The Rev. Marcia Davenport concluded her service as a member of Christ Church's staff this past weekend, as she led us in worship for Pentecost Sunday. It was a beautiful service (more photos coming later), followed by a communal potluck lunch and celebration of Mother Marcia's dedication to Christ Church over the years. Not to worry - she is still very much a part of our common life at CEC, which we are very thankful for.
Father Manny wrote about Mother Marcia in his weekly blog article:
Thank You, Marcia
Last Sunday, I had the honor of preaching at my brother’s fifty-year birthday Eucharist. A former primate and archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa presided over the Eucharist. It was a family event that I couldn’t miss, so I couldn’t join all of you in celebrating Mother Marcia’s ministry with us. Although Marcia is rotating off as a staff member with responsibilities, she will still be at Christ Church and offer her gifts as she sees fit.
In my sermon, I reflected on the value of gratitude and giving thanks. The gospel story was Luke 17:11-19, the story about the ten lepers who got healed on their way to see the priest as Jesus requested, but only one returned to offer thanks for his healing.
The point of the story isn’t about forgetting to give thanks, it is about indifference, about living as though no one else matters but you.
Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those with whom we walk life’s journey, so be swift to love and make haste to be kind. I reminded them of this prayer during the birthday Eucharist, one which we are blessed with almost every Sunday.
The flip side of being indifferent is to be intentional and to live intentionally. That would mean being intentional about love, and intentional about kindness. To live intentionally is to acknowledge that there are times when you sit under a tree you didn’t plant, or you sit by a well you didn’t dig.
To live intentionally, then, is to live thankfully and with gratitude. To give thanks is not to be indifferent; to give thanks comes from the deep awareness that you can hear a particular kind of music.
The German philosopher, Frederich Nietzche, once wrote these words: “And those who were caught dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.”
We are here celebrating because we hear the music. It is a different kind of music, one of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Gratitude makes it possible for us to always choose kindness over cruelty, love over fear, and generosity over scarcity. If you choose love, compassion, kindness, generosity, and joy, you will discover the kingdom of God that Jesus promises us in those choices.
Mother Marcia began her discernment for ministry at Christ Church, and she's now retired from ministry at Christ Church. In many ways, it feels like a part of life coming full circle. So as we celebrate Marcia’s ministry - a ministry that has been marked by grace - we remember the many ways in which she has blessed our common life with her wisdom, kindness, compassion, joyful spirit, and generous heart.
I am glad many of us were present to participate in the spirit of thanksgiving for a ministry so well-served.
Thanks to each of you. Thank you, Marcia. Thanks be to God.
During our lunch and celebration last Sunday, the wonderful poet, Pam Pruitt, dedicated and shared one of her works with us:
Thoughts on The Ascension
To Mother Marcia
To lift our
To move us
And striving to touch
The Getting There
Life’s best journeys