Grace & Achievement: A Reflection on (Striving for) Excellence

The Mid-Week Missive is based on Community Rules: An Episcopal Manual by Ian Markham and Kathryn Glover, both administrators at Virginia Theological Seminary. I am working my way through this book, reading and writing  through the lens of our Life Together as part of the Christ the King Episcopal Church family, as well as part of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. 

Rule #18: Strive for Excellence. Markham and Glover’s reflection on this rule can be found in their book, which can be purchased here

How does this rule apply to our Life Together at Christ the King? Note the word “strive.” There is grace there. As long as we strive for excellence, the result will be a faithful use of the gifts and time with which God has blessed us. As we are in the midst of the annual pledge drive at CtK, how might we include Rule #18 in our pledge to God and our parish? There isn’t a box to check that says, “I will [continue to] strive for excellence in 2020,” but perhaps that can be a personal pledge that we make to God and ourselves.

On a personal note, I am humbled and inspired by the excellence I see around me here at CtK, from our staff, to our Parish Day School, to the faithful servant leaders who contribute to and carry out the ministries here at CtK. An example: on Sunday mornings, when I face the altar and cross to say the opening Collect for Purity, I am always stunned at the beauty of the altar flowers. The “simply elegant” beauty of the arrangements are an example of striving for (and achieving!) excellence. And it is an example of the faithful stewardship of time, talent, and treasure. Thanks be to God for the St. Theresa Flower Guild, and all of the other faithful servant leaders of our parish!