“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. “
The statement above comes from today’s Epistle reading from the Daily Eucharist lectionary, from the Epistle of James (James 2:26). This concluding statement sums up what James has been proclaiming–OK, ranting about–since the start of this passage: faith without works is dead, it is no faith. Another way of saying that could be: “works and actions done in faith help our faith come alive.”
Now, I’m not going to get into the debate about justification of faith through works–that is another Daily Cup for another time. However, I would like to think a moment about the works that we do–the actions outside of our worship–that help our faith come alive.
Over the course of the past month a very talented and specialized group of St. Alban’s parishioners have been meeting to think about, envision, and plan a new website for our parish. The group is working through a very well-defined process that is, at it’s heart, concerned with the experience that one has when coming to our new website.
At the moment the group is tackling the various audience groups that could come to the new site, what tasks those groups could undertake and what information they are likely to need. St. Alban’s is involved in a TON of wonderful “works” in the world, bringing the Gospel of Jesus to the world and making our faith come alive through the work we do in and through our faith. There are many St. Albanites who are involved in these ministries, doing this work in the world that James writes about. Looking more broadly, we all come to St. Alban’s because this church fills some need in our lives, feeds us in some way, gives us some purpose, enables us to do those “good works” James writes about, or provides for us some “thing” that we cannot get out in the world.
Now, here is where you can help. Take 30 seconds…maybe a minute if you like, and let me know the following on this completely anonymous and confidential form:
1. What needs St. Alban’s fills for you? (Examples: Do we provide a place where you feel comfortable worshiping…do we give your children a place where they can worship and learn about their developing spirituality…Do we help you grow in your knowledge and love of God?)
2. What needs do you have that St. Alban’s currently isn’t meeting? (Examples: Where would you like us to do more for you, for our parish, for the city, nation, world? What can we focus on that would help deepen your relationship with God in Christ? What programs, services or events are we not currently offering that could be useful/helpful to you in your life, in your faith life?)
Your feedback in these two simple areas is very, very helpful to the work that we are doing–not only as the website design team, but as St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. I look forward to hearing from you.
In Christ’s Name,