Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church

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Clergy Corner

Honoring Mothers and Grandmothers

In the spring of 1981, I was standing in the hallway of St. Luke's Cathedral about to process down the center aisle to be ordained. I had a few moments in the Narthex to chat with my old youth minister and mentor. "Charlie," I said, "do you have one last good word for me before I take this plunge?" "Remember," he said, "you'll brush up against a lot of grace, but along the way you'll also kiss a lot of toads."

It was Jesus who taught us that love is not just a response to loveliness, but is also the power to create loveliness where it did not exist before. If we reserve our participation in ministry for people and situations that already have beauty, we are not exercising the power of love in all its fullness.

This weekend we honor mothers and grandmothers. In a most poignant way, mothers exemplify these practices of love. We honor their abilities of not waiting for people to become lovable in order to love. Their actions of love have the power to bring such a reality into existence. Think about it: mothers have traditionally been expected to combine the skills of teachers, ministers, chefs, house-managers, chauffeurs, counselors, coaches, mediators, and physicians.

In my case, my mother was forced repeatedly to be an untrained emergency technician. My early years were nearly my last. But thankfully, like many, many others, we grew to adulthood but by the grace of God and our mothers.

So on this Mother's Day weekend, we salute all mothers -- and grandmothers. They have mended many hearts, informed many minds, and soothed and inspired many souls. In honor of our mothers and grandmothers, we extend flowers during our worship services tomorrow and we have made contributions to two battered women's shelters in Atlanta -- in your honor. Assisting those who are in need is an important aspect of this day.

We also observe Youth Sunday tomorrow. We are proud of our young people and they will have greater participation in our worship, including welcoming to the pulpit our youth preacher, Christopher Gadomski. Join us.

Bob Dannals

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