By Luke Johnson

In all my two years as an Anglican, I think one of the things I've appreciated most is the stability and restfulness that comes from an ideological/theological/practical commitment to togetherness. Even though St. Aidan has been without a priest for nearly a year, a priest's absence was felt a lot less than I thought it would be. I expect the same might be true in this next year as our diocese presses on without a bishop. It's definitely not that we don't need these people. But what I've found so encouraging in the absence of these centers of community is the way that others so seamlessly step up to fill in the gaps. Church life could resort to a time of coping, limping from week to week until we receive another shepherd. But I think that the functional togetherness we experience in community with one another is a really real and significant testament to the unity we have as Christ's body. In the absence of those tasked with providing a shepherd's presence and care, Christ himself doesn't cease to be our shepherd and true center. I think this time of striving without a priest has been really helpful for me to understand Anglican community a little better. And as a result, I will be a little extra grateful for Fr. Dean Pinter's arrival August 1, and all the new experiences this new chapter will bring.