From Fr. Matt, August 2021
I attended a Christian University for my undergraduate studies, and one of my closest friends in college left the Church during our senior year. He had many reasons for severing ties with the Church and his faith, but his primary reason for leaving, or at the least the primary reason he shared with me, was that he found a better “community” in a fitness group than he ever had in the Church.
Troubling as it may sound, he was absolutely right. The large, suburban, so-called “mega-church” that he grew up in had emphasized the church as a place for “community” above all else, so that when he found a better community in a Crossfit gym he was smart enough to connect himself with it and leave his church. I share this story to ask you, St. Peter’s, a question that I find myself asking all the time. What is the purpose of the Church?
If we answer that question in any way that does not center on Christ, and the encounter with Him through Word and Sacrament that is available exclusively within the Church, our understanding of the Church is misguided. If we tie the primary significance of the Church with anything else, even something good, noble, and godly such as community, social justice, the betterment of our nation, or any other number of noble temptations, the result will be a church that has lost its way.
This encounter with Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament that we find in the Church is ultimately why I felt called to the Priesthood, and it is why I am so eager to join you as your Rector. I promise you all little else in the time that God has granted me to serve as your Rector than the faithful proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed, and the right administration of the sacraments. These are the means through which we come to know Christ, and Christ is all we need.
I cannot begin to express my gratitude to all of you for your prayers and support in this extended season of transition, and for my family as the four of us (Madeline, Genevieve, and Vivienne) make our way to Loveland and St. Peter’s. In the coming weeks and months, I hope to have the opportunity to get to know each one of you better, to hear your story of how you came to know and love the Lord, and to learn how I can better serve you as your Priest. I continue to thank you for your prayers, support, and all that you do for my family and for St. Peter’s.
Fr. Matt, Rector