Let’s Get to Know Each Other

I will probably say it too many times in my early days among you, but I am truly eager to get to know you. I’m so grateful for the warmth with which you greeted me after worship on the First Sunday of Advent. And yet, as much as I appreciated these heartfelt greetings, I still want to know so much more than your name, so much more than how long you’ve been at St. Peter’s, and so much more than all of the other relatively mundane data that we tend exchange in polite, abbreviated interactions before or after worship.

Knowing one another on a deeper level certainly takes a lot of effort, time, and sometimes, patience. I daresay that a lot of us would probably rather not be bothered. But deeper, more authentic relationships are exactly the work to which God calls us as followers of Jesus.

God came among us in Jesus so that we might come to know and relate to God in an entirely new way. In Jesus, God answers Joan Osborne’s eternally relevant question: “What if God was one of us?” In Jesus, God was and is somehow “one of us.” God took on flesh so that we could better understand the depths of God’s yearning to be both with us and for us. And just as God yearns to be in deep communion with all of creation, God also yearns for us to be in deep communion with one another. Indeed, the Communion meal that we share together each Sunday helps us glimpse the divine reality that “we who are many are one body,” and it also provides the fuel we need for the journey of truly living as a unified body (1 Corinthians 10:17).

I am very excited to have joined the body of faithful people who worship and serve at St. Peter’s, and I hope you will take seriously my desire to get to know you more deeply. Over the course of the coming year, I want to sit down for a 30-45 minute conversation with as many of you as possible. While we will certainly get to know one another through informal interactions over time, I think it’s also important to devote some intentional and focused time to building a relationship. Look out for an invitation from me in the coming months, and please do respond. Or, if you’d like to talk sooner, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at lanigan@stpetersphila.org or by calling 215-925-5968. I very much look forward to getting to know you!

Wishing you a holy Advent and a joyous Christmas,


The Rev. Sean Lanigan

The Rev. Sean Lanigan is the Associate Rector of St. Peter's Church.

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