I just wanted to take a moment to let you all appreciate something… I see many here say “I have no one” during the holidays…yes…they ACTUALLY say that….
Let me lay some facts on the table for those who think they are ‘alone’ in my parish:
Did you know the proportion of churches (according to the Church of England Census) per individuals is now one church to 1,340 people; the size of the average Sunday congregation, however, is 84….we are now 2,301 members in my parish…
Some actually listen to haters and say “But they say it is not a REAL church” and “Animals don’t have souls”….you know the routine…well.. I wish to refute.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:18-20
So…THAT is out of the window….
I am but ONE cleric, and yet I am there for any number of those who come to my simple office for them. I spend whatever amount of time is needed for them, I put no restrictions on ‘schedule’…
So…let me put this in a light you will understand: God works 24/7/365…. I am but human, and therefore must sleep, eat, etc…and yet I am always there when asked for or needed.
This means no matter what time zone you are in…what your home life is (alone, married, or in a committed relationship) and no matter WHAT your social function/malfunction is, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
So…let us put the old theory to the test, shall we?
I have already filled FOUR VOLUMES OF BOOKS with prayers of every sort..deaths, births, sickness, depression, you name it…this means that OBVIOUSLY I am doing SOMETHING for those who come to me..which means YOU have someone you can go to when you need it. ERGO: YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.
The fact that we have a larger parish online than a rather LARGE chunk of other ‘organized’churches have in their pews, and that you have an almost 24 hour a day 7 day a week access to your cleric means that WE ARE NOT ALONE TOGETHER.
Face it…you have a family…one who cares enough to be there for you…is there when you need them to be…and always makes things better rather than worse…
So…the point is: You HAVE a family, ME (and 2300 OTHER family members)…so, why not see the brighter side and realize that even though you may not have friends who live nearby (even though MANY of you found out you DO, because Flat Friar’s journey connected A LOT of people who lived nearby but did not know lived THERE), or family nearby (but ONLINE family) you are NEVER alone unless you need to be.
I care for each and every one of you as if you were the ONLY one here.
So at this, the end of the year, I hereby renew my vows.
To help all who come to me for help.
To comfort those in Grief.
To help those seeking their faith (WHATEVER THEIR FAITH MAY BE) find their faith.
To aid those of ANY faith regardless of what faith they are, should they just simply need a friend to talk to or to keep loneliness at bay.
I have the honour to remain your faithful and loyal cleric, friend, and confidante:
Fra. J.L. Wallace.