The Reverend Jean Campbell
The Rev. Jean Campbell was called as Rector of Trinity Church on January 1, 2005. She was ordained as Priest in 1990. Sr. Jean holds an MA from the University of Notre Dame in Liturgical Studies and an honorary Doctorate from Seabury-Western Seminary. She has worked as a liturgical consultant for many years and is currently a member of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and the Association of Parishes for Liturgy and Mission.
When we proclaim our Christian faith in Baptism, we commit ourselves to being children of God and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. We recognize that all we have has been received as a gift of God and we are commissioned as disciples to live our life in service of others. So what does it look like to be a committed Christian, what's the bottom line so to speak? I would suggest there are four elements: Scripture, Prayer, Community, and Mission.
You have to know the story to know the truth. Reading of scripture is essential to living the Gospel life. If you've never read a Gospel from cover to cover, try it. Or try a few letters of St. Paul. If you think the institutional church lives in conflict now, you should read the stories of the churches in the first century.
One of the ways to systematically read scripture is through daily morning and evening prayer. There is a lectionary in the back of our Book of Common Prayer that appoints readings for each day. Does your life open and close with an acknowledgement of the presence of God? As a Christian, it should. Recognizing the presence of God in our lives is a major element of living a faithful life, and our conversation with God is our prayer.
Prayer and worship are building blocks of the Christian life. We pray daily in our homes and work places, but we also celebrate common prayer Sunday by Sunday. We come together to remember and rejoice in the fact that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and that Christ will come again. In the breaking of the bread in Holy Eucharist, we are united with God in Christ Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the Body of Christ.
We become what we eat - the Body of Christ - the Church. As a community that finds life in Jesus Christ, we care for one another in times of crisis as well as times of joy; we give of our time and gifts for the building up of the church; and we nourish one another in discipleship and fellowship. We are a community that is always asking questions and seeking God's guidance for the answers to today's questions.
The fourth element is the ministry of the Church; our mission and witness in the world. Jesus chose twelve apostles and then he sent them out to do work. The apostles were charged with changing people's lives by removing the obstacles that kept people from living full lives. They were told to heal the sick and raise the dead. In other words, their task was to make a difference in people's lives. We too are called to minister to the suffering and dying, the hungry and those who are homeless, to share what we have with others. We are to be a prophetic witness to God's love, justice, compassion, forgiveness and mercy in our families, in our communities, in our nation, and in the world.
When all the elements are present then we might hear, "well done, good and faithful servant."
The Rev. Jean Campbell