Gainesville District

 

 

Greetings Gainesville District!

November 1 is All Saints’ Day.  It is my favorite day of the Church year, because it allows me an intentional time to offer gratitude for all of those who have served as saints in my own life. 

Saints and martyrs have been honored by the church since at least the second century.  By the 8th century, there were so many saints to remember and celebrate Pope Gregory III established November 1st as All Saints Day: a day when the church could gather and honor all saints, known and unknown.

So often, when we consider those whom we believe to be saints, we think of persons in the Bible or those canonized by the Catholic Church.  We think of Peter crucified upside down on a Roman cross; Joan of Arc, hearing heaven's voice, burned at the stake as a witch.  Or we think of Abraham who hung onto faith through years of unfulfilled promises and through those moments of terror as he led his son Isaac up that hill to sacrifice him as God asked him to do.  Or we think of St. Francis of Assisi giving away all of his worldly riches and caring for the animals, or Mother Theresa serving the very poorest of the poor.

But the eschatological vision recorded in Revelation 21 reminds us of the inclusive nature of sainthood which encompasses more of God’s faithful than we could ever name or canonize:  "There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne. . ."

Saints have been walking this earth for generations before entering that great communion of Saints.  Multitudes that no one can count.  People called saints not by virtue of their perfection, but people who knew their need of God and lived their lives dependent upon God’s grace.  If we look at the saints of the Church, our ancestors in the faith, we see that they have not always been virtuous, but they have been faithful.  They weren't all perfect, but they knew their need of God.  They were people who knew they could have never "gotten it right" without God.

And so when we remember the saints of the faith we remember their faults and failures as well as their fidelity.  We remember that they were not superhuman endowed with gifts and virtues and faith that surpass what we could ever imagine or aspire to.  No, we remember that they, too, fell and were picked up, sinned and were forgiven, forgot the promise and were reminded again.  What we remember of them is their trust in God to bring them through the ordeals of their own lives or the trials of their own time in history.  We remember them for their faith and their need of God.

Throughout this month, I encourage you to think about and name the saints in your life.  If they are still living, drop them a note and let them know how they have influenced your faith.  And remember as the hymn “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God,” proclaims “there’s not any reason, no, not the least, why I shouldn’t be one too.”

With gratitude for All our saints,

Alice


 

District Superintendent


Alice Rogers
(770) 536-2586
alice.rogers@ngumc.net
View Bio

Administrative Assistant

Holley Butkovich
(770) 536-2586
gnsv@ngumc.net

Contact Information

343 Northside Drive  
Gainesville, GA 30501  

(770) 536-2586 Phone
(770) 536-7188 Fax

gnsv@ngumc.net http://www.ngumc.org/gnsv