March, 2013 – A Seminarian’s Letters Home

To the membership of Circle of Faith Parish:

Greetings to you all from Pennsylvania! It is an honor and a privilege to be asked to write for you each month, as we grow and learn together, becoming the new area parish that we are.

Circle of Faith, we call ourselves. When I hear the word circle, my mind automatically returns to the Episcopal congregation where I worked for a year. During the Eucharist each Sunday, the presider would invite everyone to form a circle around the table as we celebrated the sacrament. He always invited people by saying, “A circle is a symbol of God’s love. It has no beginning and no end – it’s always there.”

Making our way both through Lent and through these early days together, we may often feel like we are walking in circles. But if we are, it’s only because we are stretching the circle wider, proclaiming the Good News to everyone around us. We are announcing through our partnership and ministry together that God’s love is without limit, without beginning, and without end.

As we go onward toward the resurrection dawn of Easter, let us pray for God’s blessing, using these words:

Merciful God, accompany our journey through these forty days. Renew us in the gift of baptism, that we may provide for those who are poor, pray for those in need, fast from self-indulgence, and above all that we may find our treasure in the life of your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen. [ELW, Lent]

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Your fellow member and pilgrim,
Carl P. Rabbe
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia