Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Our final Eucharistic service.
Fr. Charles Summers will be our celebrant.
The 2015 report from our Sr. Warden, Richard Baker
Eternity is a long time.
So while on earth, our temporary home, we Christians do our part to be like Jesus,
and help others as well as ourselves prepare for our permanent home in heaven.
We do this because we’re so grateful for the Grace offered us through Jesus Christ, and so
we can make a spiritual difference in our communities, our places of work, and in our church.
For 108 years, St. Barnabas & All Saints Church has made a difference that has had a lasting effect on
those for the hundreds who have worshiped and visited here. I’m told the average church life is only 75 years.
Now our mission in this building on 41 Oakland Street is finished.
But just as Jesus cried out “It is finished”, He was -not- finished...and we are not finished.
Yes, His sacrifice on the cross was finished, but it was only the starting block of the Christian world’s
wide open and non-ending road of unconditional love and salvation.
We were called to make disciples of all nations free from the guilt and burden of sin as all our sins are forgiven.
Burdens wear you down.
And those of us who have had the honor and privilege to remain to the end are well aware of the “burdens”
over the last few years of operating St. Barnabas & All Saints - the cost of building maintenance,
the decline in attendance through death and discouragement, the vacant rector position after Charles Summers retired for
health reasons after 14 years of dedicated service, the changing demographics of the area, and the secular nature of today's society.
But we kept on, until through discernment, we came to the corporate conclusion that this mission is completed,
there is no more we can do here. God has other plans.
We didn’t quit, it’s just time. He said so.
So we leave with great joy and praise the Glory of God.
The church is not a building, the people are the church.
We leave with blessed prayers for our 30-year old ministry of the Drama Studio and
90-year one of Scout Troop 49 – that they continue to remain housed here at least until the opportunity to relocate is desirable.
Father John L. Scott, the rector of this church when I was a little boy once told me, no doubt with
World War 2 and the Korean War fresh in his mind, that “the front of an army jeep could be an altar.”
And during the Cold War days, he once argued in confirmation class that “when the Communists closed down
once church, another popped up.”
So, just as churches pop up, we will pop up somewhere to continue God’s work wherever we may be called.
As Paul says in Romans 8-28, “All things work together for good for those who abide in God,
and are called according to his purpose.”
It will work out. He said so. We await our next calling.
All our homes on earth are temporary. We are renters awaiting our always open church home in heaven.
That building is eternal, he has set aside the rooms, and eternity is a long time.
There is no closing.
Respectfully, and with gratitude and joy,
Richard M. Baker
OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
"St. Barnabas & All Saints Episcopal Church is an inclusive, multi-cultural
Christian community, actively living out our baptismal covenant and honoring God by:
Reflecting the love of Christ, growing in faith and serving Christ in all people;
Nurturing the mind, body and spirit of our community through fellowship, service, song and prayer;
Praying for justice, freedom and peace for all.
We are moving forward into the future that God has in mind for us.
We seek to do His will, and walk in His way...right here in Springfield MA.
Come join us for worship.
Our Christian community welcomes you!
Established in Springfield MA in 1908.
Get directions here.
If you have any questions about us, feel free to contact us!
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