SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 – Sunday was the final day of Redeemer, Franklin’s three-day mission event, an occasion that brought together clergy, parishioners, and guests from around the diocese and the Franklin community. After a night of prayer, and a charity arts event, Sunday was a day of outreach, fellowship, and relaxation.
It started with Redeemer, Franklin’s worship service, with Bishop Bill both preaching and presiding over Communion. Fr. Dan Sylvia, accompanied by his talented young son, Isaiah, led the congregation in worship before Bp. Bill began teaching a sermon that focused on Story. The whole weekend was an exercise in story-telling, a time that allowed each person to explore their own stories in God, see how they relate to the stories of others, and grasp their significance in light of God’s story in Jesus. Bp. Bill encouraged the church to keep fostering a missional mindset that seeks to bring those around them to understand the stories happening every day at Redeemer, Franklin. After teaching, Bp. Bill led the congregation in a Eucharist that, after having had the congregation prepare, labor, and pray together all weekend, took on a deeper sense of Christian unity and purpose. He also took oil and anointed each parishioner who came up to be a missionary in his or her community.
The festivities began with an amazing catered lunch, served with the sound of a steel-drum band playing in the background. The band, led by Ryan Loud and friends (the son of Joan Loud, a Redeemer parishioner), was joined by Isaiah Sylvia to help with backup and Redeemer’s Jim Armitage to play the bass! The block party began soon after, complete with ice cream provided by T.C. Scoops of Medway, face painting, cotton candy, lawn games with prizes, bounce houses, street hockey, and the Patriots game projected on the wall. The owner of T.C. Scoops was very interested in Redeemer’s involvement in Young Life Ministries, and by the end of the event offered to partner with them in their Young Life endeavors. The event brought in about 35 visitors from outside the Redeemer community, people from the area who never knew the church existed. Overall, the block party was an opportunity for the church to fellowship with their neighbors, provide moments of fun and relaxation, and connect with those who may not be inclined to connect with Christians within sanctuary walls.
Redeemer’s Mission Event Weekend was a success in many ways, and those who participated all the way through were treated to a variety of ways for interacting with God, the Church, and the surrounding community. Rather than consisting of just a series of church projects, the weekend felt more like an immersive, connected experience, where each event fit into an overarching pattern with a clear goal: giving our individual stories in Jesus a voice and inviting others to listen. We know this event will lead to many others like it throughout our diocese, where congregations can come together with a unified purpose for the sake of others and the Kingdom of God.