The Interim Rector’s Address by The Rev’d John H. Branson given at Christ Church Greenwich on the Annual Parish Meeting Sunday, January 21, 2018.
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My vision of the gathered church…had been replaced by a vision of the gathered community. What I saw now was the community imperfect and irresolute but held together by the frayed and always fraying, incomplete and yet ever-holding bonds of the various sorts of affection. ….It was a community always disappointed in itself, disappointing its members, always trying to contain its divisions and gentle in its meanness, always failing and yet always preserving a sort of will toward goodwill. I knew that, in the midst of all the ignorance and error, this was a membership; ….for the community must always be marred by members who are indifferent to it or against it, who are nonetheless its members and maybe nonetheless essential to it. And yet I saw them all as somehow perfected, beyond time, by one another’s love, compassion, and forgiveness as it is said we may be perfected by grace.
Jayber Crow, The Life Story of Jayber Crow, Barber, of the Port William Membership, as Written by Himself, by Wendell Berry, CounterPoint, Washington, DC (2000).
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.