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  • Debbie Stollery

Choose Now!

It's the last Friday of Lent. Today's Scriptures introduce us to the notion of standing firm in what God wants, even when we don't understand it, when others see something different, and when we can't see anything but barriers and persecution for standing firm. Of course, this is what Jesus did during his passion and death. But, I am coming to understand this is what we are supposed to do as well...stand firm, keep doing as God intends for us to do despite the inevitable denunciations that will come.

But, here's something I also saw in an article in NCR today. It's more than possible to claim the necessity to stand firm in a position, to elevate the stakes, and to come to a "necessary conclusion" about action, from many positions. And here's where discernment of spirits comes into play. Here's where it becomes necessary to see if the stalwart, necessary position being called for is in fact aligned with Jesus' will and Jesus' way. Here's where it's necessary to see if the denunciations are advancing God's kingdom defined by Jesus and enabled by the Holy Spirit...or not. And I'm not going to sugar coat this. This is hard and uncertain work.

This is where Jesus' message in today's Gospel becomes important. If you can't believe the words, believe because of the actions. Test both. In both cases, is God's kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven? Or is there another agenda being pushed? Does that agenda bring forth the Kingdom of God or not?

That's where the Pentecost Vigil Project invites your discernment. What will you choose to support? What kind of Church do you believe Jesus founded and desires for today? What organizations and movements are assisting that new creation? Is the Pentecost Vigil Project one of them?

We think we are. Here's why. We imagine a Church where all the baptized find a place to become who God created them to be, to unleash their many gifts in service to the coming Kingdom, to be nourished and forgiven over and over again on this sacred journey, to find companions of all sorts: teachers, preachers, mentors, guides, and fellow pilgrims. We imagine a Church where Jesus' teachings and the way he walked the earth are paramount to the way we live and love together.

We believe that synodality is an approach that can begin to create this kind of Church, a Church we know will welcome all to come inside the tent, to journey with us for a while, to meet the Lord Jesus here among us, and to decide if He's the way for them. We believe synodality will open the discernment of spirits, the decision-making processes and the delegation of authority to ALL the baptized who are called, gifted and formed for this work. We believe synodal practices to be alternatives to the bombastic, echo-chamber rhetoric of our times. We believe synodal practices give outward signs that respect the dignity of baptism, the power of confirmation and the necessity for the Eucharist.

We believe synodal mindsets, practices and structures honor the Holy Spirit as the leader of the Church and we are committed to doing our part to unleash the Spirit of synodality in the Church in the US.

We believe Pope Francis is spot on when he said synodality is the way the Spirit wants the Church to go in the third millennium.

And, finally, we believe we have to choose now which kind of Church Jesus desires and if we are in support of it. We must choose among what was in another time and place, what is now, or what the Spirit is trying to create. We are choosing by our actions. What are you choosing?

And here's the pebble in your shoe...if you don't choose soon, others who believe in another Church will put their considerable financial resources behind a different image of Church. So we're asking you to

Choose now! Choose to support the Pentecost Vigil Project, Inc. in our Spring fundraiser called, not suprisingly...CHOOSE NOW! Donate! No amount is too small. Every dollar is a choice for the Spirit's new creation. Won't you help us continue to roll this synodal rock uphill?

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