A Weekend Full of Celebration

A wonderful celebration of the Karen culture at Messiah Episcopal Church in St. Paul
A wonderful celebration of the Karen culture at Messiah Episcopal Church in St. Paul

There are moments, as the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, that I feel like the most blessed guy in the world.

On Saturday evening I was able to attend the Karen Cultural Celebration at Messiah Episcopal Church. It was an evening of music, dance, and story telling that was incredibly inspiring. The Karen people are some of the most generous and caring people I have ever met. And through Messiah’s amazing spirt of generous hospitality, both those who had history in the community and the large number of Karen who have come to the community, transformation has taken place for all.

On Sunday morning I was invited to come to St. Andrew’s, Minneapolis to be a part of the International Heritage Festival. From the parade of flags from the nations represented in the faith community (Antigua and Barbuda, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States) to the brightly colored attire from countries of origin; from the festive African music to the cuisine from folks’ homelands…it was an amazing festival.

Dashing from St. Andrew’s, I made my way to St. Luke’s Minneapolis for their Centennial Celebration and Service of New Ministry. As I walked into the church, I was greeted by a sizable choir filled with a familiar cast of characters who were practicing a very dynamic jazz piece. This set the tone for a truly Spirit-filled celebration which honored St. Luke’s history and their clear commitment to use their gifts to engage God’s mission in the world around them. And the kicker was that this is the faith community that, at a previous visit, made a cake in the shape of a Bishop’s miter; this day did not disappoint with cake of a blooming flower and an emerging sparkler.

ECMN is growing in diversity each and every day. This diversity continues to expand our experience of the fullness of the Body of Christ. As our relationships grow with our sisters and brothers from a wide array of cultures and contexts, we will continue to grow into the people God is calling us to be – what a blessing!

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