Is God Here?

The first parish I served as a priest is Holy Apostles, located in suburban Memphis.  When I arrived there, however, Holy Apostles wasn’t located anywhere.  I mean that geographically, not spiritually.  Holy Apostles had been planted in a city neighborhood in the early 1970s, and as the demographics of Memphis shifted over the years, the parish’s fortunes waxed and waned.  Some years before my arrival, Holy Apostles had shrunk precipitously and sold its church building.  For some years they’d rented worship space in a Presbyterian church parish hall.  Eventually, that church, too, was slated to close, and Holy Apostles once again became a shrinking band of wandering nomads.  The low point may have been the day the Mission Council formally interviewed me to be their new vicar at a Perkins Restaurant on Old Shelby Drive in the middle of Memphis, amidst waiters busing scrambled eggs and French toast.

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