Dear Friends,

This week I am reminded of something my Mimi (my Mom’s mom) used to always to say: “The more important something is, the more you need to prepare.” She would say this in reference to many things—a big exam that was coming up, a public speaking engagement, or a major vacation on the horizon. The idea was that in preparing—either mentally, physically, or spiritually (or all of the above)—you will get the most out of whatever experience will happen in the future.

In the church, we know this concept well. For the major feast days in the Church, preparation is automatically built in. We prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas in the season of Advent. We prepare for Christ’s death and resurrection in the season of Lent.

Here at All Saints’, one of the biggest (if not the most important) high holy days is the celebration of All Saints’ Day. In the past, one of the many ways we seriously prepare for this important day is by making prayer flags—thinking about and remembering those whom we have lost. Whether we knew it or not, we were preparing our hearts and minds for a service that would transform our grief into love, and our fear into hope. This year more than ever, I believe we need all the love and hope we can get, BUT they come with preparation!

All Saints’ Day is on Sunday, November 1, this year. We still have time to prepare. We have most of October to pray and meditate on what specifically we want to be transformed at this service—to name those people and things and hopes that have died (especially this year) and begin the process of inviting God and the Holy Spirit to mold our hearts to love and forgive and hope more freely.

There are many ways to prepare for this sacred service, but I commend taking four minutes to learn of some specific ways we at All Saints’ are offering for you to participate and prepare. This video is the first of many announcements to come in October, but for today, pray about what you need to write on this year’s prayer flags and what volunteer opportunities that are offered might help your spiritual preparation.

In prayer for a holy preparation,

The Rev. Andrew Rutledge