. With Jesus the perishable is made imperishable the mortal made immortal. In a twinkling of an eye we will all be changed. It is such that each time we speak of him we are renewed, resurrected in our faith.
Today was however the ultimate renewal of our faith family the addition of a new member. For it is that growth that adds to what we are and changes and renews who we are. It is our tradition when a new member joins to join them as they renew the covenant with God of their Baptism.
From the prayer of question.
In that covenant God gives us new life.
When we stand as one and welcome our new member we swear to God our support, guidance and nurture.
Then we together renew our vows by reaffirmation of our faith in reciting the Apostles Creed.
Thus with each new member we invite a resurrection of Jesus and of our faith as we make larger our family in faith.
With trepidation and some awe that I watch each new member take that tentative step in to their new church home. Yet by that very trepidation we are all renewed in our first steps when we became members, our faith strong and our hopes renewed.
The cycle of renewal of a Church is the most blessed thing we have where the continuity of our faith is reaffirmed not just for the hereafter but for the here and now. The chain of belief held together as each new link is formed. As we look to 150 years of Confederation, 500 years of reformation and next year 190 years of Christian witness at this site we can look proudly at the chain of renewal that started with the first member and adds to the strength of that chain with each new link that comes from each new member.
Let us celebrate that continuity and strength. Let us thank God for the resurrection of faith with each renewal of our membership.