"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." -Philippians 1:6
All Saints is the rudder of my life in my journey to better know and emulate Jesus Christ. I value All Saints as a praying, caring, and communicating church and one that stands firmly on the foundation of “Sharing Christ’s Love.” I was drawn to All Saints because of its commitment to Christ-centered service and the Gospel, genuine care and concern for others, and its rich liturgical tradition. I find peace and comfort in Christ’s love and believe it is strong and growing at All Saints.
As a member of the Body of Christ, I believe this parish will continue to do great things, including becoming even more of a Kingdom Church. To do so, we must continue to seek God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness … I pray that the Holy Spirit will fill the hearts and souls of my fellow parishioners to respond to God’s call for us to further his mission on earth through All Saints Parish.
Your wagon tracks overflow with richness. (Psalm 65:11b)
All Saints Church is a Holy place. It carries the Word, the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ into our hearts, into our lives and into our world. We can discern it in quiet meditation in the sanctuary, in the chapels, in the prayer room and throughout the church. We can discern this most certainly on Sundays with all the faith, love and energy in our services, classes, forums, and meals. We can discern it throughout the week with the abundant activities, with the faith-filled staff, and with the joy of parishioners, children, and visitors. The Gospel is proclaimed with beauty, strength and conviction by our Rector, Associate Rector and clergy. It is studied and celebrated in our classes, prayer groups and gatherings.
I believe in...the communion of saints (Apostles’ Creed)
When my family and I first came to All Saints Church, we knew that the Christian “tradition” meant that we were both part of and benefiting from a long line of faith stretching through the millennia. We were standing on the shoulders of those who have walked and carried on before us. Diana and I have now been here 1/3 of a century (yikes). I can close my eyes and smile at some of the All Saints’ saints now-departed who have walked with us on this journey. I can also open my eyes and see All Saints’ saints that are walking with us now and who will carry forth into the future. These are beautiful sights.
But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. (Matt. 12:23)
In times of great need, I have been a recipient of the love and uplifting embrace of the good people of All Saints Church. I have also seen the God-smiles or miracles of their love and prayers brought forth to others. These fruits of our faith come out in a variety of ways. The Love, the Grace, the Guidance, the Embrace of Jesus Christ manifests itself both within and beyond the walls of All Saints Church. It changes our lives, our hearts, and our souls. It changes how we deal with others – in our daily interactions, in our visiting ministries, our outreach and our mission activities – in all sorts of ways.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
All Saints Church, of course, is not unique in its seeking to know, to love and to follow Jesus Christ and the Word of God. We are part of a glorious fabric and family of faith throughout the world. Nevertheless, we do have gifts – spiritual and earthly – to contribute to this fabric. This world most certainly needs these gifts and to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Kingdom Campaign is thrilling in that it celebrates where we have been, strengthens where we are, and enables us to carry forth this Good News to future generations. For all of this I am deeply grateful.
At some point in life—whether in pre-school, adolescence, adulthood, or toward the end of life as living breathing human beings doing whatever we do in the tiny speck of the universe that we occupy—we all face questions about God. Does God exist? Does God care about me? How does God do what he does? Why do I not now see God physically? Did God really show up on Earth as the Bible says? These are a few questions that people throughout time have always struggled to understand. They are all questions that God Himself has addressed or answered through Christ, who was both God and man, so that He could relate to people and explain what He explained. Christ demonstrated God’s way for all to see. He taught God’s story and lessons that have been passed down through the generations and written in The Christian Bible.
All Saints Church has become a place and a group that meets each person from preschool through the end of life—at whatever place he or she is in understanding God and the teaching of Jesus Christ. It is a place that allows anyone who wants to understand answers to these questions and to live in the spirit that was offered and explained by Jesus Christ, to deepen that understanding and to grow spiritually as a person by so doing. It is also a place that offers opportunities to live out the message of Jesus Christ through service and mission as one grows.
All Saints Church’s exceptional Rector, Ed Kelaher, has led the parishioners using the primary tool of Jesus Christ—love. As a result, the parish has grown in an accepting and inclusive manner. This direction has been set and the growth achieved without the distraction of and focus on contemporary Political issues that can divide people.
So, All Saints Church, and the Kingdom Campaign that it is undertaking to grow what has now emerged, is important to me. It is important because, like Jesus Christ, the leadership and direction of our church gives me hope . . . hope for our church community for sure, but also hope for those who control civil power within the Beltway, hope for the nation, and even hope for the world.
I have loved All Saints since we first began attending some two decades ago. But I love it now more than ever. I think All Saints is in the best shape it has been in since we’ve been here – stronger, more vibrant, more faith-filled and more unified than ever.
Why do I love All Saints?
I love it for its beauty - its soaring nave, its stained glass. I love it for the beauty of its liturgy - the solemnity and familiar ring of Rite I, the majesty of the music and choir. I love it for its people – the interesting, the loving, the dedicated, the sacrificial, the quirky, the devout, even the difficult – truly a microcosm of God’s beautiful and diverse humanity. I love it for the opportunities it has given me to serve in many capacities and stations. I love it for its clergy – we have been truly blessed by a succession of truly great shepherds. Most of all, I love All Saints because the Gospel is clearly, consistently and unashamedly proclaimed here – not controversy, not condemnation, not politics – just the promises of the Gospel to a needy world.